Moyes' praise as Everton's good form continues
Wigan Athletic 0 Everton 1
The countdown to derby week on Merseyside already appears to be in full swing. The telephone lines to the local radio stations are crackling with good humoured banter ahead of a 213th meeting between Liverpool and Everton on Saturday.
Just do not expect David Moyes to join in the hyperbole. The game at Anfield is his 18th derby since taking charge at Goodison Park in March 2002. But there is something different about the build-up to this one because rarely have Everton gone into a game against their arch-rivals in such good form.
"I feel as if we've only just starting," said Moyes after Tim Cahill's late winner sealed three points in a tightly contested game at the DW Stadium. "It sounds good on paper [unbeaten in nine Premier League games] but in my head I feel as if we have a lot of ground still to make up.''
Wigan might have won it had their forwards displayed more accuracy in front of goal. Hugo Rodallega and Jason Scotland both missed clear-cut chances before Cahill struck the decisive blow six minutes from time.
Now in his sixth season with the club, it was the 13th time the Australian international has scored a winning goal in a league or cup match for Everton.
How Roberto Martinez must wish he had a Cahill in his side. Wigan deserved something but Martinez's team are flirting with relegation. The Spanish manager has already been busy this month signing defenders Gary Caldwell and Steven Gohouri, as well as securing the services of Serbian keeper Vladimir Stojkovic on loan from Sporting Lisbon.
Yesterday Martinez added more firepower to his side when the club confirmed the arrival of teenage winger Victor Moses from Crystal Palace for £2.5million. "We are giving ourselves big mountains to climb because we can't keep clean sheets," he said.
Wigan Athletic (4-5-1): Stojkovic; Boyce, Bramble, Caldwell, Figueroa; N'Zogbia, Diame (Scharner, 58), McCarthy, Thomas (Gomez, 88), Rodallega; Scotland (Sinclair, 80). Substitutes not used: Koumas, Watson, Amaya, Pollitt (gk)
Everton: (4-5-1): Howard; Neville, Heitinga, Senderos, Baines; Osman, Fellaini, Donovan (Anichebe, 75), Pienaar; Cahill; Saha (Vaughan, 89). Substitutes not used: Nash (gk), Bilyaletdinov, Rodwell, Coleman, Duffy
Referee: L Probert (Gloucestershire)
Booked: Everton Osman, Pienaar
Man of the match: Cahill