Wigan’s pitiful run of only one home win this season from ten matches played continued at a windswept DW Stadium leaving Roberto Martinez and his team with a massive task if they are to secure Premier League football for another season.
Martinezalready robbed of his captain Caldwell through suspension surprised the fans by opting to rest his two most influential players in Diame and Moses replacing them with Watson and Crusat. It was a move that ultimately backfired as Sunderland seemed content to break up Wigan’s passing moves in midfield and after the break seem to break through the midfield and defence of the home side at will.
Wigan statistics show that they had a massive 63% of the possession but its what you do with it that counts and if you can’t score and cannot defend you aren’t going to win football matches and with only 18 games left the clock is surely counting down to the end of Wigan’s Premier League tenure.
And yet it could have been oh so different, Wigan totally dominated the first forty minutes with Stam and Rodallega looking sharp and terrorising the Sunderland back four but as usual the Wigan line up means that there were few bodies in the penalty area when the quality balls came in and Sunderland could clear them easily.
The exception was in the 30th minute when Wigan hit the same post twice in less than a minute first from Jones and then from Watson leaving theWigan fans sensing that it wasn’t going to be their night.
This view was vindicated when Sunderland were awarded a dubious free kick just outside the area in time added on in the first half and Craig Gardner let fly with a wonderful free kick which left Al Habsi motionless and a Sunderland side which had offered zilch going forward were undeservedly ahead.
The second half started with Wigan pushing forwards in search of an equaliser with Rodallega looking the most likely to score ably supported by substitute Moses but Sunderland looked dangerous on the break and from a Vaughan cross Al Habsi produced a wonderful save from McLean’s first effort but he made no mistake with the second attempt nodding in the loose ball from close range.
Worryingly most Wigan heads dropped but Rodallega refused to give up and a powerful shot from outside the area gave Mignolet no chance of stopping it thus giving Wigan hope of snatching an equaliser.
Wigan continued to press however some of the momentum was loss as danger man Stam was replaced by Sammon causing a reshuffle and landing Gohuri with wing back duties.
Wigan’s back four of Gohuri , Alcaraz, Figueroa and Jones looked ragged and time and again Sessegnon broke free. On one occasion however Sessegnon turned finisher when Bentner broke away from Figueroa who was too busy appealing for a foul to chase back, the big Dane crossed and the diminutive Frenchman scored to make it three one and kill the game.
Wigan continued to push forward but all the discipline of the positional play had evaporated and it was no surprise that Sunderland increased their lead with a wonderful goal from former Blackpoolplayer David Vaughan thereby increasingWigan’s goal difference to a massive minus 23.
The full time whistle brought a welcome relief from a performance lacking in fight and quality at both ends against an ordinary Sunderland side who had both these qualities in large quantities.
Al Habsi…..6, let down by those in front of him
Alcaraz …..4 very poor
Figueroa…..4 very poor
Stam………7 never game up surprised to see him withdrawn
Jones……..5 one good shot and that’s it
McCarthy…6 Kept going
Watson……5.5 too slow
Crusat…….6 struggles with the physical English game
Rodallega…7.5 never stopped trying, Man of the match with very little competition
Sammon….4 very poor
Moses…….6 tried hard
Att 15, 871
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