Saturday 18 November 2017

McClean explodes into Ireland frame as winger lets loose against Latics

GIOVANNI Trapattoni will be keeping a close eye on James McClean after the 22-year-old bagged his first senior goal in another eye-catching display for Sunderland.

The Derry native has put himself firmly in the Euro 2012 picture with his pace on the left wing, causing problems for Wigan all night in a 4-1 victory at the DW Stadium.

"We played them on the edge of our own box. We knew they couldn't play through us if we were all behind the ball," said Sunderland skipper Lee Cattermole.


"Then we hit them on the attack with our strengths -- the likes of Stephane Sessegnon and James McClean with their pace."

The result took Martin O'Neill's record to 13 points from six games, and he declared the result to be even better than Sunday's 1-0 victory over Premier League leaders Manchester City.

As well as the lack of preparation time, Sunderland are also having to contend with an injury list that has robbed O'Neill of a number of regular starters.

He said: "I thought it was the best result since I arrived. Manchester City was a great win for us, to score in the last minute.

"I accept the adrenaline's still flying with us but to come here and win was a fantastic performance."

After Wigan had dominated the first half, the visitors took the lead in stoppage time via a free-kick awarded by referee Mike Dean for a debatable foul by Ben Watson on Nicklas Bendtner, which Craig Gardner crashed into the top corner from 30 yards.

Wigan pushed forward in numbers in the second half and, although Hugo Rodallega briefly reduced the deficit to 2-1, they were hit on the break three times.

First McClean headed in his first senior goal then Stephane Sessegnon converted Bendtner's cross before David Vaughan ended the evening in style with a 20-yard thunder-bolt 10 minutes from time.

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