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UEFA Europa League
4 October 2013
• The DW Stadium, Wigan
Referee: A. Stavrev
• Attendance: 12753
N. Powell 22', 90'+
B. Watson 33'
Marcos Tavares 60'
Cheers for keeping me company here tonight and I hope I have kept you entertained, faithful readers. I have been and always will be Hayden Gribble and you stay classy!
Well...that was fun...wasn't it? Wigan looked very impressive tonight and were well worth the admission fee alone. Maribor made things interesting in the second half but should have done better but we have had everything tonight. A clanger, goals galore, a hollywood save from Scott Carson and a performance from a couple of young homegrown players that was highly encouraging.
FULL TIME - WIGAN 3-1 MARIBOR: The whistle blows and hstory is made at the DW stadium as the Latics celebrate a deserved first win in the Europa League. They will go second in Group D after that impressive display. Owen Coyle looks delighted and Nick Powell also displayed his high potential as the players leave the field to a chorus of applause.
90' + 3'
90' + 3'
Wigan are not finished yet as Barnett bombs forward in an attack of four-on-two but his shot is headered up and over the bar by a Maribor defender.
90' + 1'
Goal Nick Powell
GOAL! Powell finds a deserved second goal. He runs at two Maribor defenders and slots a low shot past Handanovic. Take a bow, son!
There will be THREE minutes of added time...
CHANCE! What a save from Scott Carson! The former England keeper rises to tip Tavare long range shot up and over the bar. Corner to Maribor and Wigan are holding on...
Maribor are looking liek a team resigned to defeat whilst Wigan are happy to keep possession. Victory is on the horizon...
We have five minutes to go plus stoppage time and time is running out for the visitors to rescue this one! Both teams are still struggling to carve out clear cut chances. To be honest, it's all gone a little flat.
A couple of late changes for Maribor as they look to salvage a draw. Is there a late twist to this one?
Owen Coyle is clearly unhappy with something. He has been arguing with the fourth official for over a minute as his players begin to give away niggly fouls out on the pitch.
Wigan are content to slow the play down to a walking pace. They have kept their shape tonight and if certain individuals had not been so wasteful in front of goal (here's looking at you, Nick Powell!) then they would be on their way to an impressive maiden victory in Europe.
Owen Coyle is looking pensive on the sidelines as full time ebbs ever closer. His side are nearly there...
CHANCE! With fifteen minutes to go, Nick Powell fails to make connection with Watson's low pass along the face of goal. Picture Gazza's agonising stretch to the ball in the Euro 96 semi-final against Germany, it was almost a carbon copy!
CHANCE! Tavares cuts inside and shoots straight at Carson, who collects with ease. That'll wake it up, a bit (I hope).
Yellow Card Jean-Philippe Mendy
Maribor are definitely playing with more flair but they lack conviction. MacClean is looking sharp since he has come on for the impressive McManaman but in all honesty, this second half has been pretty flat since that goal on 59 minutes.
One of Wigan's strong points in this game has come from their power and creativity on the wings. They need to get the ball to McManaman and Beausejour if they are to create another two-goal cushion and breath a little easier. Having said that, Maribor have not had a chance to speak of since the goal that has got them back in this...
I bet the Latics faithful had wished that Powell could have converted that chance he steered onto the post with the goal gapping. I imagine some nails will be bitten from here on in!
Something tells me that Owen Coyle will be tearing his hair out as his side should really have all three points in the bag, but now they face a resurgent Maribor, who look to attack again...
Assist Jean-Philippe Mendy
Goal Marcos Magno Morales Tavares
GOAL! Maribor are back in this! Mendy bursts into the box and cuts the ball back at the byline before Carson has a chance to stop the attack, but the ball falls to Tavares, who steers his shot past the defender on the line. With half hour to go, we have a game on!
CHANCE! McManaman's clever cut back after turning his marker inside out on the right sets up Beausejour, whose effort is blocked by Maribor. Wigan really should be home and dry.
CHANCE! Oh, Nick Powell. The loanee is found in the bow unmarked by a fantastic low cross from the left, provided by Beausejour but he can only find the post. Agony for the striker - was that the moment I was talking about a minute ago to put this game to bed? For sure it was!
The next goal will be pivotal and decisive in equal measure, Wigan need to wrap this up to spare their fans any unnecessary jitters.
This has been a scrappy start to the second half as the visitors attempt to step up a gear.
McManaman is furious after drifting past Cvijanovic on the right and he is penalised, much to the anger of his manager on the sideline.
For all of Maribor's woes in the first 45, if they sneak an early goal in this half then this game could get very, VERY interesting...
CHANCE! Good combination on the right between Mendy and Tavares, who finds Milec but his cross flies over the bar and into safety.
The teams are out and ready and Maribor get us back underway...
The seocnd half is just moments is just moments away. Whose your money on in this game? Just kidding, folks! It's Wigan's to lose.
This has been all too easy for Owen Coyle's charges. The former Bolton managers must be telling his players that he wants more of the same for the next 45 minutes. More goals in the second half? Let's hope so!
HALFTIME - WIGAN 2-0 MARIBOR: The Championship side have ruled the roost in the first half and are rightly applauded off the field for their efforts. Despite a helping hand from the Maribor keeper, the two-goal lead is thoroughly deserved and Owen Coyle looks happy as he makes for the tunnel.
There will be ONE minute of stoppage time...
CHANCE! With a minute to go plus stoppages, McManaman breaks forward but powers his shot from the edge of the area low and hard past the hapless visiting keeper's right-hand post.
The Lactics have doen well to retain so many of their players following their relegation at the end of last season and judging by this performance, you would no think that this is only their SECOND ever european performance!
CHANCE! McManaman cuts inside the box on the right but the ball gets caught up in his feet a bit and his shot is tame and straight at the keeper.
CHANCE! Powell really should have a first half hat-trick as he capitalises on yet another Maribor defensive error, but the young striker shoots over with only the keeper to beat. Wigan are looking fantastic at the moment.
That was an exquisite cross from Beausejour to create Watson's goal, but the Maribor defence - not to mention their hapless keeper Handanovic - should have been more alert to the danger, there. This game is surely Wigan's for the taking, now.
Assist Jean Beausejour
Goal Ben Watson
GOAL! Ben Watson - the hero of the FA Cup final back in May and the man whose goal got them where they are this evening - attacks the ball following a cross from the left and heads the ball past an on-rushing keeper and hesistant Maribor defence. Wigan double their lead!
CHANCE! Mendy is the catalyst for everything positive about Maribor's attacking play. His strength wins him an inch of space in the box but again his low shot is smothered by Carson.
CHANCE! Wigan win a free-kick from 30-yards out but Watson's effort is so high it would have been at home at a Rugby Union match. Goal kick to Maribor.
CHANCE! Lovely play from Maribor as Mendy slices past a couple of Wigan defenders before his low shot to the left of the box is gobbled up by Carson.
CHANCE! Wigan are playing with swagger now as Beausejour flicks a first time ball down to Gomez, who skips past the defender but sees his shot deflected away from goal and eventually cleared.
Goal Nick Powell
GOAL! And history is made at the DW stadium as Handanovic, like a dodgy second-hand car salesman, sells us a right clunker. He punches a cross from the left straight up in the air for Powell to dispatch with ease with a first-time header. Halloween just came early for Maribor, that was a horror show from their number one!
CHANCE! Just a couple of minutes later, Maribor register their first chance. Milec cuts inside a congested Wigan penalty area and Cvijanovic sees his shot deflected wide.
CHANCE! Wigan come back into it and MacArthur is teed up on the edge of the area but his swirving shot bends wide.
There have been no further chances to speak of but Maribor are beginning to see a lot more of the play, forcing Wigan to maintain their shape. The stalemate continues.
Showboat! That was a nice turn from McManaman as he gets away from his marker but the winger loses out after spreading the play to Watson and receiving the ball back. What a bright light that player is for the Latics.
OUCH! MacArthur and Mertelj suffer a clash of heads in the middle of the park and are both receiving treatment after the referee stops play.
Powell really should have made more of that gift after latching onto a poor backpass to have a sniff at goal. The youngster looks sharp as Wigan continue to search for a gap in the defence.
CHANCE! On-loan Man Utd striker Nick Powell is through on goal for the home side and he tries to lift the ball over Handanovic from the edge of the area, but the on-rushing keeper gets his hand to it and lifts the ball over the bar for a corner.
Despite being desimated by injuries at the back, the Latics are still incredibly strong in attack as MacArthur and Watson continue to toy with the Maribor defence but still no clear-cut chances so far.
Perch draws a foul roughly 30-yards out and the free-kick is taken quickly but comes to nothing. Wigan are getting early touches on the ball here as the look to make an early breakthrough.
And we're off with Wigan getting us underway, kicking from right to left.
The teams are in the tunnel and kick-off is just a couple of minutes away. Can Wigan emmulate Tottenham's win earlier in this competition? Time will tell...
With just fifteen minutes to go before kick-off, there are still some burning questions about this game. Will Wigan emerge victorious? Or will Maribor's European experience count in their favour? What's more, how will I get on spelling the away team's names when writing at a break neck pace for you brilliant followers? We're about to find out!
So the home side are missing several key players tonight - including Gary Caldwell, Grant Holt, Shaun Maloney, Ivan Ramis, Ali Al Habsi and Marc-Antone Fortune - who are all out through injury. It will be a tough but memorable night for Owen Coyle's men as they turn out in Europe for the first time on home soil. They will look to improve on their debut performance in this tournament two weeks ago when they drew 0-0 away to Zulte Waregem. Plenty to look forward to!
Wigan: Carson, Boyce, Perch, McArthur, Shotton, Barnett, McManaman, Watson, Powell, Gomez, Beausejour. Subs: Rogne, McCann, McClean, Nicholls, Espinoza, Garcia, Dicko. Maribor: Handanovic, Milec, Mejac, Mertelj, Rajcevic, Bordignon, Bohar, Filipovic, Mendy, Morales Tavares, Cvijanovic. Subs: Mezga, Pridigar, Fajic, Dervisevic, Potokar, Viler, Dodlek.
Good evening and welcome to the live text commentary for Wigan versus Maribor in this Europa League Group D match. My name is Hayden Gribble, and let me guide you through a very special game for Latic's fans as they play european football at the DW stadium for the first time in their history. But before we go any further, let's get the team news...
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