Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Sunday August 21 2011
Latics returned to the North West from South Wales with a share of the spoils, but for a saved penalty and two shots against the woodwork, Roberto Martinez might have been rejoicing in the Valleys with all three points winging their way back from this uninspiring goalless draw.
Wigan lined up for the first ever Premier League game outside of England with a surprise or two in the team selection, one was the return of Antolin Alcaraz to the starting line up and two was the non-return of Hugo Rodallega.
Swansea were first off the mark and could have taken the lead in the second minute of the game when striker Danny Graham was given time in the box to turn and hit his shot, fortunately he hit it straight at Ali Al-Habsi.
The Latics were stuttering to find any rhythm to their game and looked very unbalanced, though Di Santo was putting a shift in support to the Latics striker was limited and just one shot in the whole of the first half tells its own story.
Swansea on the other hand looked dangerous going forward with Nathan Dyer looking particularly threatening, but the home side appeared to be missing a cutting edge and were reduced to half chances and wild efforts with Scott Sinclair seemingly intent on breaking the advertising boards with his wayward shooting.
Antolin Alcaraz left the field injured on 37 minutes, the Paraguay international appeared to strain something as he knocked the ball out for a corner, the normally resolute defender simply walked off the pitch and signalled to the bench, much to the dismay of Boyce, Al-Habsi and Caldwell who all remonstrated with Alcaraz to stay on the field of play, without being too unkind, he looked like he just didn't fancy it.
Ronnie Stam came on the 'injured' Alcaraz with Boyce moving into the centre of defence.
The second half started exactly like the first, Latics looking unbalanced and without energy, an out of sorts James McCarthy was replaced on 64 minutes with McArthur and suddenly a new urgency was injected into the team.
Some probing passing started to open up the Swansea defence and the Latics began to look a lot more menacing, this passage of play saw first Jordi Gomez crash a great 20 yard effort against the post with Vorm well beaten, then Victor Moses out muscle two Swansea defenders to hit a venomous strike from the edge of the area that crashed against the bar, Gomez raced onto the rebound and was upended by Swans defender Ashley Williams, referee Phil Dowd pointed to the spot without hesitation.
Up stepped Ben Watson and hit his penalty low to the keepers right, Vorm got down well and parried the ball away for a very good save. From the resultant corner substitute Hugo Rodallega couldn`t get his head on the ball and the chance was gone.
Late in the game Maynor Figueroa flashed a header across the face of the Swansea goal but no Latics attacker was anywhere near getting on the end of it.
On the evidence of the last two games a quality wideman and a goalscoring forward is needed before the transfer window slams shut if the Latics are going to be challenging for mid-table mediocrity this season
Date:Sunday August 21 2011
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