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Football | Barclays Premier League

Sunderland push Wigan deeper into mire



Sunderland came from behind to consolidate mid-table status in the English Premier League and push Wigan back into the drop zone after a 3-2 victory at the DW Stadium on Saturday.

Sunderland arrived having managed four wins in their last seven outings whereas perennial strugglers Wigan started the day only out of the drop zone on goal difference.

And they duly sank back into trouble despite taking an early, albeit fortuitous, lead.

Wigan, whose tremendous form in the closing weeks of last season kept them afloat with something to spare, went ahead on just four minutes, David Vaughan putting though his own net after Ronnie Stam played on a Jean Beausejour cross.

But Sunderland roared back and Craig Gardner levelled from the spot after 16 minutes after James McCarthy handled a Sebastian Larsson effort.

Steven Fletcher then made it 2-1 to the visitors as Sunderland turned the match around with their second goal in four minutes after Alfred N'Diaye had done the spadework.

Vaughan then tried to make amends for his earlier misfortune with a snapshot that Wigan keeper Ali Al Habsi smothered.

Yet Martin O'Neill's men kept up the pressure on their hosts and Fletcher made it 3-1 five minutes before the break when he took a return pass from Adam Johnson before blasting high into the top corner from inside the box.

Wigan coach Roberto Martinez made a switch with 20 minutes remaining, throwing on Angelo Henriquez in place of Emmerson Boyce and he headed in from close range following good work by Shaun Maloney in the 79th minute

Henriquez might have bagged an unlikely point when, with five minutes left, he sent another close range header just over the crossbar.

But his miss means it is now just one win in 10 games for the Latics, who drop back into the bottom three after Reading's win at a Newcastle side in freefall.

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