Sunderland moved into the top half of the Premier League as Martin O'Neill's brilliant start as manager continued with an impressive win at Wigan.

Craig Gardner struck Sunderland's first with a 30-yard free-kick then James McClean nodded in a close-range second.

Wigan struck back when Hugo Rodallega fired in a deflected, 20-yard shot.

But Nicklas Bendtner crossed for Stephane Sessegnon to slide in Sunderland's third from six yards, and David Vaughan lashed in a fourth.

O'Neill proud of Sunderland's 'best win'

The result took O'Neill's points tally to 13 from six matches and meant Wigan remained in the relegation zone.

Roberto Martinez's team may find it a struggle to get out of there too if they keep trying to play as much pretty football as they did against Sunderland.

Although the Latics' attempts to pass and move were admirable, they always looked vulnerable on the counter-attack and were frequently exposed.

They were left to rue hitting the post twice in the first half with the match goalless - when they were well on top - and will no doubt point to the controversial free-kick awarded just before half-time that led to Sunderland's opener as a key moment.

In fact, the home team had started confidently, a Steve Gohouri strike being cleared off the line by Gardner after Sunderland failed to clear a corner.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • This was Sunderland's first win on this ground in the Premier League, having drawn two and lost three of the previous meetings
  • Wigan have won none of their last eight Premier League games at the DW Stadium, losing five of them

But Sunderland also came close as Kieran Richardson broke quickly, picking out McClean on his left, with Bendtner sliding in at the resultant cross but just failing to get the necessary touch.

Wigan's ill fortune began just after the half-hour.

Albert Crusat - who was impressive until forced into an early exit with a back injury - played in David Jones, whose strike from eight yards came back off the far post. Following up, Ben Watson tried his luck from 12 yards only to hit the other post.

It got worse as Watson was controversially adjudged to have fouled Bendtner, allowing Gardner to power in his superb free-kick.

After the break, Jones gave the ball away in a dangerous area, allowing Richardson to find Vaughan.

The former Blackpool midfielder crossed and McClean's initial tame header was saved, but came back to him to score on the rebound.

Cruel day for Roberto Martinez as Wigan lose 4-1 to Sunderland

Wigan quickly - and deservedly - got back in the game as James McCarthy found Rodallega before the striker turned on the edge of the box, evading John O'Shea, and struck.

But hopes of a fightback faded when Maynor Figueroa was brushed aside by Bendtner, who delivered a perfect ball across the face of goal that was met by a stretching Sessegnon.

The Sunderland pressure continued as McClean curled in a shot from the left-hand edge of the 18-yard box that Ali Al-Habsi saved smartly.

But they killed the game off when McClean's shot was charged down and ran loose to Vaughan, who smashed in from outside the area to complete an emphatic victory.

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (6)

Wigan

  • 26 Al Habsi
  • 02 Gohouri
  • 03 Alcaraz
  • 23 Stam Booked (Sammon - 58' )
  • 31 Figueroa
  • 04 McCarthy
  • 07 Crusat (Moses - 39' )
  • 08 Watson (Diame - 86' )
  • 14 Gomez
  • 19 Jones
  • 20 Rodallega

Substitutes

  • 12 Pollitt
  • 17 Boyce
  • 11 Moses
  • 16 McArthur
  • 21 Diame
  • 09 Di Santo
  • 18 Sammon

Sunderland

  • 22 Mignolet
  • 11 Richardson (Meyler - 67' )
  • 12 Kilgallon
  • 16 O'Shea
  • 06 Cattermole
  • 08 Gardner (Elmohamady - 83' )
  • 14 Colback
  • 15 Vaughan
  • 23 McClean (Ji Dong-Won - 89' )
  • 28 Sessegnon
  • 52 Bendtner

Substitutes

  • 24 Carson
  • 40 Laing
  • 18 Meyler
  • 27 Elmohamady
  • 17 Ji Dong-Won
  • 31 Noble
  • 38 Lynch
Ref: Dean
Att: 15,871

Match Stats

Shots

20 10

On target

10 9

Corners

9 6

Fouls

9 6

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:37 Full time

Full Time The referee blows his whistle to end the game.

90:00 +3:09

Effort from outside the penalty box by Dong-Won Ji goes wide right of the goal.

90:00 +2:12

Stephane Sessegnon fouled by James McCarthy, the ref awards a free kick. John O'Shea takes the direct free kick.

90:00 +1:39

Unfair challenge on Mohamed Diame by Lee Cattermole results in a free kick. Hugo Rodallega takes the free kick.

89:40

Conor Sammon produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.

88:06

Short corner taken by Stephane Sessegnon from the left by-line.

88:06 Substitution

Substitution Dong-Won Ji joins the action as a substitute, replacing James McClean.

85:55 Substitution

Substitution Mohamed Diame replaces Ben Watson.

85:51

Jordi Gomez takes a shot from just outside the penalty area which clears the crossbar.

84:52

A cross is delivered by James McClean, Ali Al Habsi makes a save.

84:01

Shot from just outside the box by Jordi Gomez goes over the crossbar.

82:40 Substitution

Substitution (Sunderland) makes a substitution, with Ahmed Elmohamady coming on for Craig Gardner.

82:27

Shot from just outside the box by Victor Moses goes over the bar.

79:43

Assist on the goal came from Stephane Sessegnon.

79:43 Goal scored

Goal! - David Vaughan - Wigan 1 - 4 Sunderland David Vaughan gets on the score sheet with a goal from the edge of the penalty box to the top left corner of the goal. Wigan 1-4 Sunderland.

79:38

Stephane Sessegnon takes a shot. Antolin Alcaraz gets a block in.

79:03

Victor Moses produces a cross, save by Simon Mignolet.

76:54

Victor Moses sends in a cross, Header from close in by Conor Sammon misses to the right of the goal.

76:40

The ball is delivered by David Jones, Matthew Kilgallon manages to make a clearance.

75:08

Corner taken left-footed by James McClean.

74:45

James McClean produces a volleyed left-footed shot from 18 yards. Ali Al Habsi makes a save.

74:12

Ben Watson produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the target.

73:51

Victor Moses decides to take a short corner.

72:30

Assist by Nicklas Bendtner.

72:30 Goal scored

Goal! - Stephane Sessegnon - Wigan 1 - 3 Sunderland Stephane Sessegnon finds the net with a goal from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal. Wigan 1-3 Sunderland.

71:33

Free kick awarded for a foul by Maynor Figueroa on Stephane Sessegnon. John O'Shea takes the direct free kick.

68:32

Nicklas Bendtner is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Ali Al Habsi.

68:15

Hugo Rodallega takes a shot. John O'Shea gets a block in.

66:06 Substitution

Substitution David Meyler joins the action as a substitute, replacing Kieran Richardson.

65:36

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Ben Watson.

65:11

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Ben Watson played to the near post, clearance made by Lee Cattermole.

64:03

James McClean gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Hugo Rodallega. David Jones fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick.

63:32

Kieran Richardson concedes a free kick for a foul on James McCarthy. Free kick taken by Ben Watson.

63:10

Centre by Conor Sammon, save made by Simon Mignolet.

61:20

The assist for the goal came from James McCarthy.

61:20 Goal scored

Goal! - Hugo Rodallega - Wigan 1 - 2 Sunderland Hugo Rodallega scores a goal from just outside the box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Wigan 1-2 Sunderland.

60:13

Ben Watson takes a shot. Blocked by Stephane Sessegnon.

59:25

The ball is crossed by James McClean, save by Ali Al Habsi.

59:09

Unfair challenge on James McClean by Hugo Rodallega results in a free kick. Jack Colback takes the free kick.

58:56

David Jones crosses the ball, John O'Shea manages to make a clearance.

57:16

Inswinging corner taken by David Jones from the left by-line, Nicklas Bendtner manages to make a clearance.

57:16 Substitution

Substitution Ronnie Stam goes off and Conor Sammon comes on.

57:06

Ronnie Stam crosses the ball, clearance made by Craig Gardner.

54:39

Assist on the goal came from David Vaughan.

54:39 Goal scored

Goal! - James McClean - Wigan 0 - 2 Sunderland James McClean finds the net with a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. Wigan 0-2 Sunderland.

54:35

The ball is crossed by David Vaughan, James McClean takes a shot. Save by Ali Al Habsi.

50:55

Victor Moses has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide right of the goal.

50:26

Outswinging corner taken by David Jones from the left by-line, Matthew Kilgallon makes a clearance.

50:18

David Jones takes a shot. Blocked by John O'Shea. Foul by Jordi Gomez on Jack Colback, free kick awarded. Matthew Kilgallon takes the direct free kick.

49:52

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on James McCarthy by Lee Cattermole. Ben Watson restarts play with the free kick.

49:19

Ronnie Stam crosses the ball, Simon Mignolet makes a save.

48:51

A cross is delivered by Maynor Figueroa, John O'Shea makes a clearance.

47:25

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kieran Richardson by Ben Watson. Jack Colback restarts play with the free kick.

47:16

Ronnie Stam produces a cross, clearance made by Matthew Kilgallon.

45:43

Free kick awarded for a foul by Hugo Rodallega on Jack Colback. Simon Mignolet takes the free kick.

45:01

The second half begins.

45:00 +5:13 Half time

Half Time The whistle is blown to end the first half.

45:00 +5:12 Booking

Booking Caution for Ronnie Stam.

45:00 +3:29

Assist by Nicklas Bendtner.

45:00 +3:29 Goal scored

Goal! - Craig Gardner - Wigan 0 - 1 Sunderland Free kick scored by Craig Gardner. Wigan 0-1 Sunderland.

45:00 +2:43

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Nicklas Bendtner by Ben Watson.

45:00 +1:13

Lee Cattermole concedes a free kick for a foul on Victor Moses. Victor Moses takes the direct free kick.

45:00 +0:01

Ben Watson takes a corner.

44:48

David Jones takes a shot. Simon Mignolet makes a save.

42:01

Jordi Gomez takes a shot. Simon Mignolet makes a comfortable save.

39:36

The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Ali Al Habsi.

38:34 Substitution

Substitution Victor Moses joins the action as a substitute, replacing Albert Crusat.

33:45

Hugo Rodallega challenges John O'Shea unfairly and gives away a free kick. Simon Mignolet takes the direct free kick.

32:06

Corner taken by Craig Gardner from the left by-line to the near post, Ronnie Stam makes a clearance.

32:05

Nicklas Bendtner takes a shot. Antolin Alcaraz gets a block in.

31:51

Ben Watson has an effort at goal from deep inside the penalty box that bounces off the post.

31:28

Effort from inside the box by David Jones bounces off the post.

30:29

Shot by Albert Crusat from 20 yards. Save by Simon Mignolet.

27:51

The ball is delivered by James McClean.

27:12

James McCarthy fouled by Lee Cattermole, the ref awards a free kick. David Jones restarts play with the free kick.

26:01

Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Kieran Richardson, clearance made by Hugo Rodallega.

22:36

Corner taken by Kieran Richardson from the right by-line, save made by Ali Al Habsi.

22:31

Nicklas Bendtner produces a cross, Maynor Figueroa gets a block in.

20:54

The assistant referee signals for offside against John O'Shea. Indirect free kick taken by Ali Al Habsi.

20:13

Free kick awarded for a foul by David Jones on Craig Gardner. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Kieran Richardson from right channel.

15:44

Nicklas Bendtner is penalised for a handball. Ben Watson takes the free kick.

14:26

The ball is swung over by Ronnie Stam, clearance made by John O'Shea.

14:02

Short corner taken by Ben Watson from the right by-line.

13:46

Centre by David Vaughan, save made by Ali Al Habsi.

13:20

Kieran Richardson takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Maynor Figueroa.

13:00

Stephane Sessegnon takes a shot. Blocked by Antolin Alcaraz.

11:47

The ball is swung over by Craig Gardner, Maynor Figueroa makes a clearance.

9:06

Steve Gohouri takes a shot. Clearance made by Craig Gardner.

8:45

Outswinging corner taken left-footed by David Jones from the left by-line, Nicklas Bendtner makes a clearance.

8:32

Hugo Rodallega takes a shot. John O'Shea gets a block in.

6:12

Centre by Ronnie Stam, clearance by John O'Shea.

1:42

The ball is delivered by Albert Crusat, Close range shot by Hugo Rodallega goes over the bar.

0:55

Corner taken left-footed by David Jones from the left by-line, Kieran Richardson manages to make a clearance.

0:00

The referee gets the game underway.

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