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April 11, 2012
• The DW Stadium, Wigan
Referee: P. Dowd
• Attendance: 18115
Right good people, it's been a pleasure but all good things must come to an end. Happy thoughts to United fans - all is not lost. And for Wigan fans, the same - all is definitely not lost! Out of the relegation zone and ready to survive another season! Incredble. Night all.
Some final thoughts from the man that witnessed it all unfold: "Well no-one saw that coming! Wigan have recorded a momentous victory over Manchester United to give themselves (and Manchester City) a lifeline. Shaun Maloney's goal was the winner, but it should have been two however a Victor Moses header was harshly ruled out. United were poor and looked tired throughout and couldn't handle the fast pace and intensity shown by their hosts. The DW Stadium was rocking at full time as the great escape starts to unfold once again!"
Full-time: Disasterous result for United but kudos must go to Wigan. They're battling bravely at the bottom and fully deserved that win. United just weren't at the races today.
90' + 6'
IT IS!!! Stunning result! Wigan have beaten Man Utd in possibly the biggest upset of the season at the DW Stadium!
90' + 5'
Terrible from Nani! He's in the box and has a chance to turn and deliver but he messes it up and the ball goes out for a Wigan throw-in. That must be it...
90' + 4'
United can't get a hold of the ball. They can't get it forward and under pressure have conceded a corner! Wigan take the opportunity to hold the ball in the corner...
90' + 2'
The big heave-ho from United but as the ball comes out of the Wigan box, Valencia fouls Beausejour to give Wigan some relief.
There's the five added minutes and there's the chorus of boos around the DW Stadium. This is Fergie-time...
Last minute of the ninety but word is 5 additional minutes will be given. This is tense, the Wigan fans are in good voice, Martinez looks anxious...
Carrick sees his shot blocked on the edge of the box and Moses roars down the other end to try and find a second for Wigan. He's nudged out of play though and United can attack once more!
Yellow Card Phil Jones
There's a few walking wounded on the pitch, namely Jones and Figueroa. And actually Evans as well now as he takes a whack from Sammon. Still, United are pressing hard in the last 5 minutes, will we have typical drama? SURELY Wigan aren't going to beat the Champions!? Surely!?
Or do they!? United fly doewn the other end and Welbeck latches onto a through ball in the box. His shot flies across his marker but Al-Habsi parries away to safety. That's United's best chance for a while.
It's Wigan again! Sammon battles his way down the left and cuts back to Diame but his shot is blocked. The resulting effort also deflects wide and out for a corner. Wigan look dangerous on the break as well as solid at the back.
SAVE! But it's De Gea! Moses finds room to take on Ferdinand again and he bamboozles the defender before finding the outside channel of the box. His shot is low and on target but De Gea kicks it clear.
The free kick deflects up in the air and Carrick nods it inside to Nani but his volley is all over the place. It flies over.
Jones looks down and hurt after a making a lunging tackle, he's holding his right leg but is back up and walking. United have used all their subs so they're kind of stuck. Not that the rearguard is their biggest concern. Free kick out wide to the visitors.
The goalscorer is off - Maloney replaced by Sammon. He'll give Wigan a bit of oomph in the air and a workmanlike attitude to the lone striker role. A wise move by Martinez.
Carrick rolls the ball into Cleverley who turns it round the corner to Welbeck but as the striker looks to get his shot off, Wigan close the danger. Moments later, Valencia probes the edge of the Wigan box but is dispossessed. The hosts have now reverted to a seriously defensive set-up. It's a sort of 5-5-0.
Mohammed Diame came on for Di Santo by the way - to shore up that midfield. Connor Sammon is also prepping himself to enter play.
Oooohhh...Jones fires a hip-height cross in from the right and as Figueroa hooks clear, the ball rolls up his leg and appears to hit his hand in the box. United players are appealing desparately for a penalty but it's not given. My opinion? Would have been a touch harsh at the pace the ball was going at, but maybe his hand shouldn't have been that high? Urgh, it's one of those.
Franco Di Santo
Di Santo bids farewell tonight's game, he's had a sterling game up top for Wigan. Mainly for his workrate and critics can laugh but having witnessed Grant Holt's epic hustle and bustle routine against Spurs, I must say you cannot underestimate the importance of a hardworking big man.
Rooney looks glum on the bench next to Pogba. Knackered and glum. But mainly with a good head of hair. Maybe the intensity of their recent games have caught up with United? I'm trying to find excuses here and it's hard to put a finger on it. Di Santo robs Carrick of possession as I type - Wigan are working very hard tonight.
And so, how does Fergie react? He takes Rooney off! That's a surprise. He wasn't on top of his game but he's not been the worst player out there. Regardless, his game is done and Nani replaces him. There's a real fear from United that this could be a loss and how damaging would that be?
Wigan are still playing an adventurous style, they're switching play freely, knocking it back and forth in midfield and seem very much in control of matters. Now obviously, it's the last ten minutes where they'll need to be at their most steely, but for now, they're keeping hold of their lead impressively.
Enter Danny Welbeck! Ferguson turns to the young Mancunian as United search desparately for a goal. Hernandez has been off colour once again tonight and is replaced. What united would give for a goal now.
Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez
I didn't mention the introduction of Tom Cleverley for Ashley Young at half-time. Bit of a strange one that, it takes away a decent outlet for the visitors. And that's surely backfired following Maloney's early second half goal.
Well then, have Wigan just angered United? Usually that's the case but frankly United have not been on the game at all tonight. That may still change, but Wigan deservedly lead.
Assist Jean Beausejour
Goal Shaun Maloney
GOAL!!!! Wigan find the net and it's thoroughly deserved! Shaun Maloney plays a one-two from a corner and drifts around the edge of the box. As Rooney comes to meet him, he glides past him and with his next touch whips a hard shot into De Gea's goal! It's a brilliant strike and no less than Wigan deserve!
Impressive and confident start from the hosts once again and Moses almost finds a way past Ferdinand as he attacks the centre-back. The old stager reads the tricky jinkster though and cuts him out as he drifts inside.
OK people we're back underway at the DW Stadium. With City winning, United need to find a goal and whilst QPR have their 1-0 lead, Wigan need something.
Some words from our man at the game, Alex Fisher: "Half time at the DW Stadium and it's 0-0 but the home side should be ahead after a perfectly good header from Victor Moses was disallowed by referee Phil Dowd and his assistant David Richardson. Wigan have done well in the opening half and if they were a bit more clinical in and around the penalty area they could have had more than one goal. United looks sluggish and Sir Alex Ferguson has already moved Wayne Rooney into the hole behind Javier Hernandez. The league leaders will have to improve if they are going to win this game."
Time for a quick break, grab a brew, finish your din dins, whatever needs to be done. But make sure in 15 minutes you return for the second half. It could go either way, and that's an understatement.
Half-time at the DW and it's been a very even game. Wigan perhaps should be leading. United with plenty to do! Who said this title race was over?
I'm having some internet issues but I can tell you that Boyce was sent through on goal by McArthur briefly before United recovered to clear the danger. My intermittant connection also gave me a view of a more gentle pace to the game. We're approaching half-time now with the game still deadlocked.
Having said that, he does still lack a bit on the technical side of his game as he whallops a cross out of play and behind for a goal kick. Clumsy is a good word for him.
Jones clatters into Di Santo to heap more pressure on his team. Di Santo's done well as the lone man up there for Wigan, he's one heck of a handful on his day.
Unsurprisingly Roberto Martinez does not look happy with the call, he's scowling and prowling the technical area and evidently upset with another decision he feels has gone against his side. It's still a borderline decision for me. You've seen them given, put it that way.
GOAL....or is it?! No! It's been ruled out and we don't entirely know why. I'm calling it dubious at the least! The corner was swung in and Moses met it in the middle of the six yard box to head home. The problem, it seems, was Caldwell's involvement with De Gea on the goalline and by replays he has certainly pushed the keeper away from the action. Tough break for the Latics
Again, Wigan force a chance. Moses collects a knockdown from a throw in and shows good skill to flick it over Evans and shoot, but it's deflected behind.
Sniff of a chance for United as Rooney collects the ball deep and drives at an exposed defence. His attempted ball to Hernandez is cut out by the Wigan defence though. Wigan look good - I'm surprised, but I probably shouldn't be - they've done well in recent weeks.
Another opportunity for Wigan but it's wasted. Di Santo drifts off the left and plays the ball to Moses but as he breaks free from his markers the ball hits him on the heel and rolls away from the box.
Rooney has been dropping deep to help out an ailing defence but as he tries to win back possession from McArthur, he inadvertantly trips him, conceding a free kick. Maloney's delivery is deep and looks to have De Gea flapping but the Spaniard knew what he was doing as he jumped and guided it out for a goal kick. He's a new man I tell ya!
Yellow Card Franco Di Santo
Yellow Card Jonny Evans
Jonny Evans is shown the first card of the night as he panics on the halfway line and tugs Moses to the deck. He was scared of his pace as a through ball was lofted over him and took cynical action. Yellow card sir.
Maynor Figueroa tries his best to open the scoring from 25 yards but absolutely balloons it high into the stands. A pitiful effort....
United show their hand as Giggs and Carrick combine and find a way into the right corner of the box. But Giggs' cross/shot is blocked at the near post and goes out for a corner which produces little.
Big Franco Di Santo's making a nuisance of himself as he muscles past Giggs to win a free kick on the halfway line. It doesn't come to anything but Wigan are more than competing with United. Ferguson is still roaming the technical area.
Lovely trickery down the left from Maloney as he slaloms his way into the box. As he cuts back on his right, the winger fires his cross into the box. It's well defended though by Ferdinand and cleared to safety.
They're not shy of playing the ball around, Wigan, are they? Unfortunately this neat little move doesn't work out and they survive a scare at the other end as Hernandez sees his shot blocked.
United finally find their stride and a bit of possession. Giggs rolls Hernandez in on goal but as he cuts back Caldwell just flicks the ball away to safety
Chance! Maloney finds James McCarthy on the edge of the box and his drive is tipped over by De Gea. Routiine save to be fair. This is a great start from Wigan as Fergie shakes his head in disappointment on the touchline.
Wigan forge half a chance but Beausejour's cut back to Di Santo is cut out and off for a corner. There was a brief window for the winger to find his forward but he delayed just too long. Moments later, Moses beat Ferdinand down the left and on the byline and as his cross was hit, there were appeals for a penalty for handball by Carrick. Not given.
First Carrick commits a foul on the edge and now Valencia chops down Beausejour. United yet to find a hold in this game.
There's a bit of hustle about Wigan this evening as Victor Moses nips in and steals the ball from Evra. The left-back is fortunate that he has the rapid Young in front of him and he works back to recover possession.
Decent starrt from the hosts as Jean Beausejour hurtles down the left flank and crosses just beyond De Gea. The Spanish keeper looked a little worried but it sailed just beyond his backpost.
And we are underway at the DW as United look to keep hold of their grip on the title. Can Wigan secure any form of result tonight?
So we're just a few moments away from kick-off and may I remind you Wigan have never so much as drawn a game with Man Utd. Quite frankly I don't see that trend changing! They may add to their four goals scored, but then again they've not scored in their last five against the Champions, so why would that change now!?
And United: (4-4-2): De Gea; Jones, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra; Valencia, Giggs, Carrick, Young; Rooney, Hernandez. Subs: Amos, Smalling, Park, Nani, Cleverley, Pogba, Welbeck.
So team news, first up is the Wigan line-up: (3-4-2-1) Al-Habsi; Alcaraz, Caldwell, Boyce; Figueroa, McCarthy, McArthur, Beausejour; Maloney, Moses; Di Santo. Subs: Pollitt, Stam, Crusat, Watson, Gomez, Diame, Sammon.
Welcome everybody, my name is Jay Jaffa and I'll be taking you through the game at the DW Stadium tonight!
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