Game of the Day: Wigan 1 SAFC 4

by Ashley Houghton

Rout in the rain at the DW.

3rd January 2012

Sunderland continued their fine start to 2012 with a 4-1 victory over Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium.

Goals from Craig Gardner, James McClean, Stephane Sessegnon and David Vaughan secured the points for the Black Cats who moved into the top half of the Barclays Premier League with the victory.

Hugo Rodallega pulled a goal back for the hosts but they were no match for a Sunderland side buoyed by their late win over Manchester City two days earlier.

Despite the visitors’ dominance, it was Wigan who went closest to opening the scoring in the early stages when Steve Gohouri’s strike was cleared off the line by Gardner after Sunderland failed to clear a corner.

The Latics continued to create openings as David Jones’ strike from eight yards came back off the far post before Ben Watson tried his luck from 12 yards only to hit the other upright.

Gardner made the hosts pay with a superb free-kick after Watson had fouled Nicklas Bendtner outside the area.

After the break, McClean doubled the Black Cats’ advantage when he slotted home the rebound after his initial header, from Vaughan’s cross, was saved by Ali Al Habsi.

Wigan found a way back into the game as James McCarthy found Rodallega before the striker turned on the edge of the box and struck past both John O’Shea and Simon Mignolet.

However, any hopes of a comeback were crushed 15 minutes from time when Bendtner crossed for Sessegnon to slide home.

And the game was put to be in the closing stages as McClean's shot was charged down and ran loose to Vaughan, who smashed in from outside the area to complete an emphatic victory.

Sunderland: Mignolet, Richardson (Meyler, 67), Kilgallon, O’Shea, Cattermole, Gardner (Elmohamady, 83), Colback, Vaughan, McClean (Ji Dong-Won, 89), Sessegnon, Bendtner.

Subs not used: Carson, Laing, Ryan Noble, Lynch.