It was a great chance for Wigan Athletic to escape the bottom three today only for ex-Latic favourite Leighton Baines to score a late penalty to deny us three points. Charles N’Zogbia scored a blinder in a game in which Tim Howard was man of the match and needed to be.


Charles N’Zogbia (21)

Leighton Baines (78)

Yet again I have to have a whinge at the referee, so I’ll get it over with early. How it took seven fouls apiece for Jack Rodwell and Tony Hibbert to make it in to the book is beyond me as they were just two of the more persistent culprits in the Everton side.

Both players did more than enough to earn two, three or four yellows in this game and you could see the frustration in the Latics team as they got away with more and more fouls without cards being brandished.

To their credit though, Wigan were superb for the vast majority of this game, restricting Everton to very few opportunities whilst having more than enough themselves to kill the game off. Tim Howard pulled off a man of the match performance to see Everton go home with the spoils.

Hugo Rodallega was sent through on goal within the first two minutes but he didn’t keep his head an shot wide when one on one with the keeper. Charles N’Zogbia was well up for the cause and he had a shot saved from the edge of the area early on.

This just served as a practise when a few minutes later he got on the end of a great lob over the defence by James McCarthy, the Frenchman had a shout for a penalty but instead got up on his feet turned and curled the ball past the Toffees goalkeeper.

Everton did step up their game after the goal but couldn’t breach the Latics midfield or defence until 10 minutes before the break, Charles N’Zogbia glanced Osman who duly dove to the floor to grab a penalty.

Ali Al Habsi had had nothing to do so far in the game, but he was aware enough to stand tall and guess the right way to pull off a great save from Mikel Arteta and it gave Latics the belief that this game could be theirs.

To put my earlier whinge in to perspective, as Rodwell, Hibbert, Baines and Neville were all giving fouls away with no punishment; Diame came off worse in a 50/50 challenge to receive a yellow card and had to be substituted through his injury.

Phil Neville and three or four other Everton players were a disgrace as they berated the referee for stopping the game to allow the substitution. Emmerson Boyce and Charley both had chances to see us go 2-0 up at half time, but both times Howard thwarted their efforts.

James McArthur started the second half chances but was blocked by Distin, before Tom Cleverley’s dangerous cross was punched to safety by the Everton stopper. Zog had to go off injured but ably replaced by Victor Moses who sent a header wide of the target almost immediately.

Moses was denied by a great save from Howard after a free kick from Boyce, he was then holding his head again as he had a shot saved from the resulting corner by Ben Watson. Latics were really pushing for the second goal but cross after cross was dealt with by the Everton back line.

The sting came when against the run of play, Hugo Rodallega gave the Toffees a penalty by hand balling in the area and Leighton Baines stepped up and made no mistake this time. The game finished with Rodallega having a trio of chances.

His first was nice shot from the edge of the area, saved by Howard. The second was even closer in but the Columbian’s shot was wide of the target. The third was the chance of the game as a Di Santo shot was parried into his path and he managed to put the ball over the bar from 6 yards with an open goal in front of him.

It wasn’t the result we deserved, but it is another point on the board ahead of our trip to Aston Villa, where a similar performance will hopefully see us get our just rewards. Although it won’t be an easy task, getting anything from next week’s game would go a long way to relieving the pressure ahead of the WHU game.

Cockney Latic Man of the Match: Emmerson Boyce
Referee: Lee Mason
Attendance: 17,051
26 Ali Al Habsi 24 Tim Howard
17 Emmerson Boyce 6 Phil Jagielka
5 Gary Caldwell 15 Sylvain Distin
3 Antolin Alcaraz 3 Leighton Baines
31 Maynor Figueroa 2 Tony Hibbert
21 Mohamed Diame 18 Phil Neville
10 Charles N’Zogbia 10 Mikel Arteta
4 James McCarthy 26

Jack Rodwell

20 Hugo Rodallega 21 Leon Osman
8 Ben Watson 17 Tim Cahill
15 Tom Cleverley 28 Victor Anichebe
1 Chris Kirkland 1 Jan Mucha
16 James McArthur 23 Seamus Coleman
2 Steve Gohouri 34 Shane Duffy
18 Connor Sammon 7 Diniyar Bilyaletdinov
14 Jordi Gomez


Jermaine Beckford
11 Victor Moses 27 Apostolos Vellios
7 Franco Di Santo 19 Magaye Gueye
21′ Goal Charles N’Zogbia    
39′ Yellow Card Mohammed Diame    
44′ Player Off Mohammed Diame
Player On James McArthur
53′ Player Off Charles N’Zogbia
Player On Victor Moses
58′     Yellow Card Tony Hibbert
66′     Player Off Tim Cahill
Player On Seamus Coleman
66′     Player Off Mikel Arteta
Player On Jermaine Beckford
78′     Goal Leighton Baines (penalty)
79′ Player Off Tom Cleberley
Player On Franco Di Santo
81′     Yellow Card Jack Rodwell
82′     Player Off Victor Anichebe
Player On Magaye Gueye
87′ Yellow Card Maynor Figueroa    

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