O'Neill's golden start continues against woeful Wigan

Wigan Athletic 1 Sunderland 4

Injury-hit Sunderland earned their first Premier League victory at the DW Stadium to ensure Martin O'Neill's golden start to life at the Black Cats continued.

Wigan dominated the first half and saw one shot cleared off the line and two hit the woodwork but they went into the break behind as Craig Gardner took advantage of the swirling wind to power a 30-yard free-kick into the top corner.

James McClean extended the lead with his first Sunderland goal and, although Hugo Rodallega briefly gave Wigan hope with his first of the season, Sunderland sealed the points through Stephane Sessegnon and David Vaughan.

The hosts looked confident in the early stages, with Rodallega twice going close while Steve Gohouri's shot beat Simon Mignolet before being cleared virtually off the goal-line by Gardner.

Sunderland, fresh from beating Manchester City on Sunday, threatened mostly on the break and Sessegnon was denied by a timely block from Antolin Alcaraz before Nicklas Bendtner just failed to get enough on a lovely cross from McClean.

Wigan still looked the more likely scorers, though, and in the 31st minute they were left cursing their luck after hitting the post twice in a matter of seconds.

First, a nice move down the left ended with David Jones racing into the penalty area and firing against the far post. The rebound fell to Ronnie Stam who found Ben Watson 15 yards out only for his shot on the turn to bounce out off the inside of the near post.

The hosts were then forced into a substitution after the lively Albert Crusat appeared to sustain a bang on the hip in a collision with Vaughan and was replaced by Victor Moses.

The left channel was certainly Wigan's best avenue and, with the rain swirling around the ground, Mignolet produced a smart double stop to deny Jones and Maynor Figueroa.

The wind then played a major role as, having been on the back foot nearly all half and with injury time almost up, Sunderland took the lead.

Referee Mike Dean ruled Bendtner had been fouled by Watson 30 yards out despite howls of protest from the home fans and Gardner's free-kick changed direction in the wind and found the top corner with Ali Al Habsi rooted to the spot.

As Dean walked off to a chorus of boos, Stam was shown a yellow card for taking his protests too far.

It was a scrappy start to the second half, which suited Sunderland just fine, and things got even better for the visitors in the 55th minute when they doubled their lead.

Vaughan picked out 22-year-old McClean, just onside in the middle of the box, and, although Al Habsi produced a good save from his first header, the goalkeeper could do nothing about the follow-up.

It was a first senior goal for McClean on his fifth appearance and made it nine different scorers for the nine goals netted under O'Neill.

Their two-goal advantage lasted only seven minutes, though, and for once it was Wigan who had the stroke of fortune. Rodallega's turn on the edge of the box was sharp but his shot only beat Mignolet with the help of a big deflection off Matt Kilgallon.

Wigan's hopes of taking something were surely extinguished in the 73rd minute, though, when Bendtner got away from Figueroa down the right and crossed for Sessegnon to convert.

The game was really open now and Watson shot just the wrong side of the post after a clever corner routine before Al Habsi backpedalled to push a chip from McClean over the bar.

Sunderland were having one of those nights and with 10 minutes to go a Sessegnon shot hit Alcaraz and rebounded to Vaughan 20 yards out who blasted a strike of the highest quality into the top corner.

The victory made it 13 points from six games for O'Neill while it brought Wigan's run of good form to a shuddering halt as they remained stuck in the bottom three.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions