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Premier League

  • September 1, 2012
  • • 22:00
  • • The DW Stadium, Wigan
  • Referee: M. Atkinson
  • • Attendance: 16247

Wigan 2-2 Stoke City: Crouch rescues point for Pulis's side

Wigan 2-2 Stoke City: Crouch rescues point for Pulis's side

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In an outstanding game with two penalties and end-to-end action, both sides take a point with the visitors unlucky not to steal all three after dominating the second half

Stoke City twice fought back from a goal down to claim a point against Wigan after a tremendous 2-2 draw at the DW Stadium.

Shaun Maloney's penalty gave Wigan an early lead but Stoke were handed a way back into the game after Maynor Figueroa blatantly handled in the area, and Jonathan Walters tucked away the penalty five minutes before half-time.

Wigan were back in front just three minutes after the break though, with Franco Di Santo's fine finish capping an excellent move from the Lancashire club but Stoke hit back again through Peter Crouch, who headed home after being set up by Walters.

Roberto Martinez opted to keep largely the same side that secured a win away at Southampton last weekend, with the only change coming on the left-hand side with Maynor Figueroa switching back to his favoured full-back position, filling in for the suspended Antolin Alcaraz, with Jean Beausejour taking the vacant left-wing position.

With key man Matthew Etherington missing on the left-hand side for Stoke, Tony Pulis attempted to add more steel to the midfield, with USA international Geoff Cameron, sitting alongside Dean Whitehead and Glenn Whelan in the midfield three. Midfielder Charlie Adam, signed from Liverpool for £4 million on deadline day, started on the bench.

Wigan were keen to build on their impressive 2-0 victory at St Mary's last weekend, and started brightly, edging ahead after just four minutes.

Franco Di Santo received the ball on the left and played into the Stoke area to the arriving James McCarthy, who struck a powerful effort which hit the outstretched arm of Robert Huth. Despite Stoke's protests that it was unintentional, referee Martin Atkinson had no choice other than to point to the spot.

Shaun Maloney stepped up for the penalty, and coolly slotted it into the bottom right-hand corner, sending Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic the wrong way to give the hosts an early lead at the DW Stadium.

Stoke did have the ball in the net a few minutes later but the whistle had already gone, with Jonathan Walters adjudged to have fouled Wigan keeper Ali Al-Habsi as the ball rolled into the net.

However, with five minutes to go until the break, the Potters did equalise and again it came from the spot after Figueroa was penalised for handball, as he attempted to block a pass from Crouch.

Walters stepped up for the spot-kick, and despite Al-Habsi choosing the right way, the Irish international's penalty was well-struck into the bottom right-hand corner to draw Stoke level at the break.

The second half started in almost identical fashion to the first, with a goal for Wigan after some excellent play from Arouna Kone and Di Santo.

Di Santo broke down the right-hand side after Wigan cleared Stoke's set piece, and played a brilliant ball down the line to Kone. The Ivorian came under pressure and the chance looked to have gone but he kept his composure to square to Di Santo, who placed an incisive finish past the helpless Begovic to put Wigan back in front.

Stoke were shellshocked by Wigan's goal and immediately sought to equalise for a second time, with Walters threatening to add to his tally, firing just past the post.

However, he then turned provider to hand Stoke a deserved equaliser, picking up a flick on from Cameron Jerome and floating a ball to the towering Crouch, who nodded past Al-Habsi to set up an exciting final 15 minutes.

Without doubt the chance of the game then fell to debutant Adam as he lined up a free-kick from 25 yards out. The Scot curled an effort which took a wicked deflection and looked to be heading towards the goal, until the wrong-footed Al-Habsi flung himself to make a sensational save to keep the scores level.

Miyachi then raced into the Stoke penalty area and looked to have a chance on goal until Ryan Shawcross executed a perfect challenge, and despite the appeals of the young Arsenal loanee for a penalty, Atkinson was not prepared to point to the spot for a third time.

With three minutes added on, both sides looked to clinch a late winner, but after a pulsating encounter at the DW Stadium, both sides were content to come away with a point.