MATCHDAY: 1st December

Wigan Athletic 0 – 0 West Ham United
DW Stadium, Wigan. Premier League
Saturday 1st December 2012

Real-Time FM manager  GS started his blogging campaign with a Premier League tie hosting West Ham. His Wigan starting XI was unchanged from the recent 1-1 draw with Norwich, lining-up with Al-Habsi in goal; Ramis and Caldwell at centre-back, Boyce and new signing Sergio Garcia as full-backs; across the midfield were Beausejour, McArthur, Gómez, and Klein from left to right; Koné joined top-scorer John Guidetti up-front.

The first-half started brightly for the home side with Wigan earning an early corner, but Jääskeläinen saved smartly at his near post shortly after. A pair of yellow cards for the hosts sandwiched Ivan Ramis heading against the upright from a corner, before the match turned into a niggly affair with the two midfields dominating play. Goalless at half-time, West Ham removed former Wigan man Diame and replaced him with Mark Noble.

The game’s defining moment was when Arouna Koné was dismissed by referee Phil Down ten minutes into the second half for a two-footed lunge on O’Brien. Wigan immediately made two changes with Di Santo and Figueroa replacing Jordi Gomez and Garcia to keep two up front. As per the first half, the match soon petered out into a stop-start affair in the middle of the pitch, briefly bursting into life when Di Santo rattled the post after chasing down a long-ball, before Ricardo Vaz Te repeated the action at the opposite end.

West Ham had the ball in the back of the net as the clocked ticked into the final minute, but Carlton Cole was flagged offside. The 0-0 leaves Wigan in 3rd place, two points ahead of Manchester United who have three games in hand. At the post-match press conference manager GS stated that the needless dismissal of Arouna Koné’s meant he’d have to win back his place in the starting XI after serving a suspension, which the club wouldn’t be appealing.

06′ Wigan win the first corner of the match when Taylor heads Boyce’s long ball down the right behind.

14′ Jääskeläinen is the first keeper called into action when he blocks Boyce’s shot at the near post after a well-worked quick free-kick.

15′ John Guidetti harshly shown a yellow card for a foul when jumping for a header. Been on the end of four fouls himself.

18′ West Ham win their first corner when Andy Carroll’s speculative effort from 20 yards is deflected wide, but it comes to nothing.

22′ Ramis hits the post with a header from a corner after Jordi Gomez’s free-kick is deflected over the bar. Woodwork.

39′ Andy Carroll gets past Caldwell but the Wigan skipper brings him down for their second yellow. West Ham lead the fouls count 11-3.

HT: We’re through 45 minutes here at the DW Stadium and it remains goalless, but Wigan look the more likely to break the deadlock.

HT:  Wigan 0-0 West Ham. Half-time statistics:

HT: West Ham have made a change at half-time. Mark Noble replaces Mohamed Diamé.

55′ Santiago Garcia joins two Wigan team mates in Phil Dowd’s notebook after obstructing Vaz Te. There’s some activity on the bench.

56′ Koné has gone in with two feet on O’Brien and could be in trouble here. Big decision for Phil Dowd to make in front of the benches.

RED CARD! Arouna Koné gets his marching orders for the lunge, and Wigan have some reshuffling to do.

65′ Di Santo and Figueroa replace Jordi Gomez and Garcia for 10-man Wigan. Still goalless.

74′ Andy Carroll outmuscles Caldwell and shoots straight at Al-Habsi, but has taken a knock in the process.

79′ Di Santo hits the post as Wigan try and snatch a late winner. Stam replaces Klein. Vaz Te strikes the woodwork at the opposite end.

80′ After booting James McArthur up the arse for a solid hour, Jack Collison finally becomes West Ham’s first player in the book.

90′ West Ham have the ball in the back of the net, but Carlton Cole has been flagged offside. Game petering out.

Full-Time: Wigan Athletic 0-0 West Ham United.