A single Hugo Rodallega goal was enough for Wigan Athletic to sink Steve Bruce’s Sunderland at the DW Stadium, here is the match report and stats.

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE – DW STADIUM – Saturday 28th November 2009

Hugo Rodallega (76)


Roberto Martinez’ players firmly put last weeks disastrous performance and record loss behind them with a strong and convincing display at the DW, it was made even sweeter knowing that it was returning ex-manager Steve Bruce’s Black Cats that we beat.

The play was very scrappy for most of the first hour, but Latics got a foothold and managed to get the goal they deserved with 15 minutes to go. The clean sheet was much needed after the amount of goals that were shipped last week and to a man the team showed signs that we are a good team and the spurs game was just a freak result.

The game didn’t start off at 100 miles an hour, like we are used to seeing at home, but it was understandable as we needed to get the rid of the nerves the players must have had. We had the better of early exchanges, even though it wasn’t pretty to watch.

It took 10 minutes for the first attempt on goal, Paul Scharner was allowed to run at goal but his effort was quite tame and Fulop saved easily. Latics continued to battle in midfield and were winning a fair amount of possession, but it was quite obvious that Steve Bruce had come for the draw and we found it hard converting the possession into telling shots.

Charles N’Zogbia was having a great game and he fed a sublime ball through to Scotland on the half hour mark. Scotland though chose for power rather than precision and he blasted the ball past Fulop but for the post to come to his aid and the ball was then cleared. This signalled a bit of a flurry of chances as Diame’s cross was inches of meeting Scotland with an open goal at his mercy.

Rodallega slammed a couple of crosses that nearly led to two own goal, firstly from Turner whose deflection was brilliantly saved by Fulop, the second saw McCartney lash at the ball but it went just wide of the upright, this time with Fulop watching helplessly as it went out for a corner.

The second half would continue in the same vain, with Wigan dominating the midfield and trying to find that break. Sunderland hadn’t yet managed a shot on goal until the 53rd minute, but Kirkland was easily a match for the England wannabe Bent.

Scotland was not getting anywhere fast and so he was taken off for Gomez and to be fair, having Rodallega in the centre of the forward line started to pay even more dividends. He was also getting a lot more ‘attention’ from the Black Cats defence which almost had him go off.

He went down twice with a head injury and as it looked like he was about to be substituted he signalled that he wanted to carry on and so came back on the pitch. It was a good job he did as with 20 minutes to go he tested Fulop to the maximum, firstly drilling a shot in that the keeper saved well.

The second effort though was a lovely run at the defence; he skipped past de Silva before guiding the ball around Fulop and gave us a much deserved lead. I hope Scotland was watching because that was how he should have finished his chance in the first half.

He had another go on his own 5 minutes later only this time he couldn’t produce the same calibre of shot and his effort went wide. Sunderland did round the game off with a bit of a flurry, but apart from giving us corner practise they couldn’t make any headway.

The game ended with N’Zogbia bulleting through on goal again, but Zenden tracked back well and managed to get his boot in to deflect his shot out for a corner. From the resulting corner Rodallega had a very wayward shot and that was it, three points and the ghost of Spurs put to rest.

Report by Jayt

Cockney Latic Man of the Match: Hugo Rodallega
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Attendance: 20,447
1 Chris Kirkland 32 Marton Fulop
25 Mario Melchiot 3 George McCartney
17 Emmerson Boyce 22 Paulo da Silva
19 Titus Bramble 2 Phil Bardsley
31 Maynor Figueroa 4 Michael Turner
27 Mohamed Diame 8 Steed Malbranque
14 Charles N’Zogbia 10 Kieran Richardson
6 Hendry Thomas 26

Andy Reid

7 Paul Scharner 19 Lorik Cana
9 Jason Scotland 16 Jordan Henderson
20 Hugo Rodallega 11 Darren Bent
12 Mike Pollitt 24 Trevor Carson
4 Antonio Amaya 6 Nyron Nosworthy
10 Jason Koumas 12 John Mensah
5 Cho Won-Hee 5 Anton Ferdinand
15 Jordi Gomez 7 Boudewijn Zenden
24 James McCarthy 23 David Healy
16 Scott Sinclair 9 Fraizer Campbell
29′     Yellow Card Michael Turner
46′     Player Off Steed Malbranque
Player On Fraizer Campbell
54′ Player Off Jason Scotland
Player On Jordi Gomez
76′ Goal Hugo Rodallega    
79′     Yellow Card Andy Reid
81′     Yellow Card Darren Bent
84′     Player Off Paulo da Silva
Player On Boudewijn Zenden
84′     Player Off George McCartney
Player On David Healy