Latics cruised through to the Quarter Finals with a controlled display against Swansea City at the DW Stadium. Mauro Boselli broke his duck and Ben Watson scored a penalty as Wigan Athletic bagged their place in the hat for the next round.

CARLING CUP 4th ROUND – DW STADIUM – Tuesday 26th October 2010
Bosselli 51
Watson 90 (pen)

After a 15 minute delay in the kick off, due to traffic problems Swansea City looked quite confident on the ball passing it around the back line quite well and to be fair Latics let them do it rather than chase shadows.

But even though they had lots of early possession, they seemed to lose all ideas as they crossed the half way line and met a more powerful and skilful midfield that would allow them the time on the ball they craved.

Hendry Thomas had possibly his best game of the season as he took no prisoners and halted all the Swans could muster, but the style of play was very Martinezesque and although the banners saying Judas were in the away end for all to see, what was also apparent was the legacy he has left them.

Swansea will find themselves cruising through the Championship with that style of football, but as Roberto has found, the Premier League is a different beast and good teams will eventually break through if there is no plan ‘B’ or ‘C’.

The first half was a very tight affair with both teams knocking it around, but it was always Latics that looked more likely to score. Unfortunately our efforts were either long range or we were trying to walk it in and so didn’t really stamp our mark.

The team of course was massively different to the one that was unlucky just to draw against Bolton at the weekend and sometimes the lack of understanding between the non-regulars showed.

We could have had a half time lead though as Gomez and Watson both had free kicks in very promising positions that came to nothing. Boselli only had the Swans keeper to beat or chip, but was thwarted by the keeper’s last gasp save with his legs.

Diame, Gomez and Moses all had shots on offer to them, but direction and/or power let them down with the goal beckoning. Swansea did give us a scare as Van der Gun beat the off side trap and charged through on goal.

When it came to being one on one with Al Habsi he elected to pass to Beattie unaware that he was still off side from the original ball through and although the ball was put in the net it was quite rightly ruled out.

Half time came and we looked quite good, but in the back of our minds we were hoping that our missed efforts weren’t going to come back and haunt us.

The second half got under way with Latics dictating the pace and the play. It was only six minutes in that we got the break through, Antolin Alcaraz split the defence to send Mauro Boselli through on goal.

The Argentinian striker had no intensions of passing this and cleverly jinked around the keeper and slotted home for his first competitive goal of the campaign. This seemed to raise the tempo of the game as Latics then bombarded the Swansea defence.

Ben Watson, Jordi Gomez and Maynor Figueroa went very close with free kicks as the Swans discipline started to go. Boselli shaved the post when he had a free header from a Gomez corner, he really should have doubled his tally there.

Charles N’Zogbia came into the game well and had a shot blocked and one saved, but as the half wore on, we seemed to invite our visitors to come at us with the same dividends as in the first half where they just couldn’t get through our defence.

I say that, they did give us a couple of scares when we went to sleep. Stephen Dobbie had the best chances for Swansea, but Ali Al Habsi was there to cover up, making good saves on the line. It was for Latics to have the final say though as N’Zogbia was put through.

The French midfielder went on a mazy run that got him in position to shoot only for him to be tumbled over by Orlandi. Ben Watson stood and took the resulting penalty and slotted it with power in the bottom left hand corner.

2-0, job done and through to the next round. Only one loss in ten now and things are certainly looking better than they did in August. With Boselli breaking his duck let’s see if he can transfer that into the League and see if we can get some distance between us and the bottom three.

It is too early to think about Wembley, but wouldn’t it be great.

Cockney Latic Man of the Match: Hendry Thomas
Referee: Keith Friend (Leicestershire)
Attendance: 11,705
26 Ali Al Habsi 25 Yves Ma-Kalambay
23 Ronnie Stam 3 Neil Taylor
5 Gary Caldwell 5 Alan Tate
3 Antolin Alcaraz 22 Angel Rangel
31 Maynor Figueroa 17 Albert Serran
21 Mohamed Diame 8 Darren Pratley
6 Hendry Thomas 26 Kemy Agustien
14 Jordi Gomez 11 Cedric van der Gun
8 Ben Watson 30 Marvin Emnes
11 Victor Moses 9 Craig Beattie
9 Mauro Boselli 7 David Cotterill
1 Chris Kirkland 1 Dorus de Vries
13 Steven Caldwell 16 Garry Monk
10 Charles N’Zogbia 10 Andrea Orlandi
28 Daniel de Ridder 24 Joe Allen
7 Franco Di Santo 14 Stephen Dobbie
16 James McArthur 21 Scott Sinclair
20 Hugo Rodallega 12 Nathan Dyer
19′     Player Off Albert Serran
Player On Garry Monk
26′ Yellow Card Antolin Alcaraz    
29′     Yellow Card Alan Tate
45′     Player Off Kenny Agustien
Player On Andrea Orlandi
51′ GoalMauro Bosselli    
61′     Yellow Card Garry Monk
62′     Player Off Craig Beattie
Player On Stephen Dobbie
66′ Player Off Jordi Gomez
Player On Charles N’Zogbia
70′     Yellow Card Neil Taylor
78′ Player Off Mauro Bosselli
Player On Franco di Santo
90′     Yellow Card Andrea Orlandi
90′ Goal Ben Watson (pen)    

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