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Thursday 18 September K.O. 20:05



Goodison Park | 26th December 2012 15:00

Everton v Wigan

Everton ensured there was no Christmas hangover by fending off Wigan's late advances to record a 2-1 home win.

After a frustrating first half Leon Osman's deflected shot and Phil Jagielka's header provided a two goal cushion which Arouna Kone quickly halved.

But the Blues held on to record a second festive triumph on the day that skipper Phil Neville made his 500th Premier League appearance.

Neville switched to right-back with Thomas Hitzlsperger drafted into midfield but it was the Blues' tried and trusted left flank combination which forged the first decent chance.

Leighton Baines evades a challenge from Ronnie Stam.Leighton Baines evades a challenge from Ronnie Stam.

Leighton Baines' quick footwork left Ronnie Stam on the deck as he set up Pienaar for a shot defelcted wide.

Anichebe glanced Hitzlsperger's cross wide 19 minutes in before Shaun Maloney tested Howard for the first time with a free-kick that he grabbed at the second attempt.

Everton had to work hard to create chances as the visitors closed down space in the congested midfield but Anichebe did see a snapshot deflect wide for a corner before Pienaar's corner was headed out from under his own bar by Gary Caldwell.

That was the first of a succession of corners with Everton aggrieved at Wigan's overly tactile defensive approach.

That only increased the sense of frustration but the Blues started the second period positively.

In the 48th minute Hitzlsperger nutmegged James McCarthy and unleashed a 30-yard rocket which struck the Wigan bar. Shortly after half time the home side lead.

The Blues celebrate Ossie's goal against Wigan.

There was more than a stroke of luck in the goal as Caldwell deflected Osman's left-foot effort past Ali Al Habsi and into the Gwladys Street net.

At the other end Maloney went down in the box under Osman's challenge but referee Lee Mason waved play on. That provoked a furious reaction from Wigan's players but replays showed there was no contact.

Neville's well-placed boot prevented Kone delivering an equaliser in the 65th minute as Wigan pushed on and forced Moyes into introducing John Heitinga and Bryan Ovideo for Anichebe and Hitzlsperger.

He'd already brought on Steven Naismith for Gibson at half time.

The replacements helped restore a measure of Everton control and then the second goal arrived.

Oviedo rolled a corner to Neville and he crossed for Jagielka to head into the top corner.

Phil Jagielka puts the Blues 2-0 up.Phil Jagielka puts the Blues 2-0 up.

Any thoughts of the game being over were ousted when Kone capitalised on a bouncing ball and hesitation in the Everton box to poke home with seven minutes remaining.

But the Latics couldn't forge another chance to grab a leveller and Everton took all three points.



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