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29 September 2012
• Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Referee: H. Webb
• Attendance: 37742
S. Fletcher 51'
Martin O'Neill will be pleased to finally get a win following a poor run of results, but until the sending off offered little in attack other than from set pieces. The Mackems must again thank Fletcher's finishing, while the Latics are left to lament Gomez' red card, which made the game effectively one-sided in the home side's favour.
The Black Cats' owe a great deal however to the sending-off of Jordi Gomez. In the first half Arouna Kone forced an excellent save from Simon Mignolet, while James McCarthy had two promising efforts on goal. The Latics started the second half brightly also, but Gomez' sending off shortly after the break thoroughly deflated the side and they conceded Steven Fletcher's goal shortly afterwards with James McClean getting the assist following a good run on the left flank.
The referee blows for full time as Sunderland collect their first league win thanks to a second half winner from Steven Fletcher.
90' + 5'
Kone challenges Larsson for the ball in the middle of the park and is frustrated when the free kick is awarded against him.
90' + 3'
Al-Habsi finds the head of Kone and the Latics pour forward in support but the move breaks down.
90' + 2'
With minutes remaining Wigan are struggling to get the ball out of their own half, as Sunderland remain confident in closing out the game.
Yellow Card Maynor Figueroa
Figueroa receives a yellow card from a late challenge on David Vaughan.
Callum McManaman runs down the right flank and passes back to Miyaichi, whose high cross to the back post is headed clear. Al-Habsi is forced to race off his line to stop a Black Cats attack down the right flank.
Miyaichi attempts to beat his man on the left flank but gives the ball away and Sunderland take the opportunity to attack on the break. Larsson picks up the ball and finds Fletcher with a through ball, but the striker had run too early into an offside position.
Roberto Martinez gambles bringing on striker Callum McManaman and winger Ryo Miyaichi.
Yellow Card Franco Di Santo
Di Santo earns a yellow card for a challenge in frustration on Danny Rose, which forces the left back into the advertising hoardings on the left by-line.
Sessegnon impressively gets to the right by-line with a step-over, before crossing for McClean who heads over the bar.
Larsson almost floats the ball into the back of the net with an overhit cross towards the back post, but Al-Habsi tips the ball over the bar.
The English international is taken off, having recently come back from injury, and replaced by centre midfielder David Vaughan who could move into the centre of the pitch in exchange with Seb Larsson to close out the game.
Beausejour passes across the pitch to Figueroa but overhits his freekick and gives the ball away to Sunderland almost allowing them to break.
Yellow Card Gary Caldwell
Sunderland win a freekick on the right flank, which Adam Johnson curls into the arms of Al-Habsi, who promptly finds Kone but the Ivorian cannot control the ball.
Beausejour passes along the ground to Di Santo, who runs across the six yard-box towards the ball before blasting the effort over the bar.
Yellow Card James McClean
McClean receives a yellow card for a foul on McCarthy just as the LLatics man was running into the penalty box from the right by-line. McClean had evaded punishment for a challenge on Ivan Ramis moments earlier.
Wigan give the ball away again in the centre of the park and the Mackems capitalise with Danny Rose advancing forward from left back before looping a cross towards Sessegnon who is cleared at the back post.
Sunderland break through Fletcher who finds McClean who is open on the left flank. The Irishman's cross is headed clear at the near post.
Figueroa concedes a freekick on the left flank with a foul on Sessegnon. Adam Johnson takes the freekick and Al-Habsi gets a fingertip on it to concede a corner rather than allow Steven Fletcher a chance to connect.
Larsson and Johnson combine to play McClean into the box. Wigan get the ball off the winger but promptly give it back again with an unsuccessful long ball.
Yellow Card Steven Fletcher
Fletcher receives a yellow card for a high foot on Figueroa in attempting to win an aerial challenge.
Wigan press in an attempt to win the ball back but Sunderland nervily retain possession.
Sunderland are pressing higher up the pitch now they can afford to leave fewer players in defence, and Wigan are now struggling to build moves and giving the ball away more quickly.
Franco Di Santo
Wigan withdraw playmaker Shaun Maloney for forward Franco Di Santo. The Latics now have a powerful duo in attack that combine pace with aerial ability, but the pair may be required to feed off scraps up front with the Mackems dominant since the red card.
McCarthy impressively wins the ball from Larsson with a committed challenge.
Yellow Card James McCarthy
Larsson's corner is cleared at the near post but his team retain the ball and resume the attack, with Craig Gardner winning a freekick from a frustrated McCarthy who is yellow carded.
McClean exchanges passes with Sessegnon before winning a corner after attempting to advance to the left by-line.
McClean flashes a low cross across the six yard box but Sessegnon is unable to connect.
Sessegnon picks up the ball on the left flank, and drifts into the centre of the pitch before striking a firm effort towards the near post. Ali Al-Habsi dives to his right to take no chances and save the effort. Sunderland have been brought to life by the sending off and Wigan are struggling to recover.
Assist James McClean
Goal Steven Fletcher
Goal Steven Fletcher! James McClean, who has been quiet on the left wing so far, picks up the ball before cutting inside his marker and advancing up the pitch towards the edge of the box. He curls a low through ball past the defence to Fletcher who runs towards the back post and finishes confidently to score his fifth goal of the season, scoring in his fourth consecutive match.
Beausejour wins a freekick from right back Craig Gardner who follows him into the centre of the pitch after his neat touch before making the challenge.
Red Card Jordi Gómez
Jordi Gomez is shown a straight red card! Danny Rose advanced up the pitch and the Spanish attacker dived in for the ball just beyond the centre circle. It wasn't malicious but the challenge was potentially dangerous with Gomez' feet off the ground and his studs showing. It's a disaster after a promising start.
Wigan get the second half underway with a confident spell of possession.
Lone striker Steven Fletcher has scored all four of Sunderland's league goals so far this season, but going into this match his side had recorded the lowest total of shots on target with just six. The striker has looked dangerous from set pieces but his support has mostly been restricted to counter-attack. The Black Cats' result may depend on whether the forward can capitalise on the limited chances he gets.
Half Time at the Stadium of Light and it's 0-0. In the absence of captain Lee Cattermole patrolling the centre of the park Sunderland are behind in possession despite being the home side, but have threatened from set pieces thanks to some excellent deliveries from Seb Larsson. Wigan have created some opportunities for lone striker Arouna Kone, one in particular forcing an excellent save from Simon Mignolet, and gone through pieces of skill from James McCarthy. Roberto Martinez will be happy with his side's display, who have taken the initiative as the away side but been sure to keep enough men back to avert danger on the counter-attack.
45' + 2'
Figueroa concedes a freekick on the right flank and Adam Johnson's in-swinger very nearly finds Fletcher who jumps high in an effort to connect, but the challenge is won by Caldwell who appears hurt in the aftermath.
Sunderland win a corner after a good break on the counter, with Sessegnon holding the ball up long enough for his teammates to break beyond him. Sessegnon finds Johnson who makes a through ball to Larsson who wins the corner from the booked McArthur.
James McCarthy collects the ball from Beausejour outside the middle of the box and accurately strikes towards the bottom right corner of the goal. His effort flies narrowly wide past the diving Mignolet. The move followed a neat exchange between Kone and Maloney after Kone had controlled a long ball, and it rouses the crowd shortly before half time.
Figueroa picks out Jordi Gomez with an early ball out of defence, and the Spaniard flicks the ball to Kone who unsuccessfully appeals for a freekick after he is brought down.
Kone connects with a cross from the right wing but is unable to get his difficult header on target.
Yellow Card James McArthur
James McArthur is booked for a late challenge on Sessegnon who had nipped in to take the ball after a challenge contested in the middle of the pitch.
Arouna Kone controls the ball inside the box after a neat through ball from Jordi Gomez, but he cannot get sufficient power on his shot and his effort is easily saved by Mignolet.
Adam Johnson finds Sessegnon on the right wing with a long ball, but Wigan win the ball back and then get a freekick after Larsson is unluckily deemed to have fouled Kone.
Larsson takes another corner but the Latics defence heads clear.
Larsson takes the resulting corner and Steven Fletcher heads powerfully wide of the near post.
Larsson has a second chance with a freekick from the left flank conceded by Ivan Ramis, and after chaotic scenes with Titus Bramble appealing to the referee against the attention from Gary Caldwell, his effort floats over the mass of players on the edge of the six yard box and Ivan Ramis clears the ball off the line.
Larsson's freekick is disappointing and it flies straight into the wall. The Sweden international is known for his ability from set pieces and he will be unhappy with that.
Adam Johnson wins a freekick just outside the centre of the box after picking up the ball in the centre of the pitch, drawing a challenge from James McArthur.
Titus Bramble is quick off the mark to clear Beausejour's low cross from the left flank.
Shaun Maloney is felled by Larsson and the freekick is taken quickly for Maloney to float a cross towards Kone, but the Ivorian is unable to connect.
Sunderland's Danny Rose advances from left back to receive a long pass from Seb Larsson, and his driven low cross narrowly evades striker Steven Fletcher after a deflection.
Stephane Sessegnon appeals for a freekick after a challenge from James McCarthy from behind but is unsuccessful.
Figueroa makes an intervention at the other end as Steven Fletcher looks to get on the end of a through ball inside the Wigan box.
Simon Sinclair at the Stadium of Light: "What a save from Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet. This could be save of the season! Jean Beausejour breaks down the left and puts a delightful ball towards the back post, leaving Arouna Kone with a tap-in. The Ivorian gets his foot to the ball but Mignolet is over in a flash and gets his hand to the ball to turn it away from goal. Super stop."
Arouna Kone has an excellent chance after Jean Beausejour beautifully brings down a long ball from Maynor Figueroa on the left flank before a carefully placing a bouncing cross along the six yard box. The Ivorian connects with the effort but Simon Mignolet makes a great save.
Gap opens up for Sebastian Larsson on the edge of the Wigan box, but the shot is dragged wide to Al Habsi's right. It looks pretty windy at the Stadium of Light so expect a few shots to go a little off target.
Sessegnon looks lively today, already causing a few problems for the Wigan defence. The Benin international is fouled by Gary Caldwell, who clambers over him when trying to win the header in the middle of the Wigan half, but the free-kick is driven into Aroune Kone.
Johnson shows his quality on the right-hand side but gives a foul away after Jean Beausejour goes down when trying to tackle him. Debatable foul but sure it won't be the last time that Johnson is involved in a move today.
Maynor Figueroa hits a superb 60-yard pass, which Jordi Gomez controls before he is fouled.
Wigan are stretched as Sessegnon looks to break through a couple of challenges, but Maynor Figueroa remains calm and makes the clearance.
Simon Sinclair live from the Stadium of Light: "Wigan should be in the lead as Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet makes a great save with his feet to deny Jordi Gomez, who capitalises on a slip from Jack Colback and drives into the Black Cats box, but he Belgian is equal to his low shot and makes the stop."
James McCarthy takes a shot. Save by Simon Mignolet. Corner taken left-footed by Shaun Maloney from the right by-line to the near post, Titus Bramble manages to make a clearance. Long range shot from Arouna Kone misses to the left of the target.
The referee gets the game underway at the Stadium of Light.
Steven Fletcher has scored all four of Sunderland's Premier League goals so far, and with the team having lost the controlling presence of Lee Cattermole in the middle of the park, his excellent finishing ability could make the difference between the two sides.
Roberto Martinez names Franco Di Santo on the bench, with the forward suffering a calf problem. In his place comes attacking midfielder Jordi Gomez, who plays alongside playmaker Shaun Maloney in support of Arouna Kone. Mauro Boselli is named on the bench despite his impressive two-goal display mid-week against West Ham.
Martin O'Neill gives England international Adam Johnson his first start at the Stadium of Light following his move from Manchester City late in the transfer window, and he is set to take his place on the right of midfield, with Sebastian Larsson moving into the centre alongside Jack Colback to take the place of suspended Lee Cattermole.
Wigan: Al Habsi; Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa; Boyce, McCarthy, McArthur, Beausejour; Gomez, Kone, Maloney. Subs: Pollitt, Jones, Watson, Di Santo, McManaman, Boselli, Miyaichi.
Sunderland: Mignolet; Gardner, O'Shea, Bramble, Rose, Johnson, Larsson, Colback, McClean; Sessegnon; Fletcher. Subs: Westwood, Campbell, Wickham, Kilgallon, Vaughan, Meyler, Saha.
Hi and welcome to Goal.com's live commentary as Sunderland seek their first Premier League win of the season against Wigan at the Stadium of Light. I'm Arthur Virgo here to talk through the events.
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