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:
in 10 games (1.5 per game). Goals scored 2008-09 season:
367 in 139 games (2.64 per game).