A controversial dismissal of Jordi Gomez by Howard Webb turned a game Wigan had dominated on its head and Fletcher’s goal allowed Sunderland to record their first win of the season making Wigan’s first six games points tally their worst since joining the Premier League.
Last Saturday Roberto Martinez bemoaned Wigan’s inability to convert chances in front of goal, something that was rectified in style on Tuesday as a much changed team swept aside West Ham in the Capital One cup.
Martinez is known for his cautious methodical approach and with the exception of McArthur starting in place of Watson, he opted to retain the starting line up from the Fulham game meaning in form Miyaichi and Boselli had to be content with warming the bench. Accompanying them there was a welcome return for Di Santo , injured in a tackle at Old Trafford which highlighted the inconsistency of officials
Wigan started the game with confidence with McCarthy looking to take advantage of the enforced absence of former Wigan favourite Lee Cattermole to dominate midfield and so it proved as Wigan’s slicker passing and support play showed them dominate possession in the first half with sixty percent plus.
Again though this came to naught as missed chances and superb saves from Mignolet in the Sunderland goal kept Wigan scoreless. The best chances fell to Kone when from a Beausejour cross his bullet header was saved and another fine save thwarted McCarthy.
Maloney and Gomez provided ammunition for Kone in the first half but Wigan lack pace from wing backs Beausejour and Boyce making it difficult to stretch the home defence.
Half time saw Wigan troop off the happier but with Martinez no doubt frustrated at seeing his side fail to take its chances, something that was brought very much into focus three minuites into the second half when Gomez went for a 50/50 ball and whilst commentators stated they saw no intent to injure Rose, Howard Webb had no intention in showing a red card for what was not the most dangerous tackle on show in the afternoon.
This decision changed the game completely and within three minutes a sweeping move saw Stephen Fletcher fire the ball into the goal for the only score of the match.
Wigan tried to rally but with the exception of introducing Di Santo for Maloney on the hour mark, Martinez opted to leave his substitutions until the last five minutes bringing on McManaman and Miyaichi (surprisingly leaving Boselli on the bench ) and Sunderland were able to see the game out , leaving Wigan fans to once again to rue referring decisions against their team as they remained sixteenth in the Premeir League.
Wigan Line Up
Al Habsi, Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa, Boyce, Beausejour, McArthur, McCarthy, Maloney, Kone, Gomez
Di Santo for Maloney, Miyaichi for McArthur, McManaman for Boyce
Man of Match
McCarthy, tried hard all day
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