Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Sunday January 17 2010
A perfect away performance is how Latics boss Roberto Martinez described his sides 2-0 win at Molineux and he wasn`t too far wrong as Wigan finished the game with 20 goal attempts 14 of which were on target compared to Wolves 9 with 4 on target.
A sending off and a missed penalty couldn`t take away the pleasure of such a well earned three points.
Latics started the game with some changes, Momo Diame back in the team having recovered from a knee injury, James McCarthy was handed his first Premier League start and new signing Gary Caldwell was selected alongside Titus Bramble in the heart of the Latics defence in the place of the unfortunate Emerson Boyce who dropped to the bench
The first good chance of the game fell to Wolves when Ebanks-Blake found himself clear in the 18 yard box but the struggling striker hit his shot wide of Chris Kirkland and wide of the post
The Latics responded well and Hugo Rodallega was giving home defenders Craddock and Mancienne a torrid time, on one occasion he dropped deep and finding space with the ball struck a venomous drive from 30 yards which had Hahnemann well beaten in the Wolves goal but crashed against the foot of the post.
Latics were finishing the first 45 minutes in the ascendancy and as half time was approaching a ball was punted up field, Scharner won the header and flicked on, McCarthy chased after what appeared to be a lost cause only to be inexplicably dragged back in the area by Wolves defender Stearman, referee Howard Webb pointed to the penalty spot and issued Stearman his second yellow card of the game.
Up stepped Rodallega and hammered the spot kick low to the keepers right but Hahnemann guessed the right way and parried the ball out, Scharner rushing in had the goal at his mercy but he put the chance wide and then collided with the Wolves keeper injuring his knee in the process.
Scharner had to be withdrawn a minute after the half time re-start as a result of the collision and Jordi Gomez took his place in the midfield.
The Latics soon made their one man advantage tell when on 60 minutes James McCarthy swept home following good work by Charles N`Zogbia.
Maynor Figueroa fed an angled ball from the left back position to the right wing where N`Zogbia took it in his stride, the young Frenchman fired in a low cross which Rodallega met only for Hahnemann to parry, McCarthy was steaming into the Wolves area and he side footed home from 14 yards with an accomplished finish through a crowded box.
Latics were now in total control 1-0 to the good stroking the ball around and creating chances with both N`Zogbia and McCarthy looking particularly good then a moment of madness levelled up the numbers.
Hendry Thomas having been booked for a rash challenge in the first half really needed to be careful but with Wolves desperately trying to clear their lines the Latics midfield enforcer flew in late with a tackle right on the touch line in front of the assistant referee who flagged for a foul instantly, match official Howard Webb had no alternative but to show Thomas a second yellow card and the Honduran was off.
With the Latics also down to 10 men it was expected that Wolves would try and stage a comeback but it never happened, the sending off didn`t put Wigan off their stride and indeed the lead was increased with a magic goal from the best player on the pitch Charles N`Zogbia on 73 minutes.
Rodallega, with his back to goal, had the ball on the edge of the area, N`Zogbia took the ball off his team mate and cut into the penalty box, he waltzed around a defender before coolly slotting passed the advancing Hahnemann to give the Latics a 2 goal lead and seal the win.
Rodallega had a chance right at the death of the game to make it 3-0 when he was clear through on goal only to allow Hahnemann to take the ball off him on the edge of the area, it wasn`t to be the Colombians day but all in all it was a very good performance from the Latics.
Date:Sunday January 17 2010
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