West Ham United 2-1 Wigan Athletic
Barclays Premier League (15th v 5th)
Boleyn Ground, Upton Park. Dry 12°C
Preview: Wigan Athletic play their 4th away match in the last five as they head to the capital for a trip to West Ham United, the third time the clubs have met since December. West Ham are looking for their third win on the bounce after turning round an awful run of six straight defeats which has seen them slip to 15th in the table, 8 points above the bottom three. With the top four all playing each other today, the match is a great opportunity for Wigan to keep pace with the Champions League qualifying spots, with Liverpool and Chelsea immediately below them both facing tricky away fixtures themselves.
Pre-match talk was dominated by the news that the West Ham board were contemplating offering an extension to West Ham manager Sam Allerdyce’s contract, which runs out in the summer. Rumour on the wind is that Stoe’s Tony Pulis could be tempted with a move away from the Britannia Stadium.
It’s a rare day of all twenty PL sides playing on the Saturday. In the lunchtime kick-off, leaders Tottenham took a massive step to winning their first title in 52 years by coming from behind to beat 2nd placed Manchester United 2-1 at White Hart Lane, increasing the gap to 6 points with 4 games to go.
Odds and Form:
- SkyBet: 6-4F West Ham, 2-1 Draw, 13-8 Wigan
- West Ham: Home WLLWWW | Overall WWLLLL
- Wigan: Away DWLOLW | Overall DDWLWO
- West Ham: Stephen HENDERSON (ankle), Ricardo VAZ TE and Yossi BENAYOUN (doubtful).
- Wigan: Mauro BOSELLI (back, 5 weeks), Alex SERRANO (concussion).
- Referee: Phil Dowd (19 matches, 95 yellows, 5 reds)
West Ham are unchanged from their 2-1 win at Southampton last weekend, while Wigan make several changes from the side that gifted Norwich a precious point in the final seconds at Carrow Road. Maxime Schenkel makes his 4th start in goal since his January move, while Jordi Gomez also makes his return to the starting XI, behind top scorer John Guidetti. Ben Watson is back in the starting side, swapping from the bench for James McArthur.
SportingLife: “Given the patchy form and low-thrills matches between the two sides so far this season, I can see this fizzling out into a bore draw.”
First Half livetweets from @realtimeFM:
0′ Wigan kick off in their all-black away kit. Referee today is Phat Fill Dowd.
4′ Guidetti beats the offside trap from a gat ball by Watson but can’t keep his shot from 18 down. First effort at goal today.
7′ Diarra barges Gomez in the back as Wigan start to counter, and is the first player to see yellow today.
9′ Some goals going in. Newcastle lead West Brom 1-0, as do Reading over Swansea. Spurs beat Man Utd 2-1 earlier to go 6 pts clear at top.
11′ Glorious chance for Andy Carroll. Nolan feeds an unmarked Collison on the right wing, his first time cross is headed inches over.
12′ Modobo Maïga flings himself to the ground at the feet of Gary Caldwell in the box. Phil Dowd is well-placed and books him for the dive.
16′ 1-0 WEST HAM! Home side take the lead with Noble’s FK being met on the penalty spot by Winston REID who crashes header in off the post.
20′ Jordi Gomez is down inside the penalty area, but West Ham break and are only denied by a fine save by Schenkel, to the jeers of many.
24′ Gomez miscontrols the ball out for a throw and manager GS sends on Franco Di Santo to replace the injured Spaniard.
27′ Ball falls nicely for Garcia, but he hesitates taking the shot and Wigan have to go wider and wider until the chance is lost.
32′ Wigan having lots more of the ball in the final third but can’t test Jaaskelainen.
36′ West Ham carve out their first shot since the goal but it’s tame from Andy Carroll and Maxime Schenkel gets his body behind it.
39′ 2-0! Andy CARROLL rifles home his tenth goal of the season. Ramis deflects the ball into his path, he shrugs off Caldwell and strikes.
45′ McCarthy is inches wide from scoring after a neat turn-and-shot on the penalty spot. Wigan keep pushing but end result not coming yet.
HALF TIME: West Ham 2-0 Wigan Athletic (Reid 16, Carroll 39). Hosts take two of their chances while visitors paying for not creating enough.
Second Half livetweets from @realtimeFM:
Bacon sandwich in hand, and we’re off for the second half. No changes at the break, just that one forced sub after 25 mins for Latics.
50′ Taylor replaces Maïga for the hosts.
51′ Di Santo one-on-one with Jääskeläinen after great work from McCarthy but can’t lift his chip over the diving Finn.
60′ Wigan getting no change from Jääskeläinen today as he tips Guidetti’s header over with a full-stretch save. Latics pressing high.
62′ Shaun Maloney trudges off after a lacklustre hour on the left. He’s replaced by Jean Beausejour.
65′ Reginaldo bursts down the right, evading two flying challenges, and sends a perfect cross for Di Santo to head home. Disallowed for a foul on GK.
70′ Third change for Wigan as McDonald Mariga replaces Ben Watson. West Ham still lead 2-0.
71′ West Ham sub, Collins on for Demel.
72′ Yellow card for Santiago Garcia as he pulls back Collison on half way.
75′ GOAL! Wigan finally make a breakthrough. Garcia’s cross at the second attempt is met by REGINALDO at the far post to volley home. 2-1.
75′ Latest: AV 2-1 Sun, Eve 1-0 Che, New 4-2 WBA, QPR 0-0 Liv, Rea 2-2 Swa, Sou 0-3 Ful, Sto 1-1 Nor, WH 2-1 Wig. Saints DOWN as it stands.
80′ West Ham sub, O’Neil on for Diarra.
85′ Five to go and Wigan management encouraging the players to get forwards. Might have a fourth goal in this yet!
88′ Phil Dowd gives Wigan a questionable free kick 25 yards from goal. Guidetti went down easily. Can they create something here?
88′ Di Santo grazes the top of the crossbar as Caldwell takes the FK quickly. FDS totally unmarked eight yards out, but fails to hit target.
88′ I’ll be honest, I was already celebrating.
90′ Three minutes to be added on.
93′ Maxime Schenkel’s long ball finds Beausejour in the area but he can’t get the ball down cleanly before it’s cleared. That’s probably it.
94′ FULL TIME: West Ham 2-1 Wigan Athletic. Latics pay for failing to hit target despite rally, while West Ham took their chances well.
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