Wigan Athletic recorded their first win of the season and extended their Premier League unbeaten run to 7 games after a 2-0 victory over QPR at the DW Stadium.

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE – DW STADIUM – Saturday 27th August 2011

Franco Di Santo (41,66)


Franco Di Santo scored a superb brace as Wigan gave QPR another harsh lesson about life in the Premier League in a hugely entertaining contest at the DW Stadium.

Roberto Martinez’s men were completing their trilogy of fixtures against the top-flight’s newcomers and claimed their first victory of the season after draws with Norwich and Swansea.

Neil Warnock’s visitors, who were unable to blood new signing Joey Barton after his move from Newcastle was not completed in time on Friday, struck the woodwork three times, twice in the first half through Adel Taarabt and then after the interval via Bruno Perone.

But it was the double from Argentine forward Di Santo which settled this contest, with his opener shortly before the interval an absolute screamer, and his second after the break finding the top corner with the aid of deflection.

The Latics took the lead in the 41st minute when Di Santo received the ball from the outstanding Hugo Rodallega on the edge of the area, flicking it into the air with his first touch before firing an unstoppable right-foot volley beyond Paddy Kenny’s despairing dive.

And while the former Chelsea striker, who had scored just one previous goal for the Latics, was helped by a large slice of luck for the second, he still showed great skill to steal the ball off the toes of team-mate Rodallega before swivelling and finding the top corner of the net in the 66th minute.

Most of the home side’s purpose was inspired by Rodallega, making his first Premier League start of the season after returning from Copa America duty with Colombia.

Rodallega’s trickery won the fourth-minute free-kick which Jordi Gomez squeezed over the bar, then he skipped round Perone to fire across the face of goal.


In a bright opening, the visitors had their first chance in the 10th minute when Shaun Derry blasted a long-range effort which was tipped over the bar by Ali Al Habsi.

And Rangers had a glorious chance after 14 minutes when Akos Buzsaky fed Taarabt, whose right-foot shot rebounded off the post to the clear but unprepared Patrick Agyemang, who squirted it wide.

The visitors had another chance in the 25th minute when Alejandro Faurlin found Buzsaky on the right and his cross was met at the far post by Perone, who headed over.

A quick counter-attack by Rodallega almost paid off in the 37th minute when he squeezed the ball out to Victor Moses who cut in from the right and hit a low shot straight at Kenny.

Wigan broke the deadlock four minutes before the break, when the superb Rodallega squared for Di Santo who wasted no time slamming the ball into the net.

Rangers hit the woodwork for the second time in first-half injury-time when Taarabt’s long-range free-kick deceived Al Habsi but rebounded for Mohamed Diame to clear.

The second half started with much the same sense of urgency but fewer clear-cut chances as the Wigan midfield did a good job snuffing out Rangers’ bid for an equaliser.


The home side had the first clear-cut chance in the 58th minute when Moses found Gomez on the left and the midfielder’s shot from a tight angle was deflected out for a corner.

Moments later, Di Santo came close to his second goal from an almost identical position, drilling a rising shot which was well saved by Kenny.

Di Santo finally grabbed his and Wigan’s second after 66 minutes when he turned and shot from just outside the box and the ball took a deflection as it looped over Kenny.

The visitors refused to give up on the afternoon and came close when Perone connected with a Taarabt corner in the 75th minute to strike the bar.

Taarabt then forced another fingertip save out of Al Habsi from an excellent free-kick after Latics captain Gary Caldwell brought down Agyemang.

Boyce booted clear a dangerous cross by Bruno Andrade then Agyemang ought to have done better in injury-time but shot wide when clear in the box.

But while the final whistle brought joy for Wigan it also put Barton’s arrival in sharp perspective with Rangers clearly needing his input to boost their survival bid.

Cockney Latic Man of the Match: Franko Di Santo
Referee: M Oliver (Northunmberland)
Attendance: 17,225
26 Ali Al Habsi 1 Paddy Kenny
17 Emmerson Boyce 16 Matthew Connolly
5 Gary Caldwell 5 Fitz Hall
24 Adrian Lopez 6 Danny Gabbidon
31 Maynor Figueroa 15 Bruno Perone
21 Mohamed Diame 4 Shaun Derry
8 Ben Watson 14 Akos Buzsaky
14 Jordi Gomez 7

Adel Taarabt

20 Hugo Rodallega 11 Alejandro Faurlin
11 Victor Moses 21 Tommy Smith
9 Franco Di Santo 19 Patrick Agyemang
1 Chris Kirkland 26 Brian Murphy
16 James McArthur 40 Michael Harriman
23 Ronnie Stam 25 Hogan Ephraim
6 Hendry Thomas 36 Bruno Andrade
19 David Jones 22 Heidar Helguson
4 James McCarthy 30 Troy Hewitt
18 Conor Sammon


Jay Bothroyd
33′ Yellow Card Adrian Lopez
41′ Goal Franco Di Santo
61′ Player Off Fitz Hall
Player On Michael Harriman
66′ Goal Franco Di Santo
68′ Player Off Victor Moses
Player On James McArthur
68′ Player Off Franco Di Santo
Player On Conor Sammon
72′ Player Off Akos Buzsaky
Player On Jay Boothroyd
77′ Yellow Card Gary Caldwell
80′ Player Off Tommy Smith
Player On Bruno Andrade
85′ Player Off Jordi Gomez
Player On Ronnie Stam

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