Wigan Athletic 1-3 Real Zaragoza
Match Report by Jordan Griffin (wigan-latics)
The Unlucky Latics were on the wrong side of a 3-1 defeat at the DW stadium with Spanish team Real Zaragoza showing their class on a smooth sail to victory.
The usual East stand drummer boy was not in attendance and was in fact replaced with the not so often drone of the vuvuzela and the rattling of empty seats.
The game had a slow start but with glimpses of brilliant football from the Latics, looking sharp and playing some attractive football. Even Kirkland was throwing the ball out fast! With new signing Boselli linking well with N'Zogbia on the right Wigan were looking good for the new season.
The first real chance came to Hugo Rodallega picking the ball up on the left of the box and firing inches away from the goal thus creating an illusion that it was a goal. Much to the disappointment of the Latics faithful, the ball rolled out for a goal kick.
Goalkeeper Chris Kirkland poorly pulled down Lopez in the Penalty area referee Chris Foy pointed to the spot with no doubt in his mind when the
penalty was converted thousands of Zaragoza fans cheered! Well, not exactly......
Being one nil down Wigan were determined to get a goal back before half time. Which is exactly what they did and it came on the 45th minute with Ben Watson providing the killer pass to N'Zogbia, the Frenchman cooley going around the keeper and firing home for a Latics equaliser.
Half Time: If the fans were already depressed that there team wasn't winning by 3 or 4 goals, the half time Audio track featured X-factor Failist John And Edward! I think we can only hope that we never hear them at the DW this season.
To be honest, with the number of changes at half time, the Latics were a different looking team altogether, they lacked that killer pass and the finish that they needed. The closest we came was with Jordi Gomez, I think you know what happened next.
All set up Gomez wanted power to his shot, well, he got the power, but instead of hitting towards the goal, it ended up in the East stand. Which for me, summed up his night. Whenever he got the ball he just had to turn around and go the other way!
At this point the only quality was coming from the away side. With speedy striker Braulio Nobrega speeding down the heart of the defence, leaving Gohouri in dust finishing off the move with a wonderful strike, which left the away bench going mad with cheers.
Just 4 minutes later Gabriel Fernandez scored a stunning goal from near the half way line (not quite as good as Figueroa's goal at Stoke). At this point, the Wigan fans were feeling sorry for the away teams lack of support, and decided to clap fror his amazing goal.
With the first home friendly of the season coming to a close, the Latics faithful decided to cheer themselves up with a chorus of and out of time and tune 'you are my sunshine' followed by 'Blue 'n' White army'
I don't think much else happened after that, although a huge jumbo jet flew over from the north west corner of the stadium (yes I was that bored)
Verdict: A good first half showing signs or quality, but I think we may be struggling if we don't keep some of our more attacking players.
Latics: Kirkland; Boyce (Stam, 55), Gohouri, Alcaraz (Golobart, 60), Figueroa (Baradji, 45); McCarthy, Diame; N'Zogbia (Gomez, 45), Watson (McArthur, 45), Rodalega, Boselli
Subs: Al Habsi, Scotland, Moses
Real Zaragoza: Leo Franco, Carlos Diogo, Matteo Contini, Jorge Lopez, Kevin Lacruz, Jermaine Pennant, Gabriel Fernandez, Marco Perez, Jiri Jarosik, Ivan Obradovic.
Subs: Antonio Doblas, Raul Goni, Ander Herrera, Braulio Nobrega, Eduardo Garcia, Leo Ponzio, Jose Ruiz
By Jordan Griffin
Latics and Proud
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