Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Norwich 1 Wigan 1

This was a match Wigan Athletic had to win, and it is a match they should have won. That they did not do so, despite dominating for long periods, is likely to prove terminal to their chances of remaining in the Premier League, because included in their next six opponents are Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea.

At the same time the match summed up why Roberto Martínez’s side appear destined for the Championship. Taking only one of at least six outstanding chances represented profligacy of the greatest order.

The manner in which Wigan fell behind spoke volumes. Instead of hoofing the ball as far up field as possible, Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi was trying to pick out one of his players when under no pressure he side-footed a clearance into touch. Norwich then simply reacted more quickly than their opponents, Simeon Jackson running on to Adam Drury’s throw-in and crossing for Wes Hoolahan, having got in front of his marker Gary Caldwell, to somehow steer a volley over the desperately reaching Al-Habsi and into the net.

Wigan’s reaction was impressive, and as always under Martínez, measured. Patiently passing the ball, at times they had City chasing shadows, and they created enough shooting opportunities to have drawn level well before the break. Jean Beausejour shot straight at John Ruddy, as did Hugo Rodallega soon afterwards, Emmerson Boyce saw a cross deflected on to the Norwich bar but Rodallega’s miss two minutes before the break was a bad one. Ruddy could not hold Jordi Gómez’s shot but although Rodallega was first to the rebound, he spooned his attempt to turn the ball past the men on the line high over the bar.

Wigan continued to pile on the pressure in the second half and, with 22 minutes remaining, it told. The man who made the difference was a substitute, Shaun Maloney, who threaded the ball between the Norwich centre-halves to put Victor Moses clear. The former Crystal Palace player dribbled around Ruddy and turned the ball into the empty net.

Both sides had great chances to win the game, Wigan twice through Mohamed Diamé, Norwich twice through Steve Morison. Diamé missed the target both times, while Morison at least forced Al-Habsi to make one outstanding save.

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