Wigan v SAFC

Wigan 2 Sunderland 3

by James, Junior Black Cats reporter

Lads’ Latics comeback

Sunderland managed to fight back after an early goal from Wigan to win their fourth game in six Premier League outings.

Sunderland did again what they have been doing in several matches, conceding early on. This time it took four minutes for the home side to take the lead.

Beausejour’s cross was never cleared and travelled across the box. Ronnie Stam at the back post miscued his shot but it still hit Vaughan’s foot from three yards and went past the stranded Mignolet, in front of the 5,000 Sunderland fans.

The Black Cats could have got back into the game only three minutes later. A superb delivery by Larsson was flicked on by Flethcer. New boy N’Diaye, who had lost his man, seemed to have a simple finish but he headed over from a couple of yards. O’Shea then also headed just wide from a harder chance minutes later.

A minute after the quarter hour mark, Sunderland was awarded a penalty. Johnson had won a free kick 25 yards out and Larsson’s shot was blocked by McArthur’s arm in the wall. Ref Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot and Craig Gardner calmly slotted home from 12 yards.

Only four minutes later, the away side took the lead. After a run from midfield N’Diaye crossed the ball from the left. Fletcher powered a header towards goal but the man from Oman Al Habsi saved it. However, the Scot’s quick reactions put the Lads ahead as he neatly flicked in the rebound.

The game then went quiet after this flurry of activity and it wasn’t until the 41st minute that another chance fell SAFC’s way. Gardner’s free kick was brought down by Johnson, who then fed the ball to Sunderland’s No.26. It was no surprise to see Fletcher expertly curl the ball around the ‘keeper from 15 yards and into the top corner -that is goal number 10 for Sunderland’s talisman.

Into the second half and the home side, as expected, piled on the pressure. In what may have been the turning point if it had went in, Mignolet, yet again, produced a brilliant save. Maloney’s snap shot looked to be destined for the bottom corner but the Belgian got down to palm the ball away.

Sunderland then hit on the counter from Mignolet’s huge throw. Larsson was sent through by Sessegnon but he dragged his 15 yard shot just wide of the left hand post.

Wigan hit the bar on 68 minutes. Jordi Gomez, who netted a penalty against the Lads last season, took a free kick and it was deflected by Fletcher’s boot. The ball then looped over Mignolet and luckily bounced off the top of the bar.

Again Sunderland managed a clear cut opportunity from the counter attack and for the second time they failed to score. Sessegnon found himself through on goal but the playmaker took too many touches on the ball and was soon robbed of it by Caldwell.

McClean then came on for Johnson as MON looked to freshen up the team but 8 minutes after this 72nd minute sub, it was a Wigan sub that scored.

Henriquez, on loan from Manchester United, from himself unmarked in the box after a Maloney cross and the young striker headed the ball into an empty net.

Wigan couldn’t get the second goal and Sunderland now have a long break before their 29th  January home game against Swansea, who are now reachable in the league table.

Wigan team:

Ali Al Habsi, Emerson Boyce, Gary Caldwell ©, Maynor Figueroa, Ronnie Stam, Jean Beausejour, Shaun Maloney, James McCarthy, James McArthur, Jordi Gomez and Franco Di Santo.

Sunderland team:

Simon Mignolet, Craig Gardner, Jack Colback, Titus Bramble, John O’Shea ©, Seb Larsson, Adam Johnson, Alfred N’Diaye, David Vaughan, Stephane Sessegnon and Steven Fletcher.