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January 29, 2013
• Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Referee: M. Jones
• Attendance: 24421
R. Shawcross 23'
P. Crouch 48'
J. McArthur 50'
F. Di Santo 61'
Alex Fisher at the Britannia Stadium: "Full time here at the Britannia and we have been treated to the fifth 2-2 draw between these two sides in their last eight meetings...so it shouldn't be a surprise really! Stoke looked home and dry after 50 minutes as they stretched their one goal half time advantage as Peter Crouch added to Ryan Shawcross' early strike. However an excellent fightback from Wigan saw James McArthur and Franco Di Santo level things up and earn the Latics a point, which lifts them out of the bottom three on goal difference."
Stoke had the better of the first half but neither side created many opportunities, although each showed some good touches. Tony Pulis had deployed a back three in an attempt to match their opponents' 3-5-2 man-for-man, and the Potters' looked increasingly dominant as the half went on, although their well-taken goal by Ryan Shawcross came after a fortunate ricochet following a free-kick. The Potters went two up shortly after the restart when Peter Crouch scored from a counter-attack, but Roberto Martinez had tweaked his formation and saw his team dominate the rest of the half. Roger Espinoza had given a string of unnecessary free-kicks to Charlie Adam in the first half and his unsuccessful appeal for a penalty allowed Stoke to counter their second, but the Honduran played a key role in both his team's goals to get back into the game. His through-ball allowed James McArthur to get the first back stright after Stoke had gone two up, and his cross to the excellent McArthur prompted the tireless target-man Franco Di Santo's equaliser. The Latics dominated possession for the rest of the match and Stoke were forced to switch back to their regular back four in order to cope with the pressure, but the away side could not break through at the Britannia Stadium and a draw settled the encounter.
90' + 3'
Di Santo concedes a free-kick near the centre circle as he attempts to win back the ball. With half a minute remaining Stoke this time do commit men forward, and after keeper Begovic's long lick is cleared but only out to their own player on the right flank, Shawcross flicks the pull-back on to teammate Jerome but the ball runs out of play. It is the last act of the game before the referee blows full-time.
90' + 1'
Shaun Maloney drops back on the right flank and curls in a brilliant cross the Di Santo, the only target in the box, is able to stretch and reach with the tip of his toe ahead of his marker Geoff Cameron, but the Argentine is unable to get meaningful contact on the ball which rolls wide of the left post.
Three minutes of stoppage-time are announced as the game appears to slow down slightly, with the Latics still dominating possession but committing fewer players forward now.
Stam gets to the right bye-line and whips in a cross with an excellent, out-swinging shape across the six-yard box but Di Santo was unable to reach the delivery.
Maloney picks up the ball on the right edge of the box and jinks around his marker before his shot with his weaker left foot is saved by Begovic, who promptly throws the ball out towards Andy Wilkinson but the right-back is unable to control the ball to groans from the crowd.
Matthew Etherington tracks far back into his own half to clear a stray through-ball out for a throw-in by the corner-flag.
The Latics are again retaining possession deep inside the Potters' own half but their tempo has slowed from the frantic pace of the last ten minutes.
Roberto Martinez brings on tricky attacker Callum McManaman in place of left-sided Beausejour.
Jerome picks up the ball down the right flank and beats Caldwell on the outside, but his cross loops high over the six-yard box and wastes the opportunity.
Stoke attack again down the left flank and as centre-back Gary Caldwell looks to run into the box, Beausejour's cross disappoints.
Geoff Cameron, shifted to left-back by Tony Pulis near the start of the second half, cuts onto his right foot and aims a cross towards Crouch at the back post, but after jumping against the comparatively small Figueroa the giant striker does not make contact with the ball.
Wigan are displaying outstanding confidence in their possession football deep inside the Stoke half, and their supporters' displeasure is audible.
Alex Fisher at the Britannia Stadium: "Wigan now look the strong side at the Britannia and pose a threat each time they attack, and Stoke have goalkeeper Asmir Begovic to thank as the Bosnian makes two good saves from James McArthur to keep the scores level."
Jerome shows good technique to turn outside his marker with the ball and get to the right bye-line inside the box, but he disappoints the home fans by shooting wide of the right post.
Stam receives the ball running towards the Stoke back line on the right flank but Di Santo is offside by the time the Dutch full-back makes the pass.
Stoke attempt to pass the ball out from the back but as they cross the half-way line Stam presses Geoff Cameron and wins the ball before passing to Espinoza who launches another attack. The Latics look impressive at the moment but it's an end-to-end game at either side could potentially score.
Maloney combines with Espinoza on the left flank before cutting inside to shoot and force a save from Begovic.
Cameron Jerome receives a lay-off on the right edge of the penalty area but as he attempts to cross he shanks the ball high over the bar. He has not had much impact so far but the striker's mix of power and pace could prove potent on the counter-attack.
Wigan have focused most of their attacks down their opponents' right flank, and right-back Andy Wilkinson comes on in place of combative midfielder Steven N'Zonzi as Tony Pulis attempts to stem the flow in that area.
Maynor Figueroa advances forward from defence and gets heavily involved in the Latics' latest attack that sees the Potters struggle to clear. The Honduras international sweeps the ball wide to Ronnie Stam who had advanced far up the right flank, and then moves into the box to receive the cross and hassle the Potters who struggle to clear.
McCarthy is becoming increasingly influential in this game and after picking the ball up on the left flank he cut inside towards the edge of the box and fired a shot towards the left post that forced a diving save from Begovic.
Yellow Card Dean Whitehead
Golobart makes a vital last-ditch challenge to nick the ball off the toes of Jon Walters in the middle of the Wigan penalty area.
Assist James McArthur
Goal Franco Di Santo
Wigan level through Franco Di Santo! Beausejour receives the ball far up the pitch on the left flank and waits for Espinoza to get forward in support before rolling the ball back to the Honduras international. Espinoza floats a perfect first-time cross onto the head of James McArthur, who had drifted unnoticed towards the back post, and as McArthur's header drops towards the edge of the six-yard box Di Santo reacts quickly to acrobatically scissor-kick the ball into the back of the net.
Wigan win a free-kick outside the left edge of the box, but Crouch heads the ball away without difficulty.
Maloney attempts to put Beausejour through to the left bye-line after receiving the ball with his back to goal, but overhits his effort.
Maloney darts past the Stoke back line with a well-timed run that leaves him offside and in acres of space before rounding the keeper and rolling the ball into the back of the net, but is called offside. The replay shows he was not offside by much.
Adam's free-kick curls narrowly wide of the right post, but Al-Habsi dives for it, unable to be sure of the ball's path until it lands wide of the post.
Golobart concedes a free-kick outside the edge of the box in an aerial challenge with Crouch, and Charlie Adam again stands over the ball.
Assist R. Espinoza
Goal James McArthur
Wigan hit back instantly with an excellent move slicing apart the Stoke defence. Roger Espinoza advances forward in support of Di Santo and expertly rolls a through-ball behind the Potters' centre-backs for James McArthur. The weight of the pass is perfect and McArthur deftly finishes with the outside of his right foot past the despairing keeper Asmir Begovic's right hand, with the ball coming off the inside of the left post and nestling in the back of the net.
Goal Peter Crouch
Peter Crouch scores a tap in after Al-Habsi is unable to hold Charlie Adam's shot! After Roger Espinoza had lost the ball in a penalty box challenge, the Potters instantly launch a flowing counter-attack that results in Charlie Adam running straight at the Wigan box and committing the Wigan defence. His shot is on target and forces Al-Habsi to dive to his left, but the Oman international is unable to hang on and Crouch converts.
Beausejour impressively combines with Maloney on the left flank and is released towards the by-line, but his cross is headed clear by Huth.
Golobart advances forward from defence and attempts to thread the ball through the Potters' defenders to Espinoza running on from midfield, but his pass is intercepted.
Stoke get the second half away.
The two sides emerge from the tunnel, Stoke first, and Wigan second. Debutants Roman Golobart and Roger Espinoza have faced a challenging half and that looks set to continue as their side seek a comeback against the home side.
Alex Fisher at the Britannia Stadium: "Half-time here at the Britannia Stadium and whilst we have had a goal it has not been a classic so far. Some nice football from both sides at times but the lack of threat in the opposition penalty area has meant neither keeper has really been tested. Ryan Shawcross got the games only goal, swivelling to volley home a looping ball that Wigan failed to clear from a Charlie Adam corner."
45' + 4'
45' + 3'
Yellow Card R. Espinoza
45' + 3'
Roberto Martinez attempts to bring on Ronnie Stam for Emmerson Boyce before Charlie Adam takes a free-kick, in a strange move deep into first-half stoppage time. The free kick is eventually cleared before the referee allows the substitution.
Alex Fisher at the Britannia Stadium: "Four minutes of injury time here at the Brit after Robert Huth's injury early in the half, the visitors have picked up in recent minutes but as is often the case with Wigan their neat football has not got them in behind the Stoke defence."
McArthur darts into the box and intends to get on the end of Beausejour's low cross, but pokes the ball wide.
Di Santo fails to control the ball after a long throw from by the half-way line. Wigan have had little of the last few minutes but have withstood the Stoke pressure without incident.
Alex Fisher at the Britannia Stadium: "Since Stoke's opener 15 minutes ago there has been little in the way of action here at the Britannia, the home side have set up camp in the Wigan half in search of a second goal but resolute defending is keeping them at bay."
Adam arches in a cross on his weaker right foot after cutting inside from the left flank, drawing cheers from the crowd.
Crouch and Adam attempt to head the same ball but avoid a collision, while Di Santo is forced off for treatment after the earlier injury.
Adam shapes to shoot from a free kick outside the box but chips a cross towards Whitehead on the right edge of the Wigan box. As he shields the ball, Espinoza again commits an unnecessary foul and forces Wigan to face another free kick, but the home side are unable to take advantage.
Huth dispossesses Maloney before aiming for Walters advancing down the opposite right flank, but the ball skids off the slippery surface and rolls out for a throw-in.
Figueroa advances down the left flank before blasting a shot wide and returning possession to the home side.
Alex Fisher at the Britannia Stadium: "We have our first goal of the night and there are a lot of happy home fans as Ryan Shawcross volleys Stoke into the lead. A quite terrible free kick from Charlie Adam is met by the head of Jean Beausejour but he heads it onto the back of James McCarthy and as the ball loops up inside the six yard box Shawcross volleys it into the back of the net."
Goal Ryan Shawcross
Ryan Shawcross volleys past keeper Ali-Al-Habsi to give the home side the lead after a stroke of luck from a free kick. Charlie Adam's chipped cross looked to lack sufficient height to threaten the back-line, but Jean Beausejour's header struck the back of James McArthur's head and as the ball rebounded backwards towards the six-yard line, Shawcross was on hand to convert.
Espinoza carelessly gives away a free kick outside the edge of the box.
Wigan have tried to settle themselves by retaining possession and after briefly struggling to evade Stoke's high pressing, Di Santo eventually receives the ball outside the edge of the box and takes a speculative shot, to no avail.
Maloney's poor touch puts the ball out for a throw-in straight after he had received the ball from a Wigan throw. The Latics' bright start seems to have evaporated and it is Stoke who look by far the more confident at the moment.
Adam is not closed down outside the Wigan box and he fires low and wide of the bottom right corner, but he got a good contact on his shot and looked like he could threaten from that range again.
Matthew Etherington glides past right wing-back Boyce with alarming ease but his teammates are unable to capitalise on his cross.
Wigan are settling into a passing rhythm, while Stoke have noticeably aimed for the tall frame of Peter Crouch on regaining possession. The approach has threatened twice in the past two minutes, with young centre-back Roman Golobart required to clear the ball over his head after a Crouch flick-on, and a minute later a Steven N'Zonzi shot blocked after the away side had been unable to clear the danger.
Franco Di Santo holds the ball up well after the Latics repel a Potters long ball, and he attempts to find Shaun Maloney running past him but his effort is wayward.
The Latics have combined well in the Wigan half to build an attack down the left flank, with Espinoza and McCarthy heavily involved, but Stoke counter-attack quickly before John Walters blazes his shot over the bar.
Shaun Maloney is fouled as he releases Beausejour again down the left flank, but the referee does not play advantage despite the Chilean's protest.
Glenn Whelan mis-controls a high ball in the centre-circle and Roger Espinoza wins possession before attempting to put Jean Beausejour through on the left flank, but his pass is intercepted.
Adam advances down the left flank but James McCarthy and Emmerson Boyce combine to force him wide before conceding a throw-in.
Wigan resume play after Charlie Adam kicked the ball back to Ali Al-Habsi to restart the game.
Matthew Upson is warming-up on the touchline but the physio is putting a thick bandage on Huth on the pitch right now, meaning he may be gearing up to continue the game.
Franco Di Santo and Robert Huth each jump for a high ball in a mighty clash of heads. The Argentine gingerly gets up but the German centre-back is down and is currently being attended to by the team medics. It looks like it could be serious enough to result in an early substitution.
Wigan get the game underway at the Britannia Stadium!
I saw the reverse fixture earlier in the year and it was an excellent match. Stoke moved up the pitch quickly on the counter when Wigan's possession-based attacks broke down and it made for an end-to-end game. This time Tony Pulis has gone for something completely different in matching Wigan's back three.
Alex Fisher at the Britannia Stadium: "Stoke name the same side that were beaten by Swansea in their previous Premier League fixture but Tony Pulis has changed his formation to match Wigan with three at the back. That move will see Dean Whitehead and Matthew Etherington playing as wingbacks with Geoff Cameron partnering Robert Huth and Ryan Shawcross at the centre of defence."
Alex Fisher at the Britannia Stadium: "Wigan make two changes from the side that were beaten by Sunderland with Roman Golobart and Roger Espinoza starting in place of Ronnie Stam and Jordi Gomez. It is Honduran Espinoza’s first start in the Premier League for Wigan following his transfer from Kansas City in December, fellow new signing Angelo Henriquez is named amongst the substitutes."
Wigan: Al Habsi; Golobart, Caldwell, Figueroa; Boyce, McArthur, McCarthy, Espinoza, Beausejour; Maloney, Di Santo. Subs: Robles, Jones, Henriquez, Gomez, McManaman, Stam, Mustoe
Stoke: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Huth; Whitehead, Whelan, Nzonzi, Adam, Etherington; Walters, Crouch. Subs: Sorensen, K.Jones, Owen, Upson, Wilkinson, Shotton, Jerome.
Alex Fisher at the Britannia Stadium: "Good evening from the Britannia Stadium for what is a big game for both Stoke and Wigan as they look to get their league campaigns back on track following recent troubles, in fact neither side have won a league game in 2013. For Stoke it has seen them slip into mid-table but for Wigan it has dropped them into the bottom three but three points could lift Roberto Martinez’s side out of the drop zone. And the Latics will be confident going into this game because they have only lost once in their nine Premier League meetings and haven’t been beaten by the Potters in the last seven games."
Hi and welcome to Goal.com's Live play-by-play as Stoke take on Wigan at the Britannia Stadium. I'm @arthurvirgo here to talk through events, and you can get involved on Twitter @GoalUK
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