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16:55 16th January 2010


N'Zogbia powers Latics to fantastic win

Wolves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Stearman Sent Off 45'

Latics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
McCarthy 59', N'Zogbia 73'
Thomas Sent off 68'

An inspired second-half performance from Charles N'Zogbia guided Wigan Athletic to a superb win against a Wolves side that simply could not cope with the pace and determination of the Frenchman.

His first major contribution came on the hour-mark powering past Stephen Ward on the right-wing and cutting back for Hugo Rodallega. The Colombian's shot was blocked by Marcus Hahnemann but rolled kindly to James McCarthy who, making his first Barclays Premier League start slotting home with ice-cool composure.

15 minutes later the winger was at it again, linking up with Rodallega on the edge of the area, leaving the Wolves defence stranded and passing past the 'keeper to settle the game.

Having looked comfortable on the ball for large periods of the game and coping extremely well with pressure from the opposition it was the least Latics deserved.

McCarthy, who grabbed the opener, was talismanic, gaving a fabulous performance, showing great confidence and causing the defence numerous problems. On the stroke of half-time it was his perseverence that brought a daft challenge from Richard Stearman in the area. The defender was shown his second-yellow and left for the changing rooms. However there was more drama to be had as Rodallega's effort was saved and Paul Scharner's follow-up sliced wide.

In the second-half when Hendry Thomas was shown red for two yellows McCarthy was brought into the centre, and relished the opportunity to break-up Wolves' play, go toe-to-toe with the physical Karl Henry and make sure his side would be going home with the points. His perfectly weighted through-ball with minutes left on the clock for Rodallega should have put a number 3 on the scoreboard, but credit to Hahnemann who made himself big and smothered the opportunity.

A word two about debutant Gary Caldwell, partnering Titus Bramble at the back and hitting off a strong relationship straight away. The two looked out for each other took pressure off one another and it's a great sign for the future.

In all we could talk all day about how crucial and well earned these three points are, Latics really were in fine form. 2010 has started with a 100% record so far, let's hope Roberto Martinez's men take this kind of form into the second-half of the season.

Wolves: Hahnemann, Stearman, Craddock, Henry (c), Ebanks-Blake (Iwellumo 68'), Ward, Jarvis (Jones 45'), Milijas (Surman 83'), Mancienne, Doyle, Foley.
Subs: Hennessey, Elokobi, Berra, Vokes.

Wigan: Kirkland; Melchiot, Bramble, Caldwell, Figueroa; Diame, Thomas; N'Zogbia, Scharner (Gomez, 47'), McCarthy (Sinclair 90), Rodallega
Subs: Stojkovic, Amaya, Boyce, Watson, Sinclair, Scotland

Referee: Howard Webb
Assistants: Darren Cann & Mike Cairns
4th Official: Phil Gibbs
    Data provided by Press Association