Date: 18th August 2007 at 6:49pm
Written by: baskerville

Champagne football played by Wigan today with enthusiasm and passion totally outclassed a Sunderland side restricted to one shot on target and inflicted only their second defeat in 2007.

The game started at a high tempo with Landzaat orchestrating play form midfield with willing support form both wingers who were determined to take on the defence at every occasion.

With a back for looking more confident as the game went on Wigan were attacking more and more and the officials were to bear the brunt of the fans frustration denying Heskey and Koumas what seemed to be a certain penalties and then a late and in my opinion wrong offside flag denying Heskey when he was one on one with the keeper.

It only seemed a matter of time before the ‘tics’ scored a Valencia cross being turned in by Heskey to roars of offside from the Sunderland fans.

This goal seemed to give Latics more impetus and there was only one team looking likely to score again before the break and that was Wigan so Sunderland were no doubt relieved to reach half time only one nil down .

The Sunderland subs only came onto the pitch ten minutes into the break so we must assume that there was an intense team talk form Mr Keane who was taunted by the Wigan faithful throughout the game as to what the score was.

Sunderland made a double substitution at half time replacing the luckless left back who had been mercilessly tormented by Valencia in the first half.

As often happens the team talk seemed to have had an effect on Sunderland who came out of the blocks and attacked Wigan looking for an equaliser.
Wigan seemed to be content to sit back and weather the storm with all four at the back looking extremely assured when defending and the midfield looking to break and create chances for the front two.

After ten minutes Wigan seemed to have weathered the storm and started once again to assert their dominance with Heskey, Valencia, Koumas and Sibierski looking threatening. Sunderland`s defence looked stretched and it was no surprise when Sibierski was brought down the only surprise being that Mr Riley agreed that it was a penalty.

Denny Landzaat stepped forward to take a cool penalty missed by Mrs Baskerville who had rushed to the toilet because she couldn`t stand the pressure.

At two nil down the game was all but over. Sunderland looked a very ordinary side and offered very little going forward.

Latics by contrast looked dangerous every time they touched the ball playing it around on the floor (something that was sadly lacking last season).

Heskey broke through and was fouled in the box Mr Riley again pointing to the spot.

There then followed a debate as to who wanted to take the penalty a sign of team spirit in that it seemed that at least six players wanted the honour.

In the end it was between Sibs and Jason, SIbs winning the honour and converting for his third goal in three games.

From then on it was an exhibition game, the ball being knocked about just like Brazil.

Latics made three substitutions Julius and Caleb replacing Sibs and Emile respectively and Brown making his debut after Scharner picked up a knock.

The full time whistle was a merciful relief for Sunderland who departed to chants of ‘ you are going down with the Bolton”
A bit premature methinks but Sunderland will have to improve if they are to have a chance of staying up.

Wigan look competent and assured on the ball. The next four games are winnable and they will surely travel down to London next week full of confidence

Overall we may only be top for a couple of hours but the team spirit is superb and they are playing good football which is a pleasure to watch

Player Ratings

Made one good save, looked assured in controling his area.

Surley one of the best three English goalkeepers in the country 7/10

A superb defensive performance and looked good going forward.

Linked well with Valencia 7/10

Its hard to believe on this form that PJ was going to release him.

Put his body ont he line and didnt miss a header 8/10

Increasing in confidence game by game.

Another assured performance and Boyce will find it difficult to displace him on this form 7/10

Competent performance, got caught for pace a couple of times but read the game well and looks like he has the making of a premiership left back. 7/10

Ran the left backs ragged put over some good crosses and looks a class act 8/10

Looked more like a midfielder today.

Tackled well and supported Landzaat 7/10

A masterful performance, control the centre of midfield, spraying quality balls around the park and tackled well 8/10

I’m amazed this lad wasnt snapped up by one of the bigger clubs, ghosts past defenders as if they werent there. Puts over quality corners/crosses something that has been lacking since our Jimmy left.

Once again man of the match 9/10

Ran himself into the ground, took his goal well and was unlucky on another couple of occasions 7/10

Another hard working performance. Terrorised the defence all afternoon. 3 goals in 3 games says it all 7/10


Ran his socks off when he came on 6/10

Looked competant on the ball but not on long enough for a meaningful contribution 6/10
Looked competant on the ball but not on long enough for a meaningful contribution 6/10