Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Sunday March 4 2012
This game was lost in the first half, a very strange team selection saw the Latics go into what many, including the manager himself, said was a must win game, with arguably the three most creative players at the club, Rodallega, Diame and Moses sat on the bench
Whatever formation the Latics were playing was debateable as players on the pitch looked a little confused at what their role was when the game got under way, though it must be said that Jean Beausejour was quite good in the opening exchanges playing down the left and his excellent crosses set up three good chances, which, as usual, weren`t taken.
Without knocking individual players the forward line was distinctly lacking, Swansea`s back four had a very easy first forty-five minutes with long punts up field being the order of the day and the Latics strikers unable to win any balls, all very disappointing
In contrast Swansea looked sharp with slick passing and the movement of Nathan Dyer both on and off the ball was causing problems, striker Danny Graham was also linking well but Sigurdsson in the midfield was running the show for Swansea and the Latics just couldn`t cope with the Iceland international.
The first goal of the game came two minutes into stoppage time at the end of the first half, a Swansea counter-attack saw the ball played to Sigurdsson 25 yards out, he was given time to set himself up and the 26 year old curled a great effort into the top far corner of the goal giving Al-Habsi no chance, 0-1.
Martinez began the second half with a double substitution, bringing on Diame and Moses for McArthur and Sammon, suddenly there was a bit of a spark about the Latics, two players willing to run with the ball, but the fans were calling for Rodallega with chants of 'Hugo, Hugo` from the stands, the Colombian remained seated on the subs bench.
There were a couple of chances for the Latics as they began to look a little more threatening, Moses had a couple of good runs, but it was Swansea who grabbed the next goal on 54 minutes, a free-kick was awarded 30 yards out up stepped Sigurdsson with a great strike that saw Al-Habsi wrong footed and the ball nestled into the back of the net, 0-2
On 65 minutes Dyer was shown a straight red for a challenge on Gomez, Ben Watson was getting stripped to come on but a change of mind from Martinez once Swansea had gone down to 10 saw fans favourite Rodallega introduced with Maynor Figueroa coming off.
The last twenty-five minutes saw the Latics play some frantic football, Swansea though defended deep and resolute and hang-on to their two goal advantage, a result that leaves Latics deep in trouble and the fans questioning Martinez`s team selection.
Surely Diame and Rodallega must start the remaining games?
Date:Sunday March 4 2012
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