Everton Vs. Wigan Athletic, 2011 Premier League: Toffees Grind Out 3-1 Win

Everton were forced to work hard for their first home win of the year against a Wigan Athletic side sorely lacking in quality but big on hard work and effort, but the better side eventually pulled though - although the 3-1 scoreline implies a comfort that was never there until virtually the last kick of the match.

Despite being... well, bad, Wigan were the ones who took the first lead of the match after Leon Osman gave up on chasing Franco di Santo (whom I'm sure Jimmy Conrad loves) and allowed the striker to race into the box and hit the ball off Tony Hibbert and into the back of Tim Howard's net. That lead  would stand for all of ninety seconds. Tim Cahill, mired in a goal drought that would make Fernando Torres cut himself, rose for a header on a corner kick and saw his effort beat Ali Al-Habsi but crash off the underside of the bar. Phil Jagielka reacted first, nodding home the rebound, and we were back to level pegging at Goodison.

There we would remain for the next fifty minutes, with neither side looking strong candidates for a victory until Greek teenager Apolostos Vellios rose high above the Latics defence and crashed a brilliant header past Al-Hasbi to give the hosts a 2-1 lead int he 84th minute. Wigan would immediately hit the crossbar through Phil Jones, but hopes of a comeback were dashed when Colombian striker Hugo Rodallega was carted off with an injury, and Royston Drenthe would put some gloss on the scoreline for Everton with basically the last kick of the match, running clean through with the bulk of Wigan's members upfield to make it 3-1 to the Toffees, sending David Moyes' men jumping into 7th place. The loss was no more than Wigan deserved, but it must have been heartbreaking to leave it so late.

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