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Premier League

  • 4 February 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • The DW Stadium, Wigan
  • Referee: A. Taylor
  • • Attendance: 18340

Wigan Athletic 1-1 Everton: Substitute Victor Anichebe saves Toffees from defeat after Tim Howard blunder

Wigan Athletic 1-1 Everton: Substitute Victor Anichebe saves Toffees from defeat after Tim Howard blunder

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Visitors are forced to come from behind to snatch at point at the DW as the Latics' winless streak continues and they remain rooted to the bottom of the Premier League

On a wintry day in Lancashire Wigan and Everton battled out a 1-1 draw as Victor Anichebe came off the bench to earn his side a point after a bizarre mistake from goalkeeper Tim Howard looked to have gifted the hosts the win.

The game had seemed to be drifting towards a bore 0-0 draw until the 75th minute when a Jean Beausejour cross deflected off Phil Neville and spun past Howard and into the back of the net. It was a terrible mis-calculation by the American who should have easily claimed the ball. However his blushes were spared by substitute Anichebe who rose to head home a Baines cross with his first touch of the match.

Both sides had some good possession and some neat build-up play but neither goalkeeper had much to do as chances were at a premium. One positive for the visiting fans was the performance of Steven Pienaar and the introduction of Nikica Jelavic but neither player was able to inspire the Toffees to victory.

Wigan made one change to the side that were beaten at Tottenham as Ben Watson made way for James McArthur. Franco Di Santo was again given the task of leading the line as Hugo Rodallega returned to the subs bench in place of Conor Sammon.

Everton boss David Moyes made two changes to the side that beat Manchester City, Sylvain Distin returned to the centre of the defence with Phil Neville the man who missed out as he dropped to the bench. Royston Drenthe was the other change as Pienaar made his first start for Everton in his second spell at the club.

The home side settled into the game the quickest and, as is their way, had some good possession in the opening quarter of the game. New signing Jean Beausejour impressed down the left wing but the lack of a presence in the penalty area meant the Latics were unable to take advantage. Steven Pienaar began the game as though he had never left Everton, gliding past challenges and creating chances for Tim Cahill and Denis Stracqualursi, neither of which tested Ali Al Habsi.

New boy | Nikica Jelavic makes his debut but can't find a goal as Everton are held

Wigan's first sight of goal came in the 20th minute when Di Santo was found by a long ball from Maynor Figueroa. The defender played a ball over the top of Distin, the ball hit the defender and dropped nicely for Di Santo but his shot was saved by Tim Howard.

The game was really struggling to find a high tempo as the bitterly cold temperatures began to take effect; chances were at a premium but with five minutes of the half remaining the visitors had the clearest chance of the game. Leighton Baines raced clear down the left with a surging run and from the by-line he pulled a low cross back to Gibson on the edge of the area but unlike his strike in midweek this one flew high over the crossbar.

The second period took a long time to get going as both sides exchanged possession without ever getting into a dangerous position. The introduction of new signing Nikica Jelavic lifted the Everton fans and helped their team raise the tempo but chances continued to be few and far between.

The game was sparked into life in the 76th minute as Wigan were gifted the lead. The Latics spread the ball from right to left and Beausejour's cross hit the foot of Phil Neville and seemed to be rolling into Howard's hands. However the keeper failed to read the spin put on the ball by Neville's touch and it spun past his hands and into the bottom corner.

The Wigan goal forced David Moyes into a substitution and it paid dividends immediately as Anichebe got his side level with a close range header. The striker rose to head in a Baines cross into the back of the net in the 83rd minute and hand both team a share of the points.

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