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11 March 2012
• Carrow Road, Norwich, Norfolk
Referee: K. Friend
• Attendance: 26653
W. Hoolahan 10'
V. Moses 68'
All over here at Carrow Road, neither set of fans will be delighted with the result but neither can moan. Wigan's shocking finishing cost them today. Two spills from Ruddy could have been capitalised on to take the lead. Norwich also had their chances but Al-Habsi and his defence were often upto the challenge.
90' + 5'
Yellow Card James McArthur
McArthurgoes into the book. He pulls back Hoolahan as he looks to counter, he knew what he was doing and expected to recieve the card.
90' + 3'
Yellow Card Victor Moses
George Ankers updates us on the scenes at Carrow Road as we come closer to a conclusion: It looks like this is ending in a stalemate as we head into injury time, but Hugo Rodallega goes close to a winner with an acrobatic volley from close range that is not a million miles away. Then Mohamed Diame is forward again on the break but he shoots lamely wide.
Al-Habsi pulls off a stunning save to deny Morison. Jackson is given time on the wing to compose a brilliant cross into the Welshman, he heads low to the keepers right. But Wigan's keeper is alert to react and push it away with a strong hand.
George Ankers tells us about an impressive move from Wigan: Wigan should be in front. Maloney, an impressive substitute, breaks deown the right and crosses onto the penalty spot, but Mohamed Diame, off the bench, puts his volley just over when really he should have buried it.
Norwich win the corner, and a searching delivery into the back post is met by Steve Morison whose header is blocked by Beausejour before it reaches the goal or Al-Habsi.
Pilkington's effort from the set piece is never threatening Al-Habsi as he fails to get any dip on the ball and it ends up going well over.
Yellow Card A. Alcáraz
Jackson fouled again. This time by Alcaraz who shoulder barges the striker just outside the box seeing the Norwich man fly off of his feet. Alcaraz follows McCarthy into the referee's book.
Yellow Card James McCarthy
Simeon Jackson is clinically pulled back by McCarthy who seems to fake injury to try and gain some sympathy from Kevin Friend, but the ref is not being fooled by the wigan player and shows him a yellow card.
George Ankers adds more information to that crunching challenge from Drury: Adam Drury is lucky to still be on the pitch. He is booked for a dreadful tackle in which his raised boot clatters against Moses' leg. Norwich are clearly a little desperate.
Yellow Card Adam Drury
Wigan are looking to take some momentum from that goal as Ruddy has to rush out of his box to meet a ball which is looped inbetween him and his defence. He beats Rodallega to the ball but only knocks it inot the path of Moses. Drury comes in with a challenge though which stops the winger from shooting from distance, a tackle which has earnt him a yellow card.
George Ankers gives us an update from the ground after that equalizer: Wigan finally have what they had been threatening to grab and credit to Shaun Maloney, who finds room under tight marking to slip a piercing through-ball between the defenders. Victor Moses runs on and dribbles around the groping Ruddy, then calmly passes into the net. The Latics have deserved an equaliser - can they now go on to take a vital win?
Assist Shaun Maloney
Goal Victor Moses
MOSES SCORES!!! Maloney's pass coupled with the pace of Victor Moses are enough to get through the middle of the Norwich defence only leaving the winger to skillfully round Ruddy to slot the ball home into an empty net. 1-1
Morison shows great strength to shrug off the challenge of Figueroa as he steams down the wing. He cuts a ball back to Jackson who is not allowed to get a shot away as Alcaraz makes a last ditch tackle.
McCarthy swings a good ball in to a congested Norwich box from the right wing. The ball only finds a group of defenders at the back post but none of them can control and push the ball back towards the penalty spot. Ruddy is happy to see a yellow shirt get to the ball first and pump the ball clear.
Yellow Card Zak Whitbread
George Ankers updates us on a Norwich change: As the goalmouth action slows, Norwich make a change of their own. It hasn't really been Grant Holt's day up front so Steve Morison, who's also having an excellent season, is given half an hour to see what he can do. Paul Lambert probably did need to shake things up just slightly.
Interesting tactic from Martinez, bringing off Jordi Gomez is a bit strange as he seems to be pulling all the strings in Wigan's attack.
Yellow Card Wesley Hoolahan
Hoolahan is also booked for a rash challenge in that melee on McCarthy, Kevin Friend did well to play advantage to Wigan and come back to caution the Norwich man.
The game turns a bit scrappy with a succesion of bad challenges fly in around the middle of the park only one is penalised but the freekick is taken quickly by Wes Hoolahan.
McArthur with a good chance. A one-two with Jordi Gomez and smashed a shot at Ruddy, again the keeper couldn't hold on to it but manages to get up to pounce on the loose ball before any Wigan players could capitalise on the spill.
Early chance! Surman floats in a cross into Holt who looses Figueroa at the back post. His header his powerful across Al-Habsi but flies straight past the post and about 3 yards wide.
Norwich restart this second half, the manager's speech will be vital here as both sides need to step up their game if they are to take anything from this game.
Roberto Martinez will not be completely unhappy with that first half performance all his players will need is a little bit of encouragement to continue on from the first 45. Although Norwich will look to keep the ball as they did in the first 20 minutes.
George Ankers updates us on those final scenes before half time: The visitors keep pushing but just can't find that elusive equaliser. Hugo Rodallega lets fly from outside the penalty box and John Ruddy dives to his right to parry, but he can't control it straight away. Victor Moses closes in but the Norwich goalkeeper just retrieves the ball in time. Wigan go in to half-time behind - but not for lack of trying.
Kevin Friend brings the half to an end with Norwich leading 1-0. Hoolahan's goal seperates the two sides but Paul Lambert will be relieved to be as Wigan have had a host of good chances to equalize. Only a display of poor finishing from the visitors has kept the score as it is.
45' + 1'
Again Ruddy spills. This time it is Rodallega who shot causes the trouble. He is given far to much time on the edge of the box, but Ruddy does well to get down to his right and pushes back into the danger area. Victor Moses follows it up but is under pressure from Surman and fails to get a decent shot off.
Simeon Jackson outpaces the Wigan defence and gets himself into a position to shoot on the edge of the area but his shot is well off target allowing Al-Habsi to watch it sail into the crowd.
Yellow Card Grant Holt
Great chance for Wigan! Gomez again with a shot from distance bounces just infront of the keeper which causes him to spill the ball allowing Rodallega to pick up it up, he turns to shoot but his attempt Balloons over the bar
Jordi Gomez has a pop from 25-yards out, he looks to be shaping to curl it into the top corner but he drills it to Ruddy's left low and hard. His shot is just wide but it looked like the Norwich keeper had it covered.
Emerson Boyce's attempted cross gets a deflection and it is deflected towards goal striking Ruddy's, who was wrong footed, crossbar but fortunately rolls out to the left wing and away from danger.
George Ankers updates us on Grant Holt's penalty appeal: Norwich fans are baying for a penalty but Wigan are relieved for other reasons. Having just had an attack break down, the Latics watch as captain Gary Caldwell seems to just let a long pass go past him, which lets Grant Holt run onto it with plenty of space to make use of. The home skipper turns onto his right foot and aims an almighty shot, but it cannons back off Caldwell inside the box. It's unclear how much of a handball case there is, but at any rate, Wigan are vulnerable if they're not more alert.
A long ball/clearance flies over the Wigan defence and Grant Holt races onto the loose ball. He is sent wide of the box but turns back well to line up a curling shot on target. Gary Caldwell gets in the way and the ball seems to strike his arm. His hand was by his side he didn't intend to do it but it definitely did hit his arm.
Wigan have taken over here at Carrow Road, the last five to ten minutes have taken place largely in the Norwich half. The home side will look to buck this trend to protect thier lead.
Victor Moses makes a cutting run to get onto a good pass from Emerson Boyce, with his first touch he cuts it back to Hugo Rodallega he makes a decent attempt but Ruddy is its equal collecting the ball with a dive to his left.
Norwich are playing a patient game here, keeping the ball and waiting for an opening, which inevitably comes, within the Wigan defence. Some misfortune in the final ball has prevented Norwich from posing a real threat since the goal.
George Ankers comments on Norwich's early dominance in this game: Norwich were in charge before that goal but they're fizzing with energy now. Wes Hoolahan is running between players and causing havoc while David Fox is having an excellent match as the midfield pivot, winning the ball and passing it on with certainty.
McCarthy does well to find Rodallega infront of the Wigan defence, he plays is into Beausejour who has acres of space and he side foots the ball straight into the grasp of Ruddy.
Our man at Carrow Road, George Ankers, updates us on the atmosphere at the ground after the home side make it 1-0: Norwich have reward for a very good few minutes in which they have controlled the game. Ali Al-Habsi's clearance was poor and went out into touch not far up on the right-hand side. Left-back Adam Drury was very quick-thinking in taking the throw straight away to Simeon Jackson in space, who dinked the ball into the area towards Wesley Hoolahan. The Canaries captain was tangled up with Antolin Alcaraz but still managed to poke it over the Paraguayan into the far corner - a lovely finish, though perhaps his marker should have shut him out more definitively.
Assist Simeon Jackson
Goal Wesley Hoolahan
GOOOAAAALLL!!! Hoolahan nicks in to open the scoring. Simeon Jackson dinked in a great ball into Al-Habsi's near post and Wesley Hoolahan does well to get to the ball before three Wigan defenders to prod the ball home from close range.
George Ankers gives us his view on the opening five minutes: It's an even start at Carrow Road as both sides look to find their feet, but it's Wigan who have the first chance in a game that they really must aim to win. Hugo Rodallega's header does not drop far wide and it looks like the visitors are as up for it as they will need to be.
Hugo Rodallega is targeted by Victor Moses and he is found as he leaps to get his head on the cross, but he can't get enough on it to direct it goalwards and it is well wide.
Wigan look to keep possession in the opening stages of this match, passing it around the midfield, but a long ball into Victor Moses is that bit to long giving the winger no chance.
Wigan get this game underway today, lets see what this game has in store for us.
Norwich have only won one of their last five home games this season and will be looking to improve that stat today, but this game may be a bit harder than form suggests. Wigan have to put in a performance today.
George Ankers gives us an update from Carrow Road: Bad omens for Norwich? A group of young mascots have been introduced for a moment of glory on the pitch. The lone Wigan representative is revealed to be a big fan of "Hugo Rodallego" - will the public humiliation of having his name mangled send the Colombian forward into a goal-hungry zen state of anger? We'll find out. After that, though, one of the smaller Canaries mascots bottles his big moment and refuses to come out onto the turf. The home fans will be hoping that their team don't follow his lead and chicken out of a big performance.
Paul Lambert will be hoping to carry on what has so far been a quite impressive season against a struggling Wigan side.
George Ankers who is at the game today updates us ahead of the game: Norwich winger Anthony Pilkington speaking to the matchday programme: "We had a goal at the start of the season and that was to stay in the Premier League and the whole club's been fantastic and shown everyone what we can do. We were favourites to go down at the start of the season with all the bookmakers and the pundits, and everyone jumping on the bandwagon. "I think we're proving everybody else wrong, but we're not proving ourselves wrong because we know we've got the confidence and we know in the changing room we've got the ability to do it. So we're not surprised in ourselves, but we're surprising everyone else, which is a good thing."
Roberto Martinez brings Hugo Rodallega back into the starting line-up after the poor attacking performance from Conor Salmon and Franco Di Santo in thier 2-0 defeat to Swansea.
Wigan Athletic: Al-Habsi; Boyce, Alcaraz, Caldwell, Figueroa; McCarthy, McArthur; Moses, Gomez, Beausejour; Rodallega. Subs: Kirkland, Watson, Di Santo, Maloney, McManaman, Diame, Stam
Norwich City: Ruddy; Naughton, Ward, Whitbread, Drury; Fox; Crofts, Surman; Hoolahan; Holt, Jackson. Subs: Steer, Martin, Johnson, Morison, Pilkington, Bennett, Wilbraham
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's coverage of the Premier League clash between Norwich City and Wigan Athletic. Roberto Martinez's side are desperate to secure some points as his side continue to look more and more likely to be playing Championship football next season.
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