SUNDERLAND supporters called for Steve Bruce’s head this afternoon as the Black Cats went down to a smash and grab raid from the Premier League’s basement side.
Wigan were woeful and could easily have been four goals down by half-time but they rode their luck and in stoppage side after the 90 minutes nicked all three points after a defensive howler from Wes Brown.
Sunderland took the lead in the eighth minute after keeper Ali Al Habsi failed to hold on to Nicklas Bendtner’s hopeful shot from the left-wing, the keeper blocking Kieran Richardson’s follow-up but unable to stop Seb Larsson clipping home his fourth goal of the season.
It was a mistake by Wigan’s Player of the Year but he went on to make up for it with save after save to deny Sunderland in the minutes that followed and the visitors pinched an equaliser a couple of minutes from half-time when Larsson came together with Victor Moses and referee Kevin Friend pointed to the spot, Jordi Gomez firing his side level.
The second-half was more even as Sunderland ran out of steam a little midway through the half.
They kept pushing for an equaliser but their final ball always let them down and in the end Wigan hit them with a sucker punch – Brown dwelling on the ball 15 yards outside his own area, James McArthur dispossessing him and feeding substitute Franco di Santo who slotted into an open goal.
Sunderland are now looking down the table rather than up and the manager is now under pressure with home fans howling their unhappiness at him at this latest awful setback.
* Full report and pictures in tonight’s Football Echo.