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17:39 26th November 2011


Latics leave it late to end long run without victory


Larsson 8


Gomez (pen) 44
Di Santo 90

By Nick Taylor

Franco Di Santo provided more late drama scoring in the 93rd minute to give Wigan Athletic a 2-1 victory away at Sunderland.

Latics made it two games unbeaten despite going behind to a seventh minute goal from Sebastian Larsson.

Roberto Martinez named the same starting line up as the 3-3 draw with Blackburn Rovers last week and once again the faith in his players paid off.

Jordi Gomez equalised from the spot and in what looked to be an uneventful second half; Di Santo put the ball into an open goal following a defensive mix up between Wes Brown and Michael Turner.

It was a bitterly cold start at the Stadium of Light and on the pitch it wasn't too bright either as Latics went behind following a shot from Nicklas Bendtner that Ali Al Habsi spilled into the path of Larsson.

The early goal rocked Latics as Sunderland looked in control of the game and having a string of chances impressively saved by Al Habsi.

The Swedish midfielder was dangerous for the Black Cats as his whipped free kicks caused problems for the Latics defence but Gary Caldwell and Steve Gohouri did really well to diffuse them.

As the break loomed down on Latics at 1-0, Victor Moses sprung to life; first beating his man and crossing for Conor Sammon who was inches away from the ball and then beating Larsson down the left hand side only for the Sunderland player to trip Moses in the box for a penalty in the 42nd minute.

The build-up play was well worked as Ronnie Stam and Sammon linked up well with Stam crossing only for the Irishman to narrowly miss the ball. It broke for Moses whose trickery was too much for Larsson.

It was Jordi Gomez who stepped up and converted the penalty with ease. He placed the ball low to Keiren Westwood's left and drew the game level at 1-1.

Latics continued to look lively up until half time with Sammon and Stam being the main causes for concern for Sunderland.

After half time though the story repeated itself as Sunderland attacked from the off.

Midfielder Stephane Sessegnon looked a potential threat but again Latics defence proved too much and did well to keep the home side out.

The game became hard to control for both sides but Moses, Sammon and Stam continued to work hard to find the opening.

The second half provided limited clear cut chances and showed signs of a draw as clumsy challenges from O'Shea, Turner, Colback and Stam resulted in yellow cards.

On 73 minutes the first Latics sub was made as McArthur replaced Stam and his partner in the goal entered just 11 minutes later.

Just as Sunderland looked to be pushing for a winner with a string of consecutive corners and throw-ins, Maynor Figueroa hit a long ball up field on 93 minutes for Di Santo to chase.

The Argentinian hounded down both O'Shea and keeper Westwood and was aided by McArthur who forced the former Manchester United defender into a mistake.

McArthur then slipped the ball into Di Santo's path and from 10 yards out he made it 2-1 to claim Latics a much needed and deserved three points.

The last ditch winner means Latics are unbeaten in two games and move up to nine points, two above bottom of the table Blackburn Rovers.

Latics: Al Habsi, Stam (McArthur 73), Figueroa, Caldwell, Gohouri, Diame, McCarthy, Jones, Gomez, Moses, Sammon (Di Santo 84).

Unused Subs: Pollitt, Lopez, Watson, Crusat, Rodallega.

Sunderland: Westwood, O'Shea (Ji Dong-Won 84), Bardsley (Vaughan 66), Turner, Brown, Cattermole (Gardner 66), Larsson, Colback, Sessegnon, Richardson, Bendtner.

Unused Subs: Carson, McClean, El Mohamady

    Data provided by Press Association