Unlucky Latics lose again
DW Stadium, WIgan
Lartics fans arrived at the DW stadium last night wondering which team would turn up, the team that prevailed magnificently the week before against Liverpool or the team that capitualted pitifully agaisnt Bolton three days earlier.
On balence it was the former with Wigan able to console themselves that both Villa goals, a wierd own goal and a deflect shot were unlikely to happen again anytime soon.
Martinez opted to make two changes, dropping young talent Moses and the unpredictable Scharner to the bench and giving recalls to Moreno and Thomas, allowing Rodallega to drop back onto the wing.
The game was an open one throughout with both sides attacking at will but Villa looked the more purposeful in the first half , controlling midfield but finding the Latics back four a difficult nut to crack.
Villa with the pace of Young and Agbonlahor were constantly looking to breach the Wigan offside trap and the Latics were saved on a couple of occasions by the linesman's flag.
Latics with Moreno and Rodallega looking sharp had their own chances but too often they took the wrong option and Friedal's goal remained intact.
The goal when it came had a hint of controversy about it to go with a healthy helping of farce.
Downing took a corner and with Carew seemingly bundling a Latics player out of the way, McCarthy tried to hook the ball clear whilst facing his own goal and only succeeded in steering the ball into the net , a goal which is sure to be on next Christmas' blooper DVD.
The Latics players launched a protest to the referee Steve Bennett, but the man from Kent who had one of his traditional poor games when officiating the Latics ignored the protests.
Latics when conceeding on Saturday folded like a pack of cards but not last night. They immeadately put pressure on the away sides defence and from an N'Zogbia corner,Caldwell rose unchallenged to head a bullet header home for the equiliser.
The action in the rest of the half see sawed to and fro with the one criticisim of Wigan being an obsession with hitting high balls into the area from both set pieces and crosses, all of which were comfortably dealt with by the immense Collins and Dunne.
The second half carried on in much the same vein as the first with both sides determined to take three points rather than one.
As it turned out the winning goal had a large slice of luck attached to it, a poor clearence fell to Milner some thirty yards from goal with a mass of players blocking his route to the goal, he blasted the shot more in hope I would imagine then any belief of scoring but the ball took a deflection, wrong footing Kirkland in the Wigan goal and we were behind again.
Latics pushed forward in search of an equiliser but too often resorted to shooting from the edge of the area, thereby undoing all the excellent work that had gone on in the build up.
The final score of two one was not a real relection of a game which Wigan dominated in terms of possession but reflected once again on the decision to go through a season with so few recognised forwards, a decision which may come back to haunt us come May