PREMIER LEAGUE: Wigan held to 1-1 draw by Everton

Wigan Athletic have missed a great chance to pull themselves out of the drop zone by drawing 1-1 with Everton at home today.

The Latics were well on top of their opponents for much of the 90 minutes but could not make the most of the plethora of chances they created against a lacklustre Toffees outfit, who were the recipients of two penalties.

Charles N’Zogbia kicked off the scoring when he curled a lovely left footed shot around Tim Howard in the 21st minute before the visitors had a great opportunity to level when N’Zogbia brought down Leon Osman in the area.

Mikel Arteta’s spot kick was saved by Ali Al Habsi but the next time the Toffees went to the spot, courtesy of a Hugo Rodallega handball in the 78th minute, Leighton Baines hammered home to make it 1-1.

Despite some late chances for Wigan, Roberto Martinez’s side could not take all three points and remain 18th on the table with three matches remaining.

The draw kept David Moyes’ charges in seventh but it was not the type of performance that we have seen from them in recent times which has seen them lose just twice in their past 11.

Wigan Athletic: 1 (Charles N’Zogbia 21’)
Everton: 1 (Leighton Baines (p) 78’)

Venue: DW Stadium, Wigan
Crowd: 17,051
Referee: Lee Mason
Yellow cards: WA - Mohamed Diame 39’, Maynor Figueroa 87’
EV - Tony Hibbert 52’, Jack Rodwell 82’

Everton were supplying plenty of pressure in the early part of the contest but it was the home side who hit the lead after 20 minutes.
GOAL James McCarthy played a deft chip into the path of Charles N’Zogbia who took a poor first touch as an advancing Tim Howard made contact with him but the French winger recovered, turned onto his preferred left foot and curled a lovely shot around the Toffees keeper to give his side the ascendency.

Moments later, Leon Osman almost provided a quick leveler when he stepped around his marker and unleashed from inside the area but Latics gloveman Ali Al Habsi came up with a top save to keep his side ahead.

Wigan were happy just to sit back and frustrate the Everton side on what was a very warm day at the DW Stadium but the heat must’ve gone to N’Zogbia’s head in the 34th minute when he tried to win the ball off Leon Osman just inside the area after a short corne.
Referee Lee Mason had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and the returning Mikel Arteta stepped up to the plate. However, the Spaniard’s spot kick was strong-handed by Al Habsi who knocked it clear in what was a huge let-off for the home side.

The end of the first half became a bit untidy with a few rash challenges getting thrown around, one which caused Wigan’s Mohamed Diame to be replaced by James McArthur.

Right on the hour-mark, Wigan were close to going two ahead when the ball fell to substitute Victor Moses but his close range shot from an angle was well-navigated by Howard just moments before the same player made another save from Moses’ second attempt for the day in what were ominous signs for the visitors.

Wigan were well on top and it seemed as though a second goal would certainly come but the Toffees still had something to give when Leighton Baines’ 77th minute free-kick floated to the back post where Phil Jagielka tried his luck from a tight angle but Al Habsi managed to keep it out.

GOAL However, the resulting corner saw Hugo Rodallega handle the ball in the air with referee Mason again being forced to point to the spot. This time it was Baines who took the honours with Arteta on the bench and the English left-back hammered it into the roof of the net to make it 1-1 just over 10 minutes from time.

Franco Di Santo was close to a winner for the Latics in the 85th minute when he controlled with his chest and shot on the turn, forcing Howard into a save, before Ben Watson fired from 25 yards with Howard again coming to the rescue for the Toffees.

With four minutes added time there was still a chance for Wigan to score and they really should have done so when Howard was involved in a scramble to see the ball fall for Hugo Rodallega but he missed the target from point blank range to allow the visitors to take a point they probably didn’t deserve.

Starting Line-Ups

Wigan
Ali Al Habsi (gk) – Emmerson Boyce, Antolin Alcaraz, Gary Caldwell, Maynor Figueroa – Ben Watson, Mohamed Diame (McArthur 44’), James McCarthyTom Cleverley (Di Santo 79’), Hugo Rodallega, Charles N’Zogbia (Moses 54’)

Subs - Chris Kirkland (gk), James McArthur (44’), Victor Moses (54’), Franco Di Santo (79’), Steve Gohouri, Jordi Gomez, Conor Sammon

Everton
Tim Howard (gk) –Tony Hibbert, Sylvain Distin, Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines – Leon Osman, Jack Rodwell, Phil Neville, Mikel Arteta (Beckford 66’) – Tim Cahill (Coleman 66’), Victor Anichebe (Gueye 82’)

Subs - Jan Mucha (gk), Jermaine Beckford (66’), Seamus Coleman (66’), Magaye Gueye (82’), Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Apostolos Velias, Shane Duffy

 
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