Date:Sunday January 21 2007
Wigan crashed to their seventh successive Premiership defeat as they went down 2-0 at home to Everton.
Mikel Arteta broke the deadlock with a penalty 20 minutes into the second half and grabbed his second of the game in stoppage time to take Everton up to seventh.
Everton's afternoon was marred by a potentially serious ankle injury to Andy Johnson, but Wigan's problems are far greater as they continue to plummet towards the relegation zone.
Luis Valencia returned for The Latics and he was presented with the first opportunity of the match after Emile Heskey had pressured the Everton defence into a mistake, but the Ecuadorian was denied by Tim Howard from a narrow angle.
Wigan failed to build on their bright start though and, with a less than ideal playing surface, they forsook their passing game in favour of a more direct, aerial approach.
Their game-plan contributed to a scrappy opening in what were already difficult, blustery conditions, with Everton also struggling to find any rhythm.
David Moyes' side briefly managed to discover some fluency, but after a neat build-up Tim Cahill wasted his team-mates' good work with a weak shot at Chris Kirkland from 20 yards.
Kevin Kilbane drilled a long-range effort past Howard's left-hand post at the other end, before Joseph Yobo cynically tripped a marauding Heskey and was awarded with a yellow card.
As the second half got underway the weather deteriorated, with heavy rain lashing down on the pitch and strong winds swirling around The JJB Stadium.
However, both sides committed more men forward and the game finally started to come to life, with Yobo missing a superb chance to open the scoring as he headed wide from Arteta's corner.
Kirkland tipped over Simon Davies' powerful shot from distance in the 55th minute, but before the ball had broken for the midfielder Johnson was injured during a collision with Kirkland and David Unsworth.
Johnson was stretchered off and taken to hospital with a suspected broken ankle but Everton refused to relent, and a sustained spell of dominance was rewarded after 65 minutes as Unsworth was penalised for hacking down substitute Victor Anichebe in the area.
Arteta took responsibility for the spot-kick and blasted Everton ahead with a ferocious strike into the top corner.
The flow of the game immediately shifted as Wigan hunted for a quick riposte, but their lack of cutting edge again proved telling as Everton restricted their openings.
David Cotterill and Ryan Taylor were both brought on by Paul Jewell, but Howard remained untested as Wigan's crosses failed to find their targets.
With less than ten minutes left Josip Skoko unleashed a thunderous shot from 25 yards out which, agonisingly for Wigan, rattled the crossbar and ricocheted to safety.
Wigan still had hope of rescuing a point as five minutes of stoppage time were signalled, but Arteta secured the points for Everton as he turned home Phil Neville's pinpoint delivery from close range.
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|5.||Noel Wards Leg||46|
|13. Leeds Utd||7||3||1||3||-3||10|
|14. Derby County||6||2||3||1||4||9|
|Huddersfield 0 Latics 0 - Nowt Happening!
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|Tettey: I Came Close To Hitting Someone
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