Latics spoil Saints party
Goals from Di Santo and Kone seal Wigan victory
Last Updated: August 25, 2012 6:18pm
Second-half goals from Franco Di Santo and Arouna Kone saw Wigan beat Southampton 2-0 in their first home game back in the top-flight.
Shot of the match: Lallana hit a great curling effort from 25 yards early on which was heading into the top corner but Al Habsi managed to get a left hand on it and push it onto the bar over.
Save of the match: As above - Al Habsi from Lallana.
Moment of the match: Di Santo's opener. The striker made no mistake after being picked out by Shaun Maloney in the box and left the home side chasing the game.
Controversy of the match: Arouna Kone appeared to clip Jose Fonte when robbing him of the ball in the build-up to the second goal but referee Anthony Taylor played on.
Talking point: Southampton have now lost two out of two in their return to the top flight and need to pick up points as quickly as possible to avoid being marooned at the bottom.
Adam Lallana almost broke the deadlock in the first half but his curling effort was pushed onto the bar by Wigan keeper Ali Al Habsi.
The Latics made the Saints pay when Di Santo blasted the ball into the roof of the net six minutes after the restart.
Jos Hooiveld headed against the crossbar before Kone robbed Jose Fonte of the ball near the halfway line and ran into the box before slotting home past Kelvin Davis to make sure of the points.
Southampton came into their first home Premier League match in seven years buoyed by last weekend's impressive performance at champions Manchester City, who had to come from behind to win 3-2.
Rickie Lambert and Steven Davis came off the bench in that game to score both Southampton's goals and were rewarded with starting berths for the Saints' first league meeting with Wigan, who brought in summer signing Kone in place of Victor Moses after his move to Chelsea - the team that defeated the visitors on the opening day.
Nigel Adkins' side got off to the better start and controlled possession during the opening exchanges, with Lallana seeing a shot blocked in the box after neat team interplay.
The Saints captain was getting a lot of space in midfield and would have made Wigan pay had Al Habsi not managed to tip his rasping 25-yard drive onto the crossbar.
The home side's strong start continued as the half progressed, with Gary Caldwell having to react quickly to stop Lallana latching onto a superb through ball from right-back Nathaniel Clyne.
Jay Rodriguez and Danny Fox had efforts blocked as Saints continued to press, before the latter required treatment after receiving an ankle knock as his attempt was thwarted.
Wigan looked rejuvenated when play resumed and Fonte had to react quickly to get his body in the way of an acrobatic Maynor Figueroa shot.
The game, though, soon became scrappy as the rain began to hammer down and, aside from a Di Santo cross-shot going wide, the half ended without incident.
Things began slowly after the restart but soon livened up as Athletic took a 51st minute lead.
Play had started at the other end as Al Habsi superbly saved a goalbound Lambert header, before Wigan broke the deadlock as Shaun Maloney played through Di Santo to lash into the top right-hand corner.
The strike had the visiting fans in raptures, although only Al Habsi prevented an immediate response from the hosts.
The Saints pressed forward and after the Oman international punched clear a corner, Fox teed himself up and sent a 25-yard volley that brought a great save from the Wigan keeper.
Apart from that, though, Southampton were looking devoid of ideas and losing possession with alarming regularity.
Long shots were providing Saints' best chances and Lambert would have levelled in the 64th minute had his fierce 25-yard shot not been met by another fine Al Habsi save.
Lallana miscued a shot from resulting corner, before Kone saw a close-range effort denied by Fonte and then substitute Jordi Gomez forced Davis into action minutes after replacing Di Santo.
Saints brought on James Ward-Prowse and Billy Sharp for the last 15 minutes as they pushed for an equaliser, which they came close to as Hooiveld saw a header loop onto the bar.
Kone almost netted at the other end after a neat one-two with Gomez, before Saints returned to the attack and Lallana saw a shot denied at the near post by Al Habsi.
Wigan ensured all three points would return to Lancashire in the 89th minute after Fonte was dispossessed by Kone near the halfway line, who then ran into the box before slotting past Davis while Southampton appealed in vain for a foul.
|Southampton||Team Statistics||Wigan Athletic|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|6||Shots on Target||4|
|6||Shots off Target||4|
|47.2||1st Half Poss.||52.8|
|49.3||2nd Half Poss.||50.7|
Barclays Premier League
|8||West Bromwich Albion||38||49|
|10||West Ham United||38||46|
|20||Queens Park Rangers||38||25|
Southampton v Wigan
Jos Hooiveld insists there is no anxiety at Southampton despite their disappointing start to life back in the Premier League.
Nigel Adkins admits Southampton experienced how 'ruthless' the Premier League can be during a disappointing 2-0 defeat by Wigan.
Roberto Martinez admitted to being 'very, very satisfied' after seeing his Wigan side put in a thoroughly professional performance at Southampton.