Santiago Garcia may have won the man of the match award with a superb display at left-back, but Wigan can look to their entire back four for playing a crucial part in ensuring the Latics leave The Hawthorns with all three points. Latics started very brightly, only Foster’s fingertips kept them from a lead inside forty seconds, but the first-half soon petered out into a tit-for-tat affair frequently punctuated by fouls. Both sides ended the half with glorious chances but lacks of composure kept the stalemate at the break.
Arouna Koné scored what was to prove the only goal of the game two minutes after the restart. McDonald Mariga fed the striker who had his back to goal, some 25 yards out. With four touches he’d spun his marker, beaten two defenders and slotted the ball past Foster in off the post. WBA made a change in response and looked shaky against a confident Wigan frontline for the next fifteen minutes until Lukaku and Morrison started to pose threats up front. The longer the half went on, the more the Baggies threw at the Wigan centre-backs, but they held strong as did the wood work on two occasions, and GS’s Wigan climbed up to fifth in the league.
After a fortnight away from the Premier League due to the international break, we’re back with league action live from The Hawthorns as 12th-placed (41pts) West Brom host Wigan who sit 6th (48pts). Every player on both sides reported back fully fit from duty away with their countries and it’s only Wigan’s left winger Shaun MALONEY who’ll sit out the game as he recovers from an ankle injury picked up at the beginning of the month [match report].
- West Bromwich Albion 4-7F
- Draw 5-2
- Wigan Athletic 4-1
Wigan Form: LWOWLO
WBA Team: Full squad.
Wigan Team: Shaun Maloney (ankle), Mike Pollitt (unregistered).
KiCK Magazine: “I fancy West Brom to win this one. The Baggies’ home form hasn’t been the best of late but Wigan haven’t been playing well recently either.”
First Half, livetweets from @realtimeFM:
MATCHDAY: West Brom v. Wigan Athletic. HOME: Foster, Jones Tamas Olsson Ridgewell, Mulumbu Yacob, Bentley Dorrans Brunt, Long.
LATICS: Al-Habsi – Stam, Caldwell, Ramis, Garcia – Mariga, Watson, Reginaldo, Beausejour – Koné, Guidetti.
0′ Howard Webb gets us underway at The Hawthorns. Wigan in their all-red kit kick off.
1′ Wigan attack from the off, and Ben Foster is called upon to make a smart save at the feet of Mariga who’s on the end of Guidetti’s cross.
9′ Game settling down, with few chances since that opening 30 seconds. West Brom have won the first corner of the game.
9′ And promptly the second, but Olsson clambers over his marker and Wigan will clear with the free kick.
12′ A superb fingertip, full-stretch save from Foster denies Guidetti’s header, but the flag goes up on a very tight offside call.
18′ Match becoming broken-up with a succession of fouls. Latest by Wigan right-back Ronnie Stam who barges Brunt off the ball 20 yards out.
20′ Arouna Koné hauled down by Olsson. He’s 40 yards from goal and running onto a through ball. Now, was there a covering defender?
20′ Howard Webb says yes there was; the card is yellow.
20′ Spot of afters too, and Liam Ridgewell joins his teammate in the book. Free kick ends wide of Foster’s goal.
30′ Half hour played, very even here. Neither side pressing. A kitten dies every time Reginaldo cuts inside instead of beating his man.
32′ The ball ricochets around the Wigan area, and Dorrans pounces unmarked but can’t steer the ball home from 8 yards out.
34′ Santiago Garcia clears a through ball with an acrobatic overhead kick and Wigan manager GS drops his mug of tea in surprise. Wet.
39′ Tamas having a great game in the centre of the WBA defence. Since an early chance, Guidetti isn’t getting a sniff of the ball.
41′ Watson dives towards the area, plays a neat 1-2 with Guidetti before slipping the ball to Mariga who slams against the crossbar from 18.
45′ Gary Caldwell cautioned for a trip on Tamas. I’d say it was cynical but I don’t think he’s that clever.
HALF TIME: West Brom 0-0 Wigan Athletic
Second Half, livetweets from @realtimeFM:
46′ West Brom kick off the second half, 0-0. Hosts made a change at the break with Morrison replacing Bentley.
47′ 1-0 WIGAN! Arouna KONÉ receives the ball, back to goal 25 yards out, spins, drops shoulder, jinks past two and knocks in off the post.
49′ West Brom make a change in the wake of Wigan’s opening goal. Lukaku replaces Dorrans.
54′ John Guidetti drills the ball home, but the flag is up against Koné. Correct call, all four of Wigan’s attackers yards behind the line.
58′ Chris Brunt underhits a back pass and Koné is first to it. A smart save forces the corner, where Watson’s header is cleared off line.
63′ Lukaku creating chances for WBA since coming on. He’s inches wide after a neat control and volley from Morrison’s deep cross.
65′ First change for Wigan. James McCarthy replaces McDonald Mariga (who was cautioned moments ago).
72′ Alex Serrano replaces John Guidetti, Wigan’s second sub.
80′ WBA attacking with pace, but lacking the end product in the final third. Wigan defending well, looking to make their third change soon.
83′ Ian Evatt replaces Jean Beausejour for Wigan. Latics go narrow and compact across the back.
85′ West Brom throwing everything at Wigan now, whose centre backs are heading out of the area well.
86′ Wigan force a corner but WBA clear and hoof a long ball to Lukaku. He’s clean through, 40 yards out, chased down by Stam…
86′ …who makes up the ground and puts in a last-ditch challenge which goes for a corner. Sprint.
87′ West Brom hit both Wigan posts within 10 seconds of each other. Long drills the left, Lukaku clips the second before Morrison fouls GK.
90′ Three minutes added time. Wigan just about hanging on in there.
90+3′ Arouna Koné has a chance to seal it, but he takes the shot first time and balloons it. Valuable time wasted, though.
FULL TIME: West Brom 0-1 Wigan Athletic. Wigan up to fourth (before Arsenal’s evening kick-off), West Brom will stay twelfth.
Latics hold on under late pressure, game won by Koné’s moment of magic just after the break.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Santiago Garcia (8.30)
- Arsenal 2 – 0 Norwich City
- Fulham 2 – 2 Aston Villa
- Manchester United 2 – 1 Queens Park Rangers
- Reading 1 – 0 West Ham United
- Southampton 0 – 3 Tottenham Hotspur
- Swansea City 1 – 1 Everton
- West Bromwich Albion 0 – 1 Wigan Athletic
- Sunderland – Newcastle United (SUN)
- Liverpool – Stoke City (MON)
Next Fixture: h v. Arsenal (Premier League) 06.04.13