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Premier League

  • 26 December 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • Goodison Park, Liverpool
  • Referee: L. Mason
  • • Attendance: 38749
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Live Commentary

  • So Everton claim a just-about deserved victory and climb into fourth as Arsenal do not play today and Tottenham kick-off later. Southampton's 1-1 draw against Fulham is enough to widen the gap between themselves and Wigan to two points.
  • 90' + 5'
    And that is that! Everton claim the 2-1 victory!
  • 90' + 4'
    Yellow Card Gary Caldwell
    Caldwell is booked for a late challenge on Heitinga. That should be enough for Everton to hang on.
  • 90' + 2'
    Dear me, Franco. Di Santo manages to handle the ball in a great position inside the Everton area after Maloney's header down. That could have been the equaliser.
  • 90'
    There will be FOUR minutes of stoppage time.
  • 89'
    Yellow Card Nikica Jelavic
  • 89'
    Yellow Card Maynor Figueroa
  • 88'
    ...but Baines' delivery comes to nothing.
  • 87'
    Everton cautiously venture forward slowly through Naismith. The Scot tries to protect the ball from Stam and Maloney and possibly draw a free kick, none of which he achieves, but he does win a corner...
  • 85'
    Five minutes to play now and Moyes is getting fidgety on the touchline. He has made his defensive substitutes, can Everton hold on?
  • 83'
    Looks like I spoke too soon when saying Wigan were treating. They are right back in this now.
  • 82'
    Goal Arouna Kone
    GOAL!! Kone pulls one back for Wigan! Here is David Lynch: "Wigan have a lifeline as Kone is allowed in after some inexplicably poor defending. The Ivorian simply barged Distin and Baines out of the way before toeing home from close range. Do the Latics have time?" 2-1!
  • 81'
    And Wigan are starting to fear a bigger defeat now as they drop back, Oviedo senses this and unleashes a volley from,... erm, 30 yards out. Ambitious, and a waste.
  • 80'
    Substitution Ronnie Stam Jordi Gómez
  • 78'
    You have to say, that's probably taken the game out of Wigan's reach now.
  • 77'
    Assist Phil Neville
  • 77'
    Goal Phil Jagielka
    GOAL!! Jagielka extends Everton's lead! Here is Mr Lynch with the 'deets': "Everton have the second goal which their dominance deserved as Phil Jagielka rises highest to meet Phil Neville's cross from deep and nods into the top corner beyond Al-Habsi. Game over."
  • 75'
    Di Santo manages his first touch of the ball since coming on, glancing a header wide of Howard's left-hand post.
  • 72'
    Substitution David Jones Franco Di Santo
  • 72'
    Everton's turn to venture forward as Neville's deep cross from right in found by Baines at the edge of the area. The left-back's tame effort nearly finds Naismith, but ends up tumbling past Al-Habsi's post.
  • 71'
    And it looks like Moyes is aware of this as well as he brings on defender Heitinga for midfielder Hitzlsperger and striker Anichebe for Oviedo.
  • 70'
    Substitution Thomas Hitzlsperger John Heitinga
  • 70'
    Substitution Victor Anichebe Bryan Oviedo
  • 70'
    Wigan have really stepped up their play over the last five minutes or so, setting up an interesting final 20 minutes (hopefully).
  • 68'
    BREAKING NEWS: Kone stays onside long enough to be found by Maloney's cross to the near post. However, Neville is there is mop up the danger.
  • 67'
    Jelavic will be fine, but he will think twice about taking on Wigan's defender again anytime soon, I'd imagine.
  • 65'
    Ouch. Jelavic is down needing treatment after losing a 50/50 tackle with Figueroa. That'll teach him.
  • 63'
    ...No. Caldwell can only head wide.
  • 62'
    Oooh. Possible chance for Wigan from this corner? Maloney wins the set-piece off Jagielka and steps up to send the ball into the area...
  • 61'
    Urgh. Kone is more of a hindrance than a help at the moment. He is again flagged offside after timing his run incorrectly. Martinez is cutting a frustrated figure at the side.
  • 59'
    Uh oh. Now Caldwell could be in trouble as he clutches his right leg following a challenge from Pienaar. Again, though, it looks like the pain will pass.
  • 58'
    Yellow Card Jean Beausejour
    Beausejour is duly booked for protesting the waving away of those claims. Needless yellow card.
  • 57'
    Osman is amongst everything at the moment, most recently a penalty appeal for Wigan after a possible trip on Maloney. It doesn't look too convincing, and the referee agrees. Play on.
  • 55'
    Here come Everton again and it's through goalscorer Osman down the right, but his dangerous-looking cross evades both Anichebe and Jelavic.
  • 54'
    Looks like Everton are into their stride now. Moyes' half-time musings appear to have made a difference.
  • 52'
    Assist Victor Anichebe
  • 52'
    Goal Leon Osman
    GOAL!! Everton take the lead! We finally have a goal at Goodison Park and it is Osman - courtesy of a huge deflection - who opens the scoring. The Englishman ducked inside Beausejour with ease and saw his left-footed effort diverted in off the hand of a hapless Caldwell. 1-0.
  • 50'
    And Everton come close again when Osman's jinking run into the area almost results in the first goal, but Al-Habsi is alert to the save.
  • 48'
    Woah. This second half has had more action in two minutes than the entire first half put together already. David Lynch has the details: "Thomas Hitzlsperger, owner of one of the world's most dangerous left pegs, has just nearly shattered the crossbar from 35 yards. The German's shot dipped late and had Al-Habsi well beaten. Unfortunate for Everton."
  • 46'
    Substitution Darron Gibson Steven Naismith
  • 46'
    And we are back underway in the second half where it is Everton 0-0 Wigan.
  • Here is Mr Lynch again: "A substitution at half-time for Everton as Darron Gibson makes way for Steven Naismith. No confirmation as of yet but you'd imagine that is down to injury rather than an ambitious tactical switch."
  • Here is David Lynch, right on cue: "Half-time at Goodison Park and the game remains goalless. Everton looked impressive for the opening 20 minutes but seemed to have their confidence knocked after failing to score. Wigan's performance was far from vintage but Roberto Martinez will be pleased his side remain in it and will hope they can capitalise on some promising breaks.
  • 45' + 1'
    And that's it. Much better in the second half please, lads.
  • 45'
    There will be one minute of added time at the end of the first half.
  • 43'
    Things are getting desperate as half-time approaches, Pienaar wins a free kick at least 35 yards from goal and has a dig from that distance. It doesn't even pretend to go near the goal.
  • 41'
    Argh. More promising play is negated by clumsy mistakes. This time Maloney needlessly handles the ball when inside the Everton area. Poor.
  • 39'
    This is pretty turgid stuff, not going to lie. Post-Xmas blues?
  • 37'
    Everton win three corners in succession after Jelavic's soft effort is hacked clear by Stam. Neither truly trouble the visitors.
  • 34'
    Ooof, that was a let off for Everton. Stam is screaming for the ball on the right with space to run into, but Maloney's over-hit pass flies harmlessly out of play.
  • 32'
    Everton try to regain their ever-depleting control with two efforts from distance through Anichebe and Distin, but both fail to test Al-Habsi.
  • 29'
    Kone is starting to make progress down the Everton right. On this occasion he finds Stam in a central position to have a shot that Howard is forced to dive low to his left to save.
  • 27'
    Everton's influence on the game has waned slightly over the past few minutes. Wigan are starting to have more luck in the centre of the pitch.
  • 24'
    McCarthy is getting it from all angles today - evidently he was singled out by Moyes ahead of the game - as Anichebe again goes in hard. Again he avoids a booking.
  • 22'
    Chance for Wigan now as Gibson brings down McCarthy on the edge of the area. Maloney steps up and thwacks a strong effort on target, but Howard collects well.
  • 20'
    Wigan are trying to reassert themselves on the game, but Kone, not for the first time, breaks down a promising attacking move with some sloppy control.
  • 19'
    Everton are most definitely on top now after those uncomfortable opening 10 minutes, with Jelavic flashing a header narrowly wide.
  • 17'
    Hitzlsperger gets on the ball for the first time and pulls out a great cross into the area for Anichebe, but the striker can only direct his header wide of the target.
  • 16'
    Nearly our first booking of the day as Anichebe goes in late on McCarthy, but referee Mason opts to keep his cards in his pockets.
  • 14'
    Baines takes the first corner and immediately win another off Stam. The second is again whipped in well, but Pienaar is adjudged to have fouled the Wigan goalkeeper and the set-piece breaks down.
  • 14'
    Baines takes the first corner and immediately win another off Stam. The second is again whipped in well, but Pienaar is adjudged to have fouled the Wigan goalkeeper and the set-piece breaks down.
  • 12'
    It looks like Baines has finally woken up. The left-back storms down the left flank, skips past Stam and finds Pienaar to have a dig from the edge of the area. Boyce diverts it away for another corner.
  • 11'
    Everton finally push Wigan back and earn a corner after Figueroa's weak headed pass to Beausejour rolls out of play. Baines takes it but Distin cannot arrow his fumbled effort on target and it rolls harmlessly wide.
  • 10'
    10 minutes in and Everton are still struggling to assert themselves in the game. An uncertain start by the hosts as Wigan hustle and bustle.
  • 8'
    And Jagielka makes his play back on to the pitch after receiving some attention to his noggin. We are back underway.
  • 7'
    Little pause in play as Jagielka goes down under a clash with Kone. A couple of minutes with the magic sponge and he will, no doubt, be fine.
  • 5'
    And Wigan go forward again, and again it is Beausejour sparking things in midfield as his dinked pass through the Everton defence finds Kone through on goal, but the striker set off too quickly and is pulled back for offside.
  • 3'
    Wigan make the first real attempt at goal as Beausejour sends in a cross from the right, but Howard collects with ease.
  • 2'
    Tame start to proceedings so far, with both teams enjoying a good 60 seconds or so of possession as they ease into the game.
  • 1'
    And we are underway!
  • Oh, look who it is, none other than Goal.com's Merseyside maestro David Lynch with his thoughts direct from Goodison Park: "The decidedly un-festive weather at Goodison Park does not seem to have discouraged the Wigan fans from travelling - with a rather large group of supporters having traveled in banana suits for today's game."
  • We've got around seven minutes until kick-off here, so why don't you have a wee look at our match preview by clicking the 'Preview' tab above these words. Do you agree with the prediction?
  • So, what will a win/lose/draw mean for either side, I also hear you ask (you lot ask a lot of hypothetical questions). WELL, Everton must win to keep up pace with fellow third- or fourth-spot rivals Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham. And it is more of the same for Wigan, except swap Champions League qualification with trying to avoid relegation from the Premier League. *sad face*
  • Roberto Martinez, meanwhile, has also made just one change as Franco Di Santo drops to the bench as defender Gary Caldwell comes in.
  • So, what does that all mean, you ask. WELL, Phil Neville is set to make his 500th Premier League appearance as Thomas Hitzlsperger is back in the starting line-up for the first time since November 24.
  • Wigan: Al Habsi, Boyce, Caldwell, Figueroa, Stam, McCarthy, Jones, McArthur, Beausejour, Maloney, Kone. Subs: Pollitt, Di Santo, Gomez, McManaman, Boselli, Ramis, Golobart.
  • Everton: Howard, Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Osman, Hitzlsperger, Gibson, Pienaar, Jelavic, Anichebe. Subs: Mucha, Heitinga, Oviedo, Naismith, Gueye, Barkley, Vellios.
  • You all know the routine... what's up first? That's right, the team news...
  • Good afternoon and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the Premier League clash between Everton and Wigan at Goodison Park.