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Latics Popped at Pompey

2 - 0
Wigan Athletic

Fratton Park

29/03/08 3pm

Attendance: 18,623


Wigan Athletic have now lost two games on the bounce and have had their survival bubble popped by Harry Redknapps star striker Jermaine Defoe.

Latics, turned up for this game with their entire midfield suspended but still created enough chances to have won two games.

Once we fell behind to Defoes opener it was always going to be an up hill struggle with our inability to score clearly evident when Ryan Taylor had his penalty saved and then spooned the rebound over the bar from three yards.

Latics almost took the lead on 19 minutes when Heskey cleverly set up Valencia who beat Pompey keeper James with a smart crisp drive only for defender Johnson to get back and clear off the line and onto the bar.

Defoe scored within 5 minutes at the other end following some pretty woeful Latics defending (again), beating Kirkland at his near post from an almost imppossible angle.

Latics huffed and puffed for the rest of the game and were awarded a penalty on 70 minutes when Distin upended Valencia in the box.

Taylor stepped up and knocked the ball smartly to his left, James got down well to parry, Taylor ran in and blazed high and mighty with his left foot from 3 yards.

That was it for the Latics, a few half chances either side proves that we need some creativity in the side and Palacios, Koumas and Brown were very much missed today.

Oh almost forgot, Defoe scored his and Pompeys second with virtually the last kick of the game in the 94th minute, sliding the ball past Kirkland after running free from the half way

All in all a bad day at the office but at least we've got next week to put a smile back on everyones face, Birmingham are visiting the JJB, a must win game

Star Player

Emile Heskey...a great battling performance

Player Ratings

Chris Kirkland 6

Beaten at near post for Defoe's opener but pulled off two cracking saves

Mario Melchiot 6

Usual display from Melchiot, missed the ball in the area and it fell to Defoe to open the scoring

Emmerson Boyce 6

Boyce missed tackle on Uttaka allowed ball to go through to Defoe for first goal

Erik Hagen 6

Tackled like a big girl when challenging Uttaka in box, ball ran through for, yep you guessed Defoe to score opening goal

Kevin Kilbane 6

Not his natural position left back so cant be critical

Antonio Valencia 7

Most creative and dangerous of our midfield

Josip Skoko 5

Didnt realise he'd played, annonymous

Paul Scharner 6

Not a midfield player and definately shouldnt be taking free kicks

Ryan Taylor 6

Dosent look fit, any one can have a penalty saved, should have buried the rebound though

Emile Heskey 8

Won almost every header, pity there was no one working with him

Marcus Bent 5

Apart from one 35 yard effort didnt have any attempts on goal, not the man to play off Heskey

Antoine Sibierski 6

Always makes a difference when he's on the pitch...I thought garlic was good for you and had healing properties, stay fit Antoine!

Marlon King 6

I hope he comes good but at the moment looking like a fish out of water, gave the ball away too much

Julius Aghahowa

Not on long enough to rate but long enough to give the ball away or lose possesion on four occassions

Manager Rating

Steve Bruce:

Hands tied with starting eleven due to suspensions and injuries and went for it at the end with five man attack

Will we be safe?

Our saving grace this season is that we share the Premier League with Derby, Fulham and Bolton who are all about as good as an average pub side, so with that in mind I think we are safe now on 31 points. Luckily

Writer:Barry Worthington
Date:Sunday March 30 2008
Time: 11:47AM


Oh for a goal scoring forward
30/03/2008 11:52:00
Distin upended Valencia in the box? Valencia slipped on the wet grass in the box more like! Never a penalty in a million years! Having said that I thought you played well and, if not for super David James, the result could have been different. Good luck for the rest of the season. You will be fine!
Pompey Half Pint
30/03/2008 13:17:00
Hope so half pint
30/03/2008 13:35:00
yeh agreed i prefer you to some other teams battling down there... oh how much id love newcastle to go!!! good luck, bruce is a good manager though.
30/03/2008 14:14:00
You'll get enough as the bottom 3 as it stands won't.
30/03/2008 18:20:00
Heskey may be good but he's just not a goalscorer. If you had a goalscorer you wouldn't be in the position you are!
will it ever happen
05/04/2008 08:20:00
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