Sunderland's automatic promotion hopes are ebbing away after they were stunned by relegation strugglers Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium.

The Black Cats squandered their game in hand of second-placed Peterborough, who are five points ahead of them, while leaders Hull City are a further three points ahead - albeit Sunderland still have one game in hand of the Tigers.

If Lee Johnson was hoping for a reaction to his side's weekend defeat at home to Charlton Athletic, he will have been left sorely disappointed.

Sunderland started brightly enough and Charlie Wyke ended his five-game goal drought when he put them ahead on the half-hour.

However Sunderland's inability to defend set-pieces - which cost them both goals against Charlton - was again their undoing.

They failed to defend a corner in the first half which allowed Will Keane to equalise just before the break, and then on the hour Callum Lang punished them for more sloppy defending from another corner.

The win was enough to lift Wigan out of the relegation zone, but for Sunderland it was a thoroughly depressing night as the Latics became the first side this season to complete a league double over them.

Lee Johnson made four changes to the side that started against Charlton, although his line-up had to be altered after an injury in the warm-up.

Conor McLaughlin had come in for Carl Winchester, but McLaughlin picked up an injury minutes before kick-off and that meant Bailey Wright - who was back in the squad for the first time since recovering from the calf problem that had kept him out for two months - was promoted to the starting XI.

The other changes saw fit-again Denver Hume make his first start since December, replacing Callum McFadzean, while Jordan Jones came in for Lynden Gooch, and Jack Diamond came into the side in place of Aiden O'Brien.

Wigan boss Leam Richardson made one change to the side that won 4-1 at Doncaster Rovers on Saturday, with Callum Lang replacing Thelo Aasgard.

After an initial flurry from Wigan which saw Lee Burge make comfortable saves from first George Johnston and then Keane, Sunderland took a firm grip on the game.

Following a short corner, Jones put the ball into the box but Wyke's attempted flick did not come off and then Josh Scowen saw his follow-up shot blocked.

Jones was causing Wigan problems down the right and when he was brought down by Luke Robinson, the free-kick was squared for Aiden McGeady 25 yards out and his shot was pushed away for a corner by Jamie Jones.

Sunderland's pressure paid off on 32 minutes as McGeady was afforded space on the right to deliver a precision cross for Wyke, who had peeled away from two defenders to volley home from close range.

Wigan's Funso Ojo had a chance to equalise almost immediately but could only direct a tame header straight at Burge.

And a couple of minutes later McGeady came close to doubling Sunderland's lead, with his free-kick from 25 yards out grazing the roof of the net.

But Wigan finished the half strongly, and Burge had to get down to make a good save from Lang before the Latics made the resulting corner count.

The set-piece found Joe Dodoo at the far post and he kept it alive, with Keane turning to slam the loose ball past Burge from inside the six-yard box.

Chronicle Live has launched a new commenting system, with the aim of generating better conversations and improving everyone's experience of visiting the website.


How can I get involved?
Log on via the interface in the top right-hand corner of the website with your name and email address. Once you verify your email account, you're good to go.


What type of comments are you looking for?
We want balanced and fair comments that are relevant to the story they are written on. We also encourage you to respond to other comments, as long as you do so respectfully.
We'll be switching on a follow button, so if you're interested in one particular story, you'll get an email to your account whenever anyone says something new.
Constructive feedback on articles is also welcomed.

The second half was scrappy, but Wigan went in front on 58 minutes as Sunderland again failed to clear their lines from a corner and when the ball was chipped back into the box it found Viv Solomon-Otabor at the far post and he squared for Lang to turn home.

Johnson made a quadruple substitution as he tried to find a way back into the game, but if anything Sunderland got worse.

Defensively they looked vulnerable every time Wigan came forward and by full-time the only surprise was that the home side had not added a third or even a fourth goal.

Keane and Lee Evans both went close for the Latics but could not hit the target.

Sunderland threw everything forward and had a couple of half-chances, but there were no real scares for the hosts in the closing stages.

How they lined up

WIGAN ATHLETIC: Jones, Darikwa, Johnston, Tilt, Robinson, Ojo, Evans, Lang, Keane (Aasgaard 87), Solomon-Otabor (Whelan 82), Dodoo (Proctor 90). Subs not used: Evans, Clough, Gardner, Long

BOOKED: Keane, Lang, Robinson

SUNDERLAND: Burge, O'Nien, Sanderson, Wright, Hume (Leadbitter 64), Scowen, Power (Stewart 64), Jones (Gooch 64), McGeady, Diamond (McFadzean 64), Wyke. Subs not used: Matthews, Winchester, O'Brien

BOOKED: O'Nien, Scowen

REFEREE: Gavin Ward (Surrey)