Fletcher secures Sunderland's first win of the season

Sunderland 1 Wigan Athletic 0

One challenge and £12 million. That was the difference at the Stadium of Light, where the lack of control in Jordi Gomez's the 47th-minute tackle was in stark contrast to the precision of Steven Fletcher.

First though, Gomez, who needlessly threw himself into a tackle with Danny Rose near the halfway line. Some people still question these decisions. The laws, set out by Fifa, are remarkably clear, so they are worth revisiting: "Any player who lunges at an opponent, using one or both legs, with excessive force and endangering the safety of an opponent is guilty of serious foul play."

Thus, Gomez, lunging with unnecessary force, was shown a red card by Howard Webb, and so a level of dom-

inance for the visiting side that had seriously unsettled Sunderland during the opening half disappeared.

Martin O'Neill's side had not won a Premier League game before yesterday and, as Wigan started to create good, genuine opportunities to go ahead, nerves began to grow.

Simon Mignolet excelled twice to deny James McCarthy and Arouna Koné. Gomez and McCarthy went close with drives.

Sunderland had only a Sebastian Larsson free-kick that was hacked off the line by Ivan Ramis in reply. Then Gomez was dismissed and Sunderland were on their way. Four minutes later, James McClean drove across the Wigan area and Fletcher (left) shot home his fifth goal in a fourth Premier League start since his costly move from Wolverhampton Wanderers.

"I think it [the sending off] was harsh," said Roberto Martinez, the Wigan manager.

"Danny Rose loses the ball slightly, Jordi tackles as a striker tackles, showing the studs, but he never leaves the ground. I can understand why the referee gave it but it is very hard. Larsson has done a worse challenge and he was not even shown a yellow card. You want consistency.

"We created three outstanding chances. It speaks volumes for our performance. The sending-off affected us too much. Sunderland had one shot on target and won three points. It is a disappointment."

O'Neill thought the red card was correct. "I'm not so sure the referee has much alternative," he said. "Whether Roberto agrees or disagrees, I think his main point was it changed the dynamic of the game. We reaped a reward pretty quickly. We scored soon after and it gave us a lot of impetus. The sending off probably didn't help Wigan.

"They came and played their part and I have to thank Mignolet for making two incredibly good saves. Steven Fletcher was brilliant today for us. The crowd have taken to him and I'm really delighted."

Sunderland (4-4-1-1): Mignolet; Gardner, Bramble, O'Shea, Rose; Johnson (Vaughan, 79), Larsson, Colback, McClean; Sessegnon; Fletcher.

Wigan (4-3-2-1): Al Habsi; Boyce (McManaman, 85), Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa; McCarthy, McCarthur (Ryo, 85), Beausejour; Gomez, Maloney (Di Santo, 61); Koné.

Referee: Howard Webb

Man of the match: Fletcher (Sunderland)

Match rating: 4/10

News
Jennifer Lawrence was among the stars allegedly hacked
peopleActress and 100 others on 'master list' after massive hack
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Voices
A man shoots at targets depicting a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a shooting range in the center of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv
voicesIt's cowardice to pretend this is anything other than an invasion
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor