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Premier League

  • August 13, 2011
  • • 10:00 AM
  • • The DW Stadium, Wigan
  • Referee: S. Attwell
  • • Attendance: 17454
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Wigan Athletic 1-1 Norwich City: Goalkeeping blunder from Al-Habsi gives Canaries impressive away point on opening day

Wigan Athletic 1-1 Norwich City: Goalkeeping blunder from Al-Habsi gives Canaries impressive away point on opening day

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The Oman international spilled Steve Morison's effort into the feet of the impressive Wes Hoolahan after Ben Watson had given the hosts the lead from the penalty spot

Norwich City picked up an opening day point away to Wigan Athletic after drawing 0-0 in its first game back in the Premier League since 2005.

The hosts took the lead on the 21st minute through an unstoppable Ben Watson penalty after Franco Di Santo had been brought down by Ritchie De Laet. But, in an error-strewn first 45 minutes, Norwich fittingly made the most of an Ali Al-Habsi mistake to smash the ball home on the stoke of halftime.

Wigan took the lead when Ritchie De Laet acted tentatively on the left wing only to be robbed by Di Santo, and De Laet hauled down the advancing Latics man as he entered the area. There was little doubt that it was a penalty and Watson duly smashed it home to provide the home side with the breakthrough.


Spot on | Ben Watson gives Wigan the lead following  De Laet's foul on Di Santo

Norwich was gifted its equalizer on the stroke of halftime as Al-Habsi, Wigan's Player of the Season in 2010-11, spilled Steve Morison's effort into the feet of Hoolahan, who tucked the ball away to make Paul Lambert's halftime team talk far easier.

If De Laet had been the villain for the Canaries in the first half, he was to prove their savior early on in the second with a magnificent tackle to deny Victor Moses.

The young Wigan forward was having a magnificent opening day of the season and was nearly rewarded with a goal following a spellbinding run from the right, in which he weaved in and out of the Canaries defense only to be stopped by John Ruddy. With half an hour remaining, neither side looked happy to simply take the point and run.

Lambert's side was proving ever more threatening and as he brought on two wingers in Elliot Bennett and Anthony Pilkington with a quarter of an hour remaining, the Scot's intentions were clear. The game looked there for the taking as the hosts went on the retreat. 

It was Wigan who nearly grabbed the points however through the phenomenal Moses, as the youngster blasted an effort into De Laet. However, as the away side looked over the precipice, it hung on to secure a valuable point to leave De Laet relieved and the Canaries fans singing.

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