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1 September 2012
• The DW Stadium, Wigan
Referee: M. Atkinson
• Attendance: 16247
S. Maloney 5'
F. Di Santo 49'
J. Walters 40'
P. Crouch 76'
Stoke's aerial bombardment proved too much for Wigan over the 90 minutes, with Maynor Figueroa looking uncomfortable on occasion at centre back and being bested by Peter Crouch on two occasions when he conceded a penalty for hand ball in the first half and was beaten in the air for the second goal. However the Roberto Martinez' side demonstrated some excellent approach play on occasion, especially down the left flank in the first half when the Latics forced Tony Pulis into an early change in taking off Andy Wilkinson. Arouna Kone and Franco Di Santo appear to be forming a dangerous partnership up front, each combining power with technique to give their side's possession-based game a potent outlet. Di Santo's hold-up play was prominent in the first half and helped force the penalty for the opening goal, while Kone's pace was instrumental in setting up the Argentine for their second. Defensive lapses however meant that Stoke's persistence was rewarded with an equaliser and Wigan have to settle for a point.
Alex Fisher Live at the DW Stadium: "Referee Martin Atkinson brings an entertaining game to a close and it's finished 2-2 at the DW between Wigan and Stoke. Wigan dominated large parts of the game and looked very dangerous going forward, however there was some poor defending that gifted Stoke a way back into the game. Tony Pulis' decision to change his formation midway through the first half was a master stroke and enabled his side to get back into the game, and Peter Crouch scored a trademark header to rescue a point for the Potters. Charlie Adam thought he was going to win the game for his new side but Ali Al Habsi somehow turned his deflected free kick around the post."
It's FULL TIME at the DW Stadium. It's been an engrossing encounter as Stoke managed to fight back after Wigan took the lead on two occasions.
90' + 3'
Wigan camp outside the Stoke box and pass the ball between them but are unable to work the ball into the penalty area and Stoke eventually clear.
90' + 1'
Miyaichi darts onto a through ball on the right edge of the box, but Shawcross times his tackle well to slide in and take the ball despite the home side's appeal for a penalty.
Al-Habsi confidently claims a bouncing ball and makes sure it doesn't find its way to Cameron Jerome in the box.
David Jones attempts to make his way through the Stoke defence on the edge of the box but the Potters avoid giving a late penalty and clear.
It's been an outstanding game at the DW Stadium and Wigan are still attempting to build moves for a winner, but Stoke look dangerous with long balls having three powerful forwards to match the Latics' back three in the air.
Walters swings a ball from the left touchline right footed into Jerome at the back post, whose acrobatic effort flies over.
Al-Habsi demonstrates outstanding reflexes to pull off a save after Adam's freekick deflects horrendously off the head of Caldwell in the centre of the box. The Omani was wrong-footed as Adam's freekick aimed for the top right corner but was headed in the opposite direction after the captain got his head to it. The deflected shot retained its original power but somehow Al-Habsi managed to readjust and get the firm right hand needed to tip the ball round his right post.
The tiring Maloney gives away freekick in front of his own box.
Jerome breaks down the left flank and shoots for Al-Habsi to save. Crouch is first to the rebound but Caldwell heroically dives in to block.
Miyaichi passes to Kone and receives the ball back again before attempting to thread through Watson on the edge of the box, winning a corner, but DAvid Jones' disappointing corner is cleared.
Kone gets through the Stoke defence on the left side of the box but is unable to find a teammate as his low ball is cut out.
Franco Di Santo
The Argentine has put in a good shift and comes off for on-loan winger Miyaichi.
Kone gets one on one with Ryan Shawcross on the left flank, who holds him up and retreats all the way to his own box before the Ivorian shoots wide of the left post.
A like for like change as Roberto Martinez brings on fresh legs in the centre of the park with Ben Watson.
Assist Jonathan Walters
Goal Peter Crouch
Crouch equalises for the Potters! A long throw from the left wing bounces over Cameron Jerome who distracts his marker, before Walters hooks the ball back into the box and Crouch climbs above Figueroa to head in.
Tony Pulis replaces the nous and technical ability of Michael Kightly with the power and pace of 6'3'' Cameron Jerome. The bombardment will continue.
Geoff Cameron finds John Walters running down the left side of the box with a long ball, but the forward is unable to connect as he dives towards the ball attempting to finish.
Gary Caldwell bailed his team out after the Latics almost threw away all their work giving the ball away in their own half, steaming into clear before the return ball went to Kightly, who finished neatly but was offside.
Peter Crouch heads down from a left wing cross into Michael Kightly, who rushes his attempt and blasts over the top left corner.
The game has been played at a high tempo for most of the 70 minutes so far, but it is starting to calm down as Stoke contain Wigan attacks better before launching their own through long balls.
McArthur miscontrols the ball allowing Stoke to break, but Caldwell nips in to clear the ball.
Di Santo is fouled by Huth and stays down while Stoke attack. He appears to recovered ok after treatment.
Maloney flickers into life as he picks the ball up on the left edge of the box. He first lays the ball off for David Jones and then when his shot was blocked, picked up the ball and showcased great control in tight spaces to dribble through the Stoke defence and work the ball to Boyce, who blasts his shot wide of the right post.
Maloney finds Di Santo with a long ball and the Argentine holds the ball up for Kone as the Latics retain possession in Stoke's half.
Kone again menaces the Stoke defence on the left edge of the box before passing to David Jones who thumps in a shot which is blocked.
McArthur controls and clears the ball in his own box after Crouch is unable to control Cameron's throw.
Di Santo works a one two with Kone on the right edge of the box before attempting to advance beyond the centre backs, however his touch is too heavy. The pair have combined well so far in attack, although Shaun Maloney has faded as the frenetic match has gone on.
It's end to end stuff at the DW and Kone picks up the ball on the counter on the left edge of the box, He evades challenges as he moves into the box and calmly looks up to find a teammate to finish, but his low pass rolls behind his teammates.
Wigan hurriedly cleared the ball and Arouna Kone looked to force an error from Robert Huth as he watched the flight of the ball, but the German remained solid.
Stoke are piling on the pressure as a left wing cross from Marc Wilson is flicked out for a goal kick.
Maynor Figueroa has been uncomfortable before at centre back and gives the ball away in his own half, allowing Stoke to break dangerously.
Adam works a freekick in tandem with Marc Wilson to time the flight of his ball to Peter Crouch in space in the box, and his looping header travels narrowly over the top left corner. He is offside however.
Yellow Card James McArthur
James McArthur is yellow carded after reacting to a strong challenge from Charlie Adam with a firm tackle in response.
Yellow Card Dean Whitehead
Walters cuts inside onto his right foot and shoots wide of the left post
Assist Arouna Kone
Goal Franco Di Santo
Franco Di Santo scores for Stoke after excellent work from Arouna Kone! Stoke swung a freekick for Crouch to knock down from the back post, but Di Santo cleared to Kone on the right flank who he advanced into the Stoke box before Marc Wilson caught up with him as he shaped to shoot. The opportunity looked to have been lost, but Di Santo had run up the length of the pitch to join him and when the Ivorian rolled the ball to him inside from the right of the box, the Argentine finished neatly first time into the bottom left corner.
David Jones swings a looping ball to the far post well over the massed ranks of giants in the box, but the recipient heads well over the bar.
Franco Di Santo this time appears down the right channel, and helps win a corner in conjunction with wing back Emmerson Boyce.
Stoke get the second half underway at the DW Stadium.
The hosts started in an excellent fashion, holding possession in long stretches and building some excellent moves down the left flank through Jean Beausejour's intelligent wing play and Franco Di Santo's ability to hold-up the ball. Stoke enjoyed some threatening breaks through long balls to Peter Crouch however and improved greatly after Pulis introduced Charlie Adam in place of right back Andy Wilkinson. Geoff Cameron moved further back from his role on the right of midfield as the Potters moved closer to having three centre backs in the form of Robert Huth, Ryan Shawcross and Marc Wilson, and Franco Di Santo was no longer such an outlet on the left edge of the box.
Half time and it's 1-1 at the DW Stadium! Alex Fisher Live: Half time at the DW and it's all level thanks to two penalties following two needless handballs. Wigan began the game on top, their neat passing style was difficult for Stoke to get near too but the visitors gifted them an opening goal when Robert Huth handballed, Shaun Maloney made no mistake. Tony Pulis changed things for Stoke and they clawed their way back in to the game when Maynor Figueroa handballed and Jon Walters scored from the spot,.
45' + 1'
Arouna Kone gets a one on one on the left edge of the box, but is dispossessed before Begovic launches the ball up the pitch.
Yellow Card Marc Wilson
Marc Wilson receives a yellow card for a foul on Shaun Maloney, after the referee had played advantage to allow Wigan to continue their attack.
Wigan end the half with a spell of pressure in the Stoke half, culminating in a dangerous flighted ball from the right wing from James McArthur.
Alex Fisher Live: After a poor start Stoke have made some changes to their formation and introduced Charlie Adam, and credit to Tony Pulis because they have posed much more of a threat. And they have their reward as Maynor Figueroa needlessly handballs inside his penalty area, Jon Walters made no mistake from the spot and it's all level at the DW.
Wilson meets the corner at the near post and heads well over the bar, perhaps not realising how close he was to the goal. It was a good chance.
Marc Wilson scares the hosts after his driven shot is awkwardly deflected and narrowly flies over the top left corner.
Penalty Goal Jonathan Walters
Walters accurately strokes the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal past keeper Al-Habsi.
Figueroa concedes a penalty to Stoke after Peter Crouch juggles the ball on the edge of the Stoke box with his back to goal, eventually loking to move past the Honduran.
Adam whips a freekick low around the left of the wall and triggers a chaotic goal mouth scramble, in which the ball is eventually cleared.
Maynor Figueroa fouls Dean Whitehead outside the right edge of the Wigan box after being slow to react to a 50-50. He appeals for a penalty but new substitute Charlie Adam steps up for the freekick.
Tony Pulis readies Charlie Adam for a substitution in place of right back Andy Wilkinson, who has been unable to stem the flow of attacks originating from Beausejour and then David Jones and moving through the excellent hold-up play of Franco Di Santo.
Stoke come under pressure as Wigan find Di Santo on the left edge of the box. The Argentine holds the ball up and finds Kone on the edge of the penalty area, who looks wide for Emmerson Boyce before the move breaks down.
Geoff Cameron strikes a powerful right footed shot wide of the right post after Wigan stand off a bit too far,
Di Santo displays a brilliant combination of strength and technique to hold off heavy pressure inside the Stoke half before calmly passing out wide where the move continues. Demoralising for the Potters.
Walters cynically jumps in to Wigan keeper Ali Al-Habsi, and although the ball rolls in to the net drawing a cheer from the crowd no on is fooled.
Depressingly Jean Beausejour's afternoon appears to be over after he looks to have sprained something. The Chilean has displayed excellent decision making out on the left flank and is replaced by the left footed midfielder David Jones.
Wigan are temporarily down to ten men as Beausejour goes down for treatment, and James McCarthy halts a promising attack down the left flank in order to retain possession.
Crouch wins a header at the back post and although his teammate reaches the ball first he is unable to volley home. It does show however that Stoke can score at any moment with the giant Crouch around.
Chance for Wigan who are enjoying the afternoon. Jean Beausejour picks the ball up on the left wing and displays excellent understanding with Franco Di Santo rolling a through ball to the Argentine for him to chip a ball to Boyce at the back post. Boyce is unable to get a clean connection on the ball and tries again from the follow-up after his shot is blocked, as does Kone, but the shot is cleared.
Alex Fisher at the DW Stadium: Wigan continue to dominate the game here at the DW but chances are few and far between for both sides. Stoke have possibly paid the Latics the biggest compliment of all by changing their formation to counteract the Wigan threat.
Stoke break through the centre of the pitch with John Walters, who finds Kightly in space on the left flank with Crouch running towards the back post. Ivan Ramis however looks assured as he forces the winger out wide before dispossessing calmly.
Peter Crouch wins a freekick from Maynor Figueroa on the right flank after the home side had been pressed into conceding possession with an aimless long ball. Glenn Whelan's cross however fails to beat the first man and it is a big disappointment for the away side.
Wigan display notable composure in their own half as Stoke attempt to press high up the pitch. Tony Pulis is not happy.
Di Santo looks to receive a pass from the right wing at the back post, but is bundled over by Andy Wilkinson an unsuccessfully appeals for a penalty.
Left winger Jean Beausejour breaks quickly up the left wing toreceive a ball on the overlap from defence. Nothing appears to be on, but the Chilean plays a curving left-footed low pass onto the left edge of the box where Kone, if he had anticipated the pass, could have found himself through on goal.
Arouna Kone receives the ball on the edge of the Stoke box and lays off for McCarthy, who shoots powerfully wide of keeper Asmir Begovic's left post.
Stoke win a freekick deep on the right flank, and Michael Kightly curves an inswinging ball into the box but Ivan Ramis is able to head clear.
Penalty Goal Shaun Maloney
Alex Fisher LIVE! from the DW Stadium: "Terrible start for Stoke at the DW as a James McCarthy shot clearly strikes Robert Huth's hand inside the penalty area, and referee Martin Atkinson has no hesitation to award the spot kick. Shaun Maloney took responsibility from 12 yards and sent Asmir Begovic the wrong way to give the Latics the lead."
Scored by Shaun Maloney
Penalty to Wigan! Franco Di Santo receives the bal in the stoke box and lays it off to midfielder James McArthur, whose shot strikes Robert Huth's outstretched arm for a penalty!
Wigan stroke the ball around their own half for the opening few minutes.
Wigan get the match underway at the DW Stadium!
Versatile American Geoff Cameron arrived over the transfer window from Houston Dynamo and is known for having a long throw. With Wigan missing tall centre back Alcaraz through suspension, the Potters will hope he can emulate Rory Delap add towinger Michael Kightly's trickery and crossing to providesome storng aerial balls for giant Peter Crouch to work from.
Potters boss Tony Pulis is missing Matthew Etherington through injury and chooses the defensive option of a third midfielder in place of right winger Jermaine Pennant, with US international Geoff Cameron starting alongside both Dean Whitehead and Glenn Whelan.
Latics manager Roberto Martinez largely sticks with the same team that returned victorious from Southampton last week. Jean Beausejour comes in at left wing back in place of Maynor Figueroa, who is required at centre back to cover for the suspended Antolin Alcaraz. The Latics lost Hugo Rodallega over the summer but brought a replacement in the form of Ivorian striker Arouna Kone, who will look to build on his first goal for the club last week. Replacing forward Victor Moses following his move to Chelsea will be a difficult task, but new arrival Ryo Miyaichi, on-loan from Arsenal, is named on the bench, and the Japanese winger will look to show what he is capable of if given a chance off the bench.
Stoke: Begovic; Wilkinson, Huth, Shawcross, Wilson; Cameron, Whelan, Whitehead, Kightly; Crouch, Walters. Subs: Sorensen, Pennant, Jones, Edu, Adam, Upson, Jerome.
Wigan: Al Habsi; Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa; Boyce, McArthur, McCarthy, Beausejour; Kone, Di Santo, Maloney. Subs: Pollitt, Jones, Crusat, Watson, Gomez, Boselli, Miyaichi.
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE commentary as Wigan take on Stoke at the DW Stadium. I'm @arthurvirgo here to talk through the events.
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