Latics cruise past Black Cats
Steve Bruce won his personal battle with Roy Keane as Wigan cruised to a 3-0 win over Sunderland.
By Chris Burton
Last Updated: 05/01/08 6:04pm
Steve Bruce won the battle of the Manchester United old boys as his Wigan side ran out comfortable 3-0 winners against Roy Keane's Sunderland.
Both clubs put out makeshift sides as they realised that Premier League survival is of greater concern than a cup run.
However, even with new faces Sunderland's defensive problems came back to haunt them when non-existent marking allowed Paul Scharner to head home Josip Skoko's cross on 19 minutes.
Another defensive clanger made it 2-0 on 56 minutes when Paul McShane fired a clearance into his own net after Julius Aghahowa's run into the box had created panic.
David Cotterill then completed the scoring with a fine individual goal on 76 minutes as the Latics cruised into the fourth round..
Visiting midfielder Ryan Taylor limped off, but it was Bruce who was the happier manager as the teams headed for their respective dressing rooms at the break.
Wigan did so a goal to the good courtesy of Scharner's 19th-minute header, although the home defence left the Austrian criminally unmarked as Skoko delivered a deep free-kick straight on to his forehead in front of goal.
It proved to be the only effort on target for either side in the opening 45 minutes.
Perhaps the biggest cheer of the opening period came when referee Mike Riley slipped and fell as he tried to avoid the ball.
The second half began inauspiciously for the home defence as Nosworthy and McShane could only get in each other's way as they attempted to clear former Black Cat Kevin Kilbane's long throw, with the result that neither made contact with the ball.
The home fans grew increasingly impatient as their efforts to drag themselves back into the game came to little, and the atmosphere worsened on 56 minutes when they fell further behind.
Evans left his backpass to Gordon woefully short and substitute Julius Aghahowa was in on goal - although McShane got to the ball first, he could only thump it into his own net.
Keane brought on Andy Cole, and saw the veteran striker play a part as Daryl Murphy had a 61st-minute shot deflected wide.
But Aghahowa shot across the face of goal three minutes later before substitute Cotterill, who sealed the win with a 76th-minute rocket.
Roy O'Donovan clipped the bar with a late overhead kick, but Sunderland might have lost even more heavily had Gordon not tipped substitute Michael Brown's injury-time shot on to the post.
|Team Name||Sunderland||Wigan Athletic|
|Shots On Target||2||4|
|Shots Off Target||4||0|