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Wigan beats Everton to climb out relegation zone
by Ian Plenderleith, November 25th, 2008 7AM



[ENGLAND] In what might kindly be described as a typically English game, Wigan Athletic beat Everton, 1-0, on Monday night to move up three places and out of the English Premier League relegation zone.

U.S. keeper Tim Howard made a fine one-handed reflex save from Wigan's Austrian midfielder Paul Scharner just before halftime, shortly after having turned a Lee Cattermole effort around the post at full stretch. But the Everton defense was picked apart six minutes after the interval when Ecuadorian winger Antonio Valencia squared for halftime substitute Henri Camara to score his first league goal for two years.

Everton's Tim Cahill squandered an easy chance to equalize in stoppage time when he blasted the ball over the bar from inside the penalty area, concluding what his manager David Moyes admitted was "a poor performance. We started quite well and looked in control for long periods, but goals are what matter. Wigan got theirs and looked stronger as the game went on."

"Sometimes football is a strange game," mused Wigan boss Steve Bruce. "It was arguably one of our worst performances -- we have played better and lost. We could have kept the ball better in the last 20 minutes, but the way the league is we're just delighted to get the three points."

Wigan moved up to 15th spot, having taken 16 points from 14 games. Everton is a flattering seventh -- it has just three points more than Wigan and lost not only the game, but the chance to keep in touch with the leading pack. Its defeat means that not a single team in the league's top 10 managed a victory in this round of fixtures.

Goals scored in EPL, Nov. 22-24: 15 in 10 games (1.5 per game).
Goals scored 2008-09 season: 367 in 139 games (2.64 per game).



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