A tremendous draw for a Wigan Athletic team that showed that they are now bonding together very well, with a bit more luck we could well have taken all 3 points from this game.

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE – St. Andrews – Saturday September 25th 2010

Wigan started the brighter of the two teams which on paper looked evenly matched. Charles N’Zogbia was the subject of a barrage of abuse from the home fans but N’Zogbia seemed to take it on the chin and take the game to Birmingham.

A scrappy first fifteen minutes saw both sides concede a number of free kicks which in turn slowed the game almost to a stand still. It seemed as if one team was making progress a needless foul was given away in which the resulting free kick was cleared without hesitation.

In the opening exchanges both teams flirted in front of goal. Ronnie Stam, James McCarthy and Hugo Rodallega fired shots goal ward but nothing was coming of the early Latics pressure.

Ali Al Habsi looked solid once again in the Wigan goal commanding his area when crosses and corners came in and had very little to do. The Wigan back line looks a lot more resolute now and the confidence really shows as the back line can pass the ball around with ease.

Birmingham ended the half the stronger. Sebastian Larson, who had been a threat all game swung a free kick in to the area and Roger Johnson was unlucky to miss the target from inside the area, which would of given the hosts a half time lead.

The half ended on a bizarre note. A free kick, once again from Larson, was swung into the area and as it fell was saved and sat on by Al Habsi. Wigan were defiantly doing whatever they could to preserve a hard fort nil nil score line.

Wigan began the second half full of intent. N’Zogbia and Stam continued to prove a thorn in Birmingham’s side but alas nothing was paying off infront of goal.

Martinez brought Di Santo on for Stam which saw Wigan up the tempo and take the game to Birmingham. Wigan had endless counter attacks which Birmingham couldn’t deal with. The pace of Di Santo, McCarthy and Rodallega was proving too much for the Birmingham defence and it was looking as if Wigan were going to make the break through.

The game looked destined for a draw as the teams entered the final ten minutes but then came a turning point. Craig Gardener saw red for a reckless challenge on Franco Di Santo which saw the ace leave the field to be replaced by Victor Moses. Gardener had gone in over the top of the ball and had won nothing but poor Di Santo’s leg.

Wigan continued to press but lacked that killer touch in front of goal. However it was promising that since Hartlepool, Wigan have only conceded 3 goals, two of which came against the might of Manchester City so things are definitely looking up for Wigan. All that Wigan now need to do is find the back of the net.

Match Report by Simon Gregory


Cockney Latic Man of the Match: Ali Al Habsi
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)
Attendance: 22,186
26 Ben Foster 26 Ali Al Habsi
2 Stephen Carr 17 Emmerson Boyce
5 Roger Johnson 3 Antolin Alcaraz
6 Liam Ridgewell 2 Steve Gohouri
15 Scott Dann 31 Maynor Figueroa
4 Lee Bowyer 21 Mohamed Diame
12 Barry Ferguson 10 Charles N’Zogbia
22 Alexander Hleb 4 James McCarthy
8 Craig Gardner 23 Ronnie Stam
7 Sebastian Larsson 6 Hendry Thomas
10 Cameron Jerome 20 Hugo Rodallega
1 Maik Taylor 1 Chris Kirkland
28 Martin Jiranek 13 Stephen Caldwell
18 Keith Fahey 12 Franco Di Santo
19 Nikola Zigic 15 Jordi Gomez
9 Kevin Phillips 8 Ben Watson
14 Matt Derbyshire 11 Victor Moses
23 Jean Beausejour 9 Mauro Boselli
31′ Yellow Card Roger Johnson    
31′     Yellow Card Hugo Rodallega
40′     Yellow Card Ronnie Stam
45′     Yellow Card Steve Gohouri
59′     Player Off Ronnie Stam
Player On Franco Di Santo
61′ Player Off Lee Bowyer
Player On Nikola Zigic
61′ Player Off Alexander Hleb
Player On Jean Beausejoir
68′ Yellow Card Scott Dann    
78′ Player Off Cameron Jerome
Player On Kevin Phillips
81′     Player Off Mohamed Diame
Player On Ben Watson
89′ Red Card Craig Gardener    
89′     Player Off Franco Di Santo
Player On Victor Moses

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