English Premiership

Wigan hold off Southampton

2012-08-25 20:20
Franco Di Santo (File)

Southampton - Wigan Athletic held off promoted Southampton to claim a 2-0 away win on Saturday that took Roberto Martinez's side into the top half of the English Premier League table.

It took the Latics until November to claim their first away win last season but they took the three points at St Mary's Stadium thanks to goals in each half from Franco Di Santo and Ivorian new signing Arouna Kone.

Southampton had led 2-1 at champions Manchester City in their opening game last weekend, before going on to lose 3-2, and they made an enterprising start against Wigan, who fell 2-0 at home to Chelsea in their first outing.

Home captain Adam Lallana produced the first moment of excitement of the afternoon, with a rising 25-yard drive that Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi superbly tipped onto the crossbar.

A tame first half drew to a close beneath driving rain on the English south coast but six minutes into the second period, Wigan struck.

Shaun Maloney's through-ball released Di Santo and the Argentine kept his cool to lift the ball into the roof of the net from 10 yards.

A goal-scoring substitute in the game at City, Rickie Lambert was handed a start against Wigan and he led the Saints' efforts to find an equaliser in the second half.

He drew a good save from Al Habsi with a well-struck effort in the 63rd minute and then teed up Jos Hooiveld for a header that landed on the top of the crossbar.

Kone, a close-season acquisition from Levante, sealed victory in the 89th minute, robbing Jose Fonte of possession on halfway and running clear before beating Kelvin Davies in the Southampton goal.

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