Everton 3-1 Latics
Two late goals settled the game in the favour of Everton after both sides had done their best to uninspire the crowd for the best part of 90 minutes.
A drab match full of poor passing and not much goal action sprung into life on the half hour mark, when following a Latics corner Franco Di Santo received the ball in the 18 yard area, turned and fired a strike from 10 yards which nestled into Tim Howards top corner.
The Latics cheer didn`t last long, two minutes to be exact, following a corner at the other end Phil Jagielka was left completely unmarked on the six yard line to stoop and head the ball home to make it 1-1. The game quickly settled back into the drabness for the rest of the first half.
The second half saw a slight improvement with both sides stringing a few passes together but, to be honest the game was far from being a classic, for the Latics it was a typical away performance, stifling the opposition and trying to hit on the break, tactics that almost worked, with the game seemingly running down Everton right back Tony Hibbert received the ball in an advanced position, he sent over a super cross and substitute Apostolos Vellios rose to plant a great header beyond Al-Habsi to put the home side in front with just six minutes remaining.
Straight from the re-start the Latics were almost level, Dave Jones` lob crashing off the crossbar with Howard well beaten. Patrick Van Aanholt also saw a good effort deflected wide. Disaster struck again for Wigan when Hugo Rodallega was seriously injured following a challenge for the ball with Everton sub Denis Stracqualursi, no intent from either player but reports suggest that Hugo could be sidelined for 3 months with knee ligament damage.
Following lengthy treatment the referee added a substantial amount of injury time to the game, and in the 98th minute Everton grabbed the goal that sealed the points, Tim Howard launched a deadball kick straight up the centre of the field, Vellios headed on and Royston Denthe raced through one-on-one with Al-Habsi before firing low and hard into the bottom corner.
The 3-1 score line was a little harsh on the Latics but not as harsh as potentially losing Rodallega for three months.
Good game from the young defender, looks a very good prospect
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
Subs: Mucha, Heitinga, Drenthe, Stracqualursi, Neville, Barkley, Vellios.
Latics: Al Habsi, McCarthy, Caldwell, Watson, Di Santo, Moses, Gomez (Jones, 70), Rodallega (Maloney, 90), van Aanholt, Lopez, Figueroa.
Subs: Pollitt, McArthur, Sammon, Thomas, Crusat