Saturday, 31 March 2012

Latics Secure Vital Win

Wigan 2-0 Stoke City 

In what was described this week as a must win game the Latics responsed to the pressure to produce an outstanding performance, and secured back to back victories for the first time this season. 

Roberto Martinez’s men had the DW Stadium rocking, as they secured only their second home victory of the season. The Spaniard decided to stick with the same XI that came back from Anfield last weekend with all three points.

Roberto Martinez 
The Latics were dominant from the outset with the midfield pairing of James McArthur and James McCarthy running the game. Although keep Ali Al Habsi pulled off an outstanding stop to keep out Ryan Shawcross in what was the only clear cut chance that his side were able to muster all afternoon.

Scottish international Shaun Maloney kept up his impressive run of form with a man of the match performance and played an integral part in the opening goal.

His quick thinking from a free kick played through Beausejour who attonded for his earlier sitter with an inch perfect cross which was emphatically met by centre half Antolin Alcaraz. 

The goal was more than the Latics deserved as a result of their dominance and arguably should have had a spot kick as Dean Whitehead handled the ball from McArthur’s shot, but referee Mark Clattenburg waved away the appeals.

Wigan Celebrate Moses' Goal 
At times the play from the home side was delightful and was a real treat for the home fans who have been very patient this season after seeing them only pick up the one victory.

The visitors were left frustrated by being played off the park by Martinez’s men for much of the game and as a result had four players cautioned and were unable to retain possession. 

Martinez tightened things up in the closing stages to ensure that his side secured the crucial victory but in all honesty the result never looked in doubt.

The second goal came on the break as Victor Moses fought hard and chased down what seemed to be a lost cause, as he disposed Andy Wilkinson on the half way line and made his way to goal.

The Nigerian international kept his cool despite attempts to bring him down and slotted home to send the Latics fans into delirium.

Once again results elsewhere have not been kind to Wigan as they remain in the bottom three but now only on goal difference. Tough away trips to London with Chelsea and Arsenal are broken up with the visit of the Manchester United and anything that they can pick up from these games could be crucial. 

Belief is the key and momentum is crucial at this stage of the season and with seven games left to play Martinez will be very confident that he can lead the Latics to the great escape once again.

Wigan Athletic: Al Habsi, Alcaraz, McCarthy, Caldwell (c), Di Santo (Gomez 81), Maloney (Watson 69), Moses, McArthur, Boyce, Beausejour (Sammon 86), Figueroa.
Unused Subs: Kirland, Crusat, Jones, Stam.
Stoke City:
 Begovic, Huth, Wilson, Pennant (Palacios 65), Shawcross (c), Whitehead, Walters (Fuller 65), Crouch, Etherington (Jerome 48), Whelan, Wilkinson.
Unused Subs:  Sorensen, Jones, Upson, Shotton

Attendance: 19,786 

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