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Premier League

  • 3 January 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • The DW Stadium, Wigan
  • Referee: M. Dean
  • • Attendance: 15871

Wigan Athletic 1-4 Sunderland: David Vaughan wonderstrike tops off fine win to move visitors into top half of Premier League

Wigan Athletic 1-4 Sunderland: David Vaughan wonderstrike tops off fine win to move visitors into top half of Premier League

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Martin O'Neill's side hit four goals against a tepid Wigan side to seal the three points for the Black Cats at a very cold DW Stadium.

Sunderland continued their recent revival on Tuesday night by hitting four goals past a poor Wigan side and moving into the top half of the Premier League table for the first time this season.

Sunderland took the lead through Craig Gardner in first-half injury-time and soon after the break, they'd opened up a two-goal lead as James McClean scored his first goal for the club.

The hosts gave themselves a way back into the match with 62 minutes on the clock as Hugo Rodallega bagged what was his first strike of the season, however Martin O'Neill's side soon put the game to bed as Stephane Sessegnon and David Vaughan secured the three points in the final 20 minutes.

Wigan kicked off proceedings by dominating the majority of possession in the opening minutes. David Jones earned Wigan a corner early on after his volley deflected off Sunderland’s John O'Shea, but the resulting corner was poor and Kieran Richardson cleared it with ease for the visitors.

Soon after, Albert Crusat made a blisteringly fast run down the left for the Latics before delivering a high cross into the six-yard-box for Rodallega, but the Colombian hit the ball over after coming under some clever defensive pressure from O'Shea.

Wigan’s first real chance of the game came in the 7th minute when Ronnie Stam’s superb delivery was headed away by Matthew Kilgallon, before Jordi Gomez’ cheeky rebound shot was comfortably cleared thanks to good goalkeeping from the Black Cats’ Simon Mignolet.

Sunderland started to gain more control of the match after twenty minutes when Gardner went on a marvellous run down the right, but took his cross too late, although fortunately for him it was hit out for a corner thanks to a Steve Gohouri deflection.

Ali Al Habsi did well to claim the resulting corner and dispatched the ball outfield for a Wigan attack, but that eventually mellowed out thanks to some wonderful defending from the visitors.

The home side were unlucky not to be in front after half-an-hour when they hit the post twice in quick succession. An oustanding move from Jones played in Ben Watson, who drove a thunderous effort off the Sunderland post before Jones’ quick-thinking strike whizzed of the woodwork again.

The DW faithful had reasons to be concerned when Crusat came off badly from a David Vaughan challenge. The winger looked to be in considerable pain and was replaced by Victor Moses.

The first-half’s last ten minutes saw Sunderland regain control as the visitors were enjoying the majority of possession and despite the very harsh conditions, were passing the ball around in an elegant fashion.

Sess-on-song | The Wigan defence struggle to cope with Sessegnon's movement

Their efforts quickly paid off when Gardner buried the ball in the back of the Wigan net to break the deadlock for the Black Cats. Nicklas Bendtner managed to win a free-kick in the dying moments of the first half before Gardner took advantage by placing an unstoppable strike past a helpless Al Habsi.

Sunderland came out for the second half full of energy and within minutes had notched their second goal of the night thanks to McClean’s first Premier League goal.

McClean eagerly met a Vaughan cross before forcing an outstanding save from Al Habsi and heading it in on the follow-up to grab his side a comfortable cushion.

Wigan looked set to reply soon after, but Moses’ promising delivery was met by Sunderland’s O’Shea, who had just beaten an advancing Rodallega to the ball.

The Latics pulled one back only seconds later when a James McCarthy pass found Rodallega, who confidently turned on the edge of the area before drilling a powerful low drive past Mignolet to keep his side in the game.

However, Sunderland ended any danger of a comeback with just over fifteen minutes left, as Bendtner’s accurate ball to Sessegnon saw the striker tap it in to notch the Black Cats’ third goal of the evening.

David Vaughan put the icing on the cake minutes later when his thunderous kick almost broke the Wigan net. The Sunderland man picked up the ball well from a McClean effort to casually control the ball before smashing into the top corner, sealing the three points for O’Neill’s team.

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