Rodallega strike gives Latics win over former Boss
WIGAN ATHLETIC 1
Report by Paul Chialton
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Hugo Rodallega's goal late on in the second-half made a miserable return to Wigan for Steve Bruce, and the perfect reaction for Roberto Martinez's men.
Paul Scharner's through-ball down the left channel left the Colombian with just Paulo Da Silva to beat, and having won that battle of strength he provided an ice-cool finish from an awkward angle underneath Marton Fulop.
It was the least Latics deserved having threatened to take the lead on a couple of occasions during the first-half.
It was Scharner who had the game's first opportunity, latching onto Jason Scotland's perfectly weighted lay-off and bearing down on goal from the right. His shot, however, was too cautious and saved comfortably by Fulop.
The Austrian claimed the man-of-the-match award and rightfully so, having a great influence on the game and giving 100% from start to finish, as well as stitching together some positive forward moves.
Scotland himself then came agonisingly close to his first Wigan Athletic goal, picking up the ball inside the area from the outstanding Charles N'Zogbia, and swivelling to shot right-footed against the post. The Trinidad & Tobago forward had a great game and worked tirelessly against Michael Turner.
At the other end a fantastic combined effort from the back-four and the midfield pairing of Hendry Thomas and Momo Diame who were in top form to keep Darren Bent and the rest of the Sunderland attack quiet.
That was the key area of the game, given the threat the Black Cats have shown up-front recently, and between Titus Bramble and Emmerson Boyce, Bent had no room to move and no time to react when he had the ball. To say their pockets were full would be an understatement.
Diame covered every blade of grass in hunting down the ball and motoring forward in possession to create some good chances and phases of play.
Overall a superb response from their last outing, working as a team to overcome their opponents, with the fantastic support from the Latics faithful behind them.
Latics: Kirkland; Melchiot, Bramble, Boyce, Figueroa; Thomas, Diame; N'Zogbia, Scharner, Rodallega (; Scotland (Gomez, 54)
Subs: Pollitt, Amaya, Cho, Koumas, McCarthy
Sunderland: Fulop; Bardsley, McCartney (Healy, 83), Turner, Da Silva (Zenden, 83); Henderson, Cana, Malbranque (Campbell, 45), Richardson, Reid; Bent
Subs: Carson, Ferdinand, Nosworthy, Mensah