Everton 3-1 Wigan

By Emlyn BegleyBBC Sport
Everton's Apostolos Vellios (centre) celebrates scoring his side's second goal
Vellios' goal was in his fifth substitute appearance for Everton

Apostolos Vellios and Royston Drenthe scored their first goals in English football to help give Everton a valuable victory against Wigan.

Wigan scored the opener when Franco Di Santo cut in and saw his shot from an angle deflected in by Tony Hibbert.

But, just seconds later, Phil Jagielka equalised with a close-range header.

Vellios put the hosts in front with another header before fellow substitute Drenthe calmly slotted home from the edge of the area in injury time.

Moyes pleased with new signings

Most of the talk before the game had been about Everton's selection up front, with midfielder Tim Cahill - who has not scored for the club in 2011 - being named as the sole striker and Louis Saha not even making the bench.

It certainly looked as if that would continue to be a talking point after the game before Everton were rescued by Vellios and Drenthe.

But Wigan now have striking concerns of their own after Hugo Rodallega was carried off on a stretcher and boss Roberto Martinez fears he could be out for "weeks or months".

Everton started brightly though with Jack Rodwell firing wide from Seamus Coleman's pullback.

Wigan striker Rodallega was caught offside twice in the first seven minutes as the Latics struggled to get behind the hosts' defence.

Everton could have taken the lead when Coleman's header from Leighton Baines's cross was touched wide by Latics keeper Ali Al-Habsi.

The Toffees were making positive runs from midfield, with Leon Osman and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov instrumental, but they were lacking a cutting edge as Cahill and Bilyaletdinov both saw crosses drift across an empty box.

Di Santo had a chance for the Latics but he fired high and wide after a surging run which came about when Everton's Marouane Fellaini slipped and lost possession on the halfway line.

Australia international Cahill has been struggling in front of goal for his side lately and managed to deny one of his own team-mates a chance when he got in the way of Fellaini's goalbound shot.

Down at the other end seconds later, Di Santo was in but Hibbert put in a fine tackle when the Argentine was pulling the trigger.

But Di Santo could not be denied forever. After heading towards the corner flag he suddenly turned direction and fired home courtesy of a deflection.

Wigan's joy was short-lived, though, and Jagielka scored after Cahill's header from Osman's corner hit the crossbar and the rebound landed to the defender to head home from close range.

Nineteen-year-old Greek striker Vellios was introduced for Coleman and could have scored immediately but his weak shot rolled through to Al-Habsi, when he could perhaps have sent Osman through instead.

Martinez concern for Rodallega

Patrick van Aanholt had a chance to fire Wigan ahead but his rising shot from the edge of the area flew just over Howard's crossbar.

And he was made to regret it when Vellios got on the scoresheet with a well-directed header from 14 yards out from Hibbert's inch-perfect cross.

Wigan had a great chance straight away but Dave Jones's lofted shot hit the woodwork.

And Drenthe put the matter to bed from the edge of the area after being sent clear through on goal.

Everton boss David Moyes:

"I thought we played well in the first half but ran out of ideas. We made some changes and for periods it didn't look like it would work but today it did.

"The last goal is an old fashioned kick up the pitch but you take any goal as they are hard to come by and Wigan were pressing.

"All I was thinking about today was the three points. I think we deserved it but we can play better."

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez:

"We knew we'd have to compete and deal with crosses and set plays. Everton will feel they scored two easy goals.

"I was extremely proud of the performance. You cannot be a soft touch at places like Goodison Park but if you are going to lose, this is the way to do it.

"At the start of the season, I would take a good performance over the result.

"It was his [Rodallega's] knee. It doesn't look good. He could be out for a few weeks if not months."

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