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Page last updated at 21:54 GMT, Monday, 24 November 2008

Wigan 1-0 Everton

By Chris Bevan

Henri Camara
Camara had not scored a Premier League goal since December 2006

Wigan climbed out of the Premier League relegation zone after Henri Camara's strike sank a poor Everton side.

Louis Saha wasted a good chance on the break as the Toffees started well.

But Wigan pushed forward and Wilson Palacios somehow headed over before Tim Howard superbly saved Lee Cattermole's shot and a Paul Scharner header.

Substitute Camara met Luis Antonio Valencia's pass to break the deadlock and, after Yakubu and Tim Cahill missed good chances, Wigan held on to win.

It was a rare success for the Latics, who boasted the joint-worst home record in the top flight before kick-off and had waited six hours and 18 minutes for a league goal at the JJB Stadium before Camara struck.

The Senegalese forward had suffered an even longer personal goal drought, going 28 Premier League matches without finding the net in a dreadful run dating back to December 2006.

But he was in the right place to notch here, and end Everton's run of five games without defeat that had seen them surge up the table.

In truth, defeat was exactly what David Moyes' side deserved, despite making the brighter start.

They carved Wigan open after 14 minutes with a flowing counter-attacking move that started when the ball broke to Saha inside his own half.

He fed Yakubu on the left wing before running on to meet the return pass on the edge of the Wigan area but, with only Chris Kirkland to beat, the Frenchman's first-time shot lacked power or precision and was easily beaten away by the Latics goalkeeper.

Everton went downhill from that point and, helped by a mistake by Marouane Fellaini, the Latics came forward for Maynor Figueroa to fire in a rasping low shot that Howard did well to hang on to with Emile Heskey lurking.

Amr Zaki, Wigan's eight-goal top scorer, has been his side's talisman this season and his absence through injury was expected to take some sting out of the Wigan attack.


But Steve Bruce's men continued to press and threatened again when Ryan Taylor's free-kick flew just over, while Michael Brown shot high and wide when well placed.

And, after Cahill had headed narrowly over for Everton, it was Wigan who ended the first-half the strongest with Palacios, Cattermole and Scharner all going close.

Palacios was wasteful after Kapo sent the ball across the face of goal from a Heskey lay-off, flashing his header over from inside the six-yard box.

But Cattermole brought a fine save out of Howard after skipping past Leon Osman, Phil Neville and Joseph Yobo and sending a shot curving towards the bottom corner of the net.

Howard then produced an even better stop from the ensuing corner, somehow keeping out Scharner's bullet-header from point-blank range.

Everton held on until the break but they failed to improve at the start of the second half and paid the price when Wigan took the lead on 51 minutes, Camara tapping home after Valencia turned inside Joleon Lescott and slid the ball into his path.

The visitors attempted to up their game to find an equaliser but their only tactic seemed to be to lump the ball towards Yakubu in the box.

Things got worse for Moyes when Saha limped off with a hamstring injury on 65 minutes and his frustration was visible when Yakubu chose to shoot rather than tee up Cahill soon afterwards.

The impressive Valencia almost sealed victory for Wigan with a stinging shot that Howard palmed away but instead the home side had to weather some late pressure.

Cahill had one shot blocked by Scharner after a mix-up in the home defence and, when the Australian shot over the bar in injury time, Wigan knew that victory was theirs.

Wigan boss Steve Bruce:
"Sometimes football is a strange game. 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.

"It is horrible to play on a Monday night when you have slipped into the bottom three without kicking a ball. Hopefully we're out of the bottom three now for six months or so."

Everton manager David Moyes:
"We had one or two chances but it wasn't to be.

"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.

"I was hoping for more from us but it was a poor performance."

Wigan: Kirkland, Taylor, Bramble, Scharner, Figueroa, Valencia, Brown, Palacios, Cattermole, Kapo (Camara 46), Heskey.
Subs Not Used: Pollitt, Kilbane, Koumas, De Ridder, Cywka, Routledge.

Goals: Camara 51.

Everton: Howard, Neville (Baines 85), Yobo, Jagielka, Lescott, Cahill, Fellaini, Arteta, Osman, Saha (Anichebe 65), Yakubu.
Subs Not Used: Nash, Castillo, Rodwell, Jutkiewicz, Gosling.

Att: 18,344

Ref: Rob Styles (Hampshire).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Wigan's Henri Camara 7.23 (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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see also
Wigan v Everton as it happened
24 Nov 08 |  Premier League

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CNN Wigan climb to safety after win over Everton - 35 mins ago
Channel 4 News Wigan climb out of relegation zone - 1 hr ago
Liverpool Echo Wigan 1 Everton 0 - 2 hrs ago
Irish Examiner Camara's flash of magic gives Latics win - 2 hrs ago
Teletext Wigan 1 Everton 0 - 3 hrs ago


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