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Heskey earns Wigan a point

Wigan Athletic
1 - 1
Tottenham Hotspur

JJB Stadium

19/04/08

Attendance: 18,673

Referee:

Wigan Athletic were visited today by twenty members of the Norwegian supporters club who must have felt at home on an afternoon more suited to Nordic winters than English springtime.

The only team change for the Latics was the return of Michael Brown at the expense of the industrious Josip Skoko.

The Norwegians must have wondered whether the journey was worth it when Keane spurned a chance as early as the first minute.

Spurs were passing the ball around with every ball finding a team mates foot and it was no surprise when on the sixth minute an Aaron Lennon cross eluded the Latics defence and found Berbatov unmarked in the six yard box for a simple tap in.

Latics immediately raised their game and Valencia broke down the right firing in a pin point cross which Heskey appeared to miss kick in falling over, however he recovered before the Spurs defenders blasting the ball past the Cerny.

The rest of the first half was cut and thrust with Berbatov and Lennon looking particularly dangerous and the Latics defenders with Melchiot and Boyce especially working hard to contain them.

Taylor earned his team-mates plaudits by clearing a Dawson header off the line, shortly followed by a brilliant tackle from captain fantastic Melchiot.

Berbatov earned the wrath of the Latics fans by appearing to dive within the penalty area and then constantly berating the referee without being booked for dissent.

The Latics strike force of Bent and Heskey lost nothing in comparison however with the former producing neat flick ons for Heskey and Valencia and the latter winning every ball in the air and looking fitter than at any time this season.

In midfield Palacios was his usual industrious self but displayed more attacking skills than usual including one run which included beating at least four defenders but unfortunately the shot was blocked.

Palacios was granted a shot shortly after Cerny saving well.

Both sides trooped off at half time confident that they could win the match

Latics started the second half much the brighter with Bent in particular display skill verve and pace and being a constant threat to the Spurs defence.

Bent wasted a great chance when Palacios put him away on the right, he raced towards goal but when it seemed easier to score he blasted the ball against the bar.

For Spurs, Jenas wasted a glorious chance blasting well wide of the goal when seemingly wells and Scharner showed great athleticism to tackle Lennon when he was apparently clear on goal. Lennon was also frustrated by a brilliant save from the Kirkland.

As the half went on Latics looked dangerous and Heskey was again frustrated by a point blank save from Cerny. Heskey limped off shortly after to be replaced by Siberski whose first touch was a clear shot at goal which hit the corner flag earning rueful smiles form the rest of the Wigan players.

Bent also limped off although preliminary reports suggest that neither injury is serious and both forwards should be fit for next week`s crunch game against Reading.

Koumas who had replaced the industrious but limited Taylor on the left wing brought an extra dimension to Latics attacking play although his falling over a crisp packet should make it onto "Soccer AM" next week

The final whistle brought a round of applause for a committed team display although the fact that only Kirkland and Kilbane stayed to acknowledge the fans suggests that the Latics players viewed this one as two points lost

Conclusion

Point gained or two dropped, could be either but a fair result in my opinion but sets things up for the Reading game

Star Player

Star Man

Palacios 8.5/10

Lived up to his growing reputation

Player Ratings


Kirkland….7.5

Couldn`t be faulted for the goal and a wonder save from Lennon .

Melchiot…8

Surely the most skilful right back in the Premier League. Churches are reporting an increasing number of boys being christened Mario in Wigan

Kilbane...7

Was given a testing afternoon by Lennon but never stopped trying

Boyce…8

Worked hard against classy opposition.

Scharner….7

Not his best game but one superb tackle to deprive Lennon

Taylor…6

Struggling out of position. Good clearance off the line

Brown…6

Not on top of his game. One appalling missed shot in the first half

Palacios...8.5

Never stopped all afternoon

Valencia…8

Most creative outlet once again

Bent…8

Showed the skills that gained him seven goals before Christmas. Should have scored.

Heskey…8

Best performance of the season.

Koumas…7.5

Showed his creative flair.

Sibierski...6.5

Should have done better with his one clear chance.

King….6.5

Looked sharper laying the ball off well


Writer:baskerville
Date:Sunday April 20 2008
Time: 9:03AM

Comments

0
A good entertaining game with a fair result
worbo
20/04/2008 09:05:00
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