Crucial win for home side in fight against relegation
Wigan manager Roberto Martinex made just one change after his side’s comeback against Liverpool in midweek, with Steve Gohouri returning after suspension in place of Maynor Figueroa. The Latics boss was pleased with his side’s performance against Liverpool and trusted Charles N’Zogbia, Tom Cleverley and Hugo Rodallega with the task of firing his side to their first victory at home since the start of October.
Roberto Di Matteo decided to make two changes to his side after their game in midweek at West Ham. The Baggies earned themselves a draw in that game but the Italian opted to recall Nicky Shorey and Youssuf Mulumbu to the starting line-up in place of Graeme Dorrans and Marek Cech.
Wigan began the game on the front foot and could have been ahead in the fourth minute through on-loan midfielder Tom Cleverley. Ronnie Stam brought the ball out of defence on the right hand side before delivering a deep cross to the back post but Cleverley was unable to steer the ball home from a tight angle at the back post.
A minute later the home side created another chance to take the lead but Charles N’Zogbia was unable to take advantage. Hugo Rodallega won the ball off Youssef Mulumbu on the edge of the West Brom penalty area and turned towards goal, he then played a neat sideways ball into the path of N’Zogbia but his first touch was heavy and the ball rolled into the welcoming arms of Carson
The first chance for the visitors came 20 minutes later through lively Nigerian striker Peter Odemwingie. The striker raced onto a long ball from Gabriel Tamas, beat substitute Steven Caldwell but was held up by Antolin Alcaraz on the byline. Odemwingie did manage to pull the ball back into penalty area but there was no-one there to get on the end of it and Steve Gohouri cleared.
The game was struggling to get going and it had to wait another 10 minutes before a chance would come, it fell to Wigan defender Antolin Alcaraz but he was unable to test Scott Carson. The chance came from a N’Zogbia cross from the left hand side and although it was a free header for the Paraguayan defender he headed well wide of goal.
With half-time looming a goalmouth scramble in the Wigan penalty area nearly saw the visitors go into the break ahead. A corner from Chris Brunt was headed back to him and from his return ball first Paul Scharner and then Steven Reid both had chances to open the scoring but their shots were well blocked by the resolute Wigan defence.
Wigan made a change at the break with the introduction of Victor Moses and in the third minute of the half they nearly opened the scoring. An attack by Moses found N’Zogbia whose pass was deflected into the path of Rodallega but Reid denied the striker the chance to open the scoring.
The visitors thought they should have had a penalty in the 54th minute but referee Anthony Taylor correctly awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area. A poor challenge by Steven Caldwell on Peter Odemwingie gave the visitors the chance but from the free-kick the Wigan wall blocked Brunt's effort.
West Brom were having their best spell and seven minutes later James Morrison cut through the Wigan defence but his curling shot was straight at Al Habsi. From the keeper’s throw out Wigan broke on the counter attack but Cleverley’s shot lacked power and Carson saved easily.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 70th minute and it was substitute Moses who got the goal following excellent work by N'Zogbia. The Frenchman picked the ball up on the halfway line following a West Brom free-kick, he then ran at the West Brom defence before playing in Moses who calmly fired the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
Franco Di Santo, who had replaced Rodallega, should have doubled the home side’s lead late on but he fired wide of the goal from seven yards after the ball had been deflected into his path.
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