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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 January 2008, 15:20 GMT
Wigan 1-2 Everton
By Mandeep Sanghera

Everton players congratulate Joleon Lescott (centre) after he puts his side 2-0 up at Wigan
Lescott (centre) has been a good source of goals for Everton
Everton moved up to fourth place in the Premier League after Wigan defender Titus Bramble's mistake helped them to victory at the JJB Stadium.

Bramble fluffed a backpass and Andrew Johnson pounced to run through on goal before slotting Everton ahead.

A Joleon Lescott far post tap-in added an Everton second but Phil Jagielka diverted a Jason Koumas free-kick into his own goal to give Wigan hope.

The game opened up as Wigan pressed for an equaliser but Everton held on.

Everton have now leapfrogged Merseyside rivals Liverpool, who play Aston Villa on Monday, after a victory which appeared unlikely at the start.

Wigan had burst out of the blocks and Wilson Palacios epitomised the home side's early drive as he refused to give up possession and got in a 20-yard shot which went wide.


A Palacios cross was also deflected to Emile Heskey at the near post and he nodded wide with little time to react and the angle against him.

The Latics lacked the telling ball in the final third to capitalise on a bright start and almost went behind as Everton belatedly appeared to have found their stride on a diffcult sodden pitch.

Lee Carsley controlled and volleyed just over from a difficult chance before Leon Osman pulled the ball back into the run of the unmarked Tim Cahill.

The Australian went for placement rather the power and saw his sidefooted shot well saved by keeper Chris Kirkland before Wigan regained the initiative.

Everton keeper Tim Howard responded with an equally vital save at the other end when he tipped a Marcus Bent header on to the underside of the bar before the ball was cleared.

Bent then crossed a low ball for the unmarked Antonio Valencia at the far post and his angled shot was blocked by Cahill.

Wigan defender Titus Bramble (left) made the mistake to let in Everton striker Andrew Johnson
Bramble (left) made the mistake to let in Johnson

But Everton's defence was defiant and repelled the threat of the home team before the visitors were gifted the lead.

Palacios lost possession to Cahill and Mikel Arteta tried to thread a ball through to Johnson on the right flank.

Bramble came across and had an easy backpass to Kirkland but mistimed his attempt and Johnson was left with a clear run on goal, which he ended with a confident finish through Kirkland's legs.

It got worse for Wigan three minutes later when they failed to clear a corner at the near post and Jagielka cut a shot across goal to leave fellow centre-back Lescott with a simple tap-in at the far post.

Wigan boss Steve Bruce brought on Jason Koumas and Antoine Sibierski for Denny Landzaat and the injured Heskey shortly after the break.

Koumas had an immediate impact as Howard failed to deal with his free-kick and the ball struck Jagielka on its way into the Everton goal.

Wigan valiantly pressed for an equaliser but almost conceded another goal when Osman volleyed a shot agonisingly wide.

The home side did not allow Everton any peace but the leveller, ultimately, eluded them as they stay fourth from bottom of the top-flight.

  • Wigan boss Steve Bruce:
    "I was pleased with our start but the one thing you can't eradicate is human error. Unfortunately for Titus he's been punished again.

    "That takes the confidence out of the team and we never recovered because the second goal was just as bad.

    "When you make those mistakes in the Premier League then you get punished."

  • Everton boss David Moyes:
    "I was worried the pitch was going to suit us and for long periods it looked that way. Wigan put us under a lot of pressure.

    "We were fortunate to get a goal when we did and to get two we were. I was not happy with our play but you have to take the conditions into account.

    "But you have to find a ways of winning games and at present we're doing that."

    BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Everton's Andy Johnson on 7.44 (on 90 minutes).

  • Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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