Latics 1-0 Boro
Latics beat Middlesbrough for the first time on home soil and gained their first points of the new season in doing so
Manager Chris Hutchings made one change fron the side that narrowly lost to Everton at the weekend, Antione Sibierski replacing Caleb Folan in attack
Latics could have gone ahead as early as the 4th minute when Sibierski went close with a rasping drive, this set the pattern of play for the rest of the half with Latics creating a host of chances in a one sided affair
On 20 minutes Denny Landzaat found the time to bring the ball down and chip a dainty shot just wide from 12 yards.
Jason Koumas went on a mazey run from the half way line and appeared to take on the whole Boro team, he cut the ball back from the deadball line to Melchiot on the edge of the area who was fouled and earned Latics a free kick
Koumas took the kick and sent the ball curling round the wall and heading for the top corner of the net only for Swartzer to scramble the ball round the post for a Latics corner
The second half contiued as the first with Koumas trying his luck from just outside the box just after the restart, but Swartzer was equal to his effort
Latics finally got the goal they deserved on 54 minutes.
Valencia received the ball 25 yards out and fired in a deflected shot that Schwarzer could only deflect onto the toes of Sibierski who gleefully put the ball in the net for his second goal in two games since joing from Newcastle
Middlesbrough tried to get back into the game but with a little more composure Latics could have scored another three before the end with Scharner the main culprit missing a guilt edge chance following a break
So Middlesbrough finally taste defeat in Wigan and Hutch is off the mark
Sibierski will soon become a Latics favourite with the way he plays, and a goal a game always helps
There is still a concern with the left side of the team and at times Latics were left a little open
Superb performance from the Dutchman, all over the park tonight
Played some intelligent passes and broke up some Boro attacks and linked exceptionaly well with the ret of the midfield
Kirkland - 7
Melchiot - 8
Bramble - 7
Granqvist - 8
Kilbane - 7
Valencia - 7
Scharner - 7
Landzaat - 8
Koumas - 8
Heskey - 7
Sibierski - 7
Aghahowa - 6
Boro - Sanli, Johnson, Arca
'It was a big team effort. I thought we could have scored a few more to be quite honest.
'It was quite an open game, but I was delighted that we kept a clean sheet. There were a lot of plusses.'
'We weren't quite positive enough until we'd gone behind. We've got to pick ourselves up. Nobody's going to help us out - it's down to us.
'We didn't deserve anything and the players know that. We've got to go to Fulham and get something on Saturday.'
Saturday 18th August 2007