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Played
January 19, 2013 3:00 PM GMT
The DW Stadium — Wigan
Referee:‬ A. Taylor‎
Attendance:‬ 19219‎
 
Top of the Match
Steven Fletcher
Steven Fletcher
Sunderland
Steven Fletcher
Steven Fletcher
Sunderland
Flop of the Match
Franco Di Santo
Franco Di Santo
Wigan Athletic
Franco Di Santo
Franco Di Santo
Wigan Athletic

Wigan 2-3 Sunderland: Fletcher at the double as Black Cats claim five-goal thriller

The Scotland striker produced a superb display to hand his side a fifth win in eight league games and heap pressure on Roberto Martinez's relegation-threatened Latics

By Tim Poole

EPL - Wigan Athletic v Sunderland, Steven Fletcher
Getty Images

Steven Fletcher scored twice for Sunderland in a thrilling 3-2 away win over Wigan to ease his side’s relegation worries.


The hosts got off to the perfect start after David Vaughan put the ball into his own net with less than five minutes on the clock, but the Black Cats responded through Craig Gardner’s penalty and a Steven Fletcher double to put them 3-1 up before half-time.

Wigan improved in the second half but, despite substitute Angelo Henriquez’s debut goal, Fletcher’s 10th of the season - and sixth in seven against the Latics - was enough to hand Sunderland their fifth win in eight league games.
 
Roberto Martinez refrained from throwing new signings Joel Robles, Henriquez and Roger Espinoza straight into Wigan’s starting line-up, instead making just two changes from the side that earned a point at Fulham last weekend. Ronnie Stam replaced the injured Ivan Ramis, while Jordi Gomez came in for David Jones.

The visitors, meanwhile, welcomed defender John O’Shea back from a long injury lay-off at the expense of Matthew Kilgallon, while new signing Alfred N’Diaye replaced James McClean to make his full league debut.

Boasting just one win in their previous nine league outings, the Latics faced a tough task against Martin O’Neill’s improving side but were handed a welcome boost after just four minutes when Vaughan diverted Ronnie Stam’s fluffed finish past Simon Mignolet to give the home side the lead.

Sunderland’s response, however, was swift. N’Diaye and O’Shea came close minutes later, before James McCarthy blocked Sebastian Larsson’s free kick inside the box with his hand, conceding a 15th-minute penalty.

It was the away side’s first spot kick in 34 games but Gardner made it look easy, sending Ali Al-Habsi the wrong way and coolly slotting the ball into the bottom left-hand corner.

And just five minutes later, Fletcher put Sunderland ahead after meeting an N’Diaye cross to rifle an acrobatic left-foot volley into the top corner after his initial header was parried.

The goal turned the game on its head and, more worryingly for Wigan, it did not stop there.

Five minutes before half-time, a long ball into the box allowed Adam Johnson to feed Fletcher, who arrowed a powerful yet pinpoint finish into the top corner from the edge of the box to extend Sunderland’s lead.

The home side came out firing after the break, with Shaun Maloney being denied by several impressive Mignolet saves, while Fletcher deflected the ball onto his own crossbar on 68 minutes.

And Henriquez got the hosts back into the game with 10 minutes to go, heading in a Maloney cross for a debut goal.

But Wigan’s second-half pressure ultimately came to nothing as Fletcher & Co. left the DW Stadium with three valuable points to move Sunderland up to 11th place, as the home side dropped into the relegation zone following Reading’s 2-1 win over Newcastle.



Wigan Athletic

26
Ali Al Habsi
Goalkeeper
2.50
5
Gary Caldwell
Defender
2.50
17
Emmerson Boyce
Defender
15′ 72′
3.00
-
Ronnie Stam
Defender
46′
2.50
3
Maynor Figueroa
Defender
2.50
16
James McCarthy
Midfielder
2.50
14
Jordi Gómez
Midfielder
3.00
16
James McArthur
Midfielder
2.50
22
Jean Beausejour
Midfielder
64′
2.50
9
2.00
10
Shaun Maloney
Midfielder
79′
3.00

Sunderland

3.00
22
Simon Mignolet
Goalkeeper
3.00
16
John O'Shea
Defender
2.50
19
4.00
18
Alfred N'diaye
Midfielder
3.00
7
3.00
8
Craig Gardner
Midfielder
17′
3.00
14
Jack Colback
Midfielder
68′
3.00
-
David Vaughan
Midfielder
4′ 92′
4.00
11
Adam Johnson
Midfielder
42′ 75′
3.00
28
4.00
9

Substitutes

1
Joel
Goalkeeper
 - 
-
 - 
19
David Jones
Midfielder
 - 
-
R. Espinoza
Midfielder
46′
3.00
-
3.00
15
 - 
-
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
20
 - 
2
 - 
27
 - 
-
James McClean
Midfielder
75′
 - 
27
 - 
10
 - 
16

Coach/Manager

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 - 

Coach/Manager

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Results
 
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Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
29 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
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20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Manchester City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Manchester United
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
15 0