Writer: Frank Ford
Date:Wednesday March 26 2014
5th placed Latics traveled to London on Tuesday night to face 4th place Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road. QPR defeated the Latics 1-0 after an early Benayoun goal, and the Rangers held on ending the 10 game unbeaten streak, despite the Latics pressure.
The Latics did not have the brightest of starts, at times looked to lack attacking options and were unable to knock it around in the midfield and the back. Collison made his first start and the combination of Ramis, Rogne and Kiernan took time to get settled.
QPR took advantage of this and took the lead from a neat move down the sideline that was crossed into the path of Clint Hill who flicked the ball into the path of Benayoun and from six yards slotted past Ali Al Habsi.
The Latics then responded very well, the first chance came when Nick Powell set Perch up, whose powerful strike from just inside the 18 forced Green to save at his near post.
McClean then had two great opportunities to level up the scores, the best coming late in the first half when Powell found McClean in acres of space on the right, he dribbled into the box before pulling it onto his right and dragging his shot just wide of Robert Green`s post.
Latics started the second half brightly, keeping QPR to very little chances throughout the second half. McCeachran and Powell ran at the defence and looked to be the main threat the whole night. McClean then found himself through only to be saved by Green once again.
Latics came closest when Ramis` looping header hit the QPR crossbar and was scrambled away to safety.
QPR came within inches of doubling the lead. Ravel Morrison`s free kick hit the underside of the crossbar and then Zamora followed up but was cleared off the line by the Latics defense.
The last 10 minutes saw Benayoun receive his second yellow and was sent off. The Latics could not capitalize on the man advantage, though late in the game Nicky Maynard looked to have found the equalizer from a header except for a world class save from Robert Green.
Latics should feel unlucky to come away empty handed. There were many changes to the starting lineup and formation for this game. Wigan will look to bounce back from this defeat with the local derby against Bolton, before a 4-game home stand.
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Date:Wednesday March 26 2014
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