Wigan Athletic climbed out of the Premier League relegation zone with a 2-0 victory over 10-man Wolverhampton Wanderers at the DW Stadium yesterday.
Roberto Martinez’s side desperately needed a win after a poor start to the season and they were given a helping hand when Wolves captain Karl Henry was sent off early in the first half for a reckless challenge on Jordi Gomez.
The hosts made Henry pay for that mistake as Gomez struck in the second half, before Hugo Rodallega added the clincher late on.
Mick McCarthy’s team have now suffered four successive defeats, allowing Wigan to climb out of the relegation zone at the expense of their opponents.
Wigan had to play several minutes without captain Antolin Alcaraz in the early stages as he left the pitch to receive stitches in a head wound, but it was Wolves who went down to 10 men permanently when referee Lee Mason showed Henry a red card for a foul on Gomez that caught the Spaniard on his shin.
Although they had the numerical advantage, Wigan initially struggled to take advantage and the home fans began to show their frustration when Franco Di Santo was unable to get on the end of Charles N’Zogbia’s cross.
Wigan were close to taking the lead early in the second half when a fine move between Rodallega and Di Santo left the Argentine just 6m from goal, but Di Santo scuffed his shot just enough to allow Marcus Hahnemann to get a hand to the ball.
Martinez’s men finally broke the deadlock in the 65th minute when Dave Edwards pulled back N’Zogbia on the edge of the area. Gomez took the free-kick and curled a superb effort into the top-left corner.
In the 85th minute, Rodallega put the result beyond doubt when Christophe Berra’s attempt to cut out N’Zogbia’s pass deflected off the striker’s foot and past goalkeeper Hahnemann.