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  • Wigan Athletic 0-1 Everton: Cahill strong header

    Tim Cahill swooped with a superb late header to give Everton a 1-0 win over Wigan in an entertaining Premier League clash at the DW Stadium.

    The game had been heading for a goalless stalemate until the Australian midfielder belied his diminutive stature to leap above all those around him and power a downwards header into the back of the net with just six minutes remaining.

    The excellent Charles N'Zogbia nearly stole a point back for Wigan with the last kick of the game, but his piledriver from the edge of the box cannoned back off the cross bar and Everton emerged with all three points.

    Both teams had earlier been denied what appeared to be legitimate penalty claims, but it was Cahill's late intervention which ultimately proved the decisive factor as Everton continued their unbeaten streak in the Premier League, which now stretches back nine games.

    Wigan, who failed to keep a clean sheet at home for the eighth time this season, ended the day with their relegation fears heightened by defeat. Roberto Martinez's side lie in 14th place, just two points above the drop zone.

    The opening period at a far-from full DW Stadium was a mixed affair, at times tight and scrappy while also managing to provide a fair amount of goalscoring opportunities, none of which were taken.

    Jason Scotland was guiltier than most of failing to capitalise on the chances presented to him, the Wigan striker twice firing high, wide and not so handsome from decent positions during the first half.

    The Trinidad and Tobago international, clearly lacking in confidence, is still searching for his first Premier League goal since signing from Swansea at the start of the season, although he was not alone in his profligacy in front of goal.

    Having been played through on goal by Scotland on 19 minutes, fellow Latics striker Hugo Rodallega could only fire straight at Everton keeper Tim Howard when he should perhaps have done better.

    The Colombian then came within inches of connecting with N'Zogbia's deflected cross, but despite several breaches of security in the Everton back line, the hosts remained frustrated.

    At the other end, Cahill looked lively for Everton and the Australian nearly took full advantage of some slack Wigan defending on 16 minutes, aiming a first-time over-the-shoulder volley on target, Vladimir Stojkovic making the save.

    Louis Saha too was a cause of consternation for the Wigan defence and the Frenchman saw a deflected effort - albeit off the offside Cahill - hit the post on 24 minutes and had a header saved by Stojkovic five minutes later.

    He was then denied a clear penalty when he was upended by a clumsy Gary Caldwell challenge in the box in the first half's biggest talking point.

    Despite an apparently strong case for a spot kick, referee Lee Probert opted not to point to the spot, leaving an enraged Saha to continue his argument with the official after the half-time whistle had blown.

    The second half started with a bang, Leighton Baines forcing another save from Stojkovic with a well-taken free-kick from 25 yards before Wigan were denied a big penalty shout of their own when N'Zogbia was upended by John Heitinga.

    This time referee Probert agreed with the vociferous appeals for a foul. Replays showed the offence to have taken place right on the line - a clear penalty for those Wigan fans in the ground and a clear free-kick their Everton counterparts. It could easily have gone either way, but Probert opted to award the latter, much to the relief of the visitors.

    The controversy was not finished there and on 73 minutes Everton had a goal disallowed, Marouane Fellaini's celebrations cut short by the sight of an offside flag after he had bundled the ball over the line from Cahill's cross.

    Earlier, Wigan substitute Paul Scharner had threatened to continue his excellent scoring form against Everton - four of his 13 Premier League goals have come against the Toffees - but he fired a volley over the bar before shooting straight at Howard when played through on goal.

    Scharner was left to rue those missed chances as Cahill's bionic leap settled the match to leave Everton sitting pretty in ninth place on 32 points.

    Mike Hytner / Eurosport



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