The first ever Premier League game outside England ended in a goalless draw in a match which made up for its lack of goals with
passion, pomp, circumstance and a bit of football thrown in for good measure.
Wigan made one change from the side which drew at home to Norwich with Alcaraz replacing the head injury victim Lopez in the centre of defence.
To use an old football cliché, the game was very much a game of two halves. In the first half Wigan seemed very static and unable two string two passes together. Swansea on the other hand with man of the match Dyer, Routledge and Sinclair using their pace with former
Wigan target Leon Britton orchestrating the play in centre of midfield.
Swansea looked dangerous from the first minute when quick movement and a slide rule pass isolated Figueroa and allowed Angel to cross to Graham but the striker fluffed his chance and Al Habsi made an easy save.
Graham had another chance but a last gasp block by Antolin Alcaraz saved the day.
Wave after wave of Swansea attacks poured at the Wigan goal who seemed content to defend deep and break down the play. Unfortunately when pushing forward Wigan were very static not moving into space to create passing opportunities for the
player on the ball. McCarthy had a particularly torrid time and looks very short of match fitness.
Ex Wigan loanee Scott Sinclair showing the potential that was hidden when he played for the Latics and fired
Wigan once again were heavily reliant on the mercurial Moses for their creative play and time and again he found the hard working Di Santo but when the Argentinean flicked the ball on , all too often there was no support player and the momentum was lost.
Wigan suffered yet another centre half injury blow when Alcaraz seemed to jar his right knee when turning on the
rain sodden ( and sprinkler sodden ) pitch. He carried on for another ten minutes but was eventually substituted in evident discomfort to be replaced by the only other fit defender on the books Ronnie Stam, with Boyce moving into centre half.
Wigan were under pressure for most of the rest of the first half but defended well as a unit ably supported by Diame and Watson.
In the home goal Vorm was largely untroubled in the first half, a comfortable save from Gomez the only one of note.
The second half was a very different affair, Wigan increased the tempo pressing up field and giving more possession to the dangerous
Moses. Stam and Figueroa used the pace and natural attacking flair to pressurise the Swans full backs and as the home side seemed to tire Wigan looked the more likely to score.
From one such Stam raid the ball was crossed with pace and Rodallega was inches away from poking the ball home
Wigan continued to ramp up the pressure and Swansea were saved by the woodwork not once but twice with first Gomez with a sublime chip come shot hitting the post and then a Moses ripper coming back off the bar. From the latter the ball fell to Gomez and as he went into the area Williams caught his foot leaving Phil Dowd in no doubt to award a penalty.
Watson stepped up to take the penalty but unlike last week Vorm guessed right .
In the build up to the penalty Moses was injured and indicated to the bench that he was struggling, Wigan had however used all three
substitutes and Martinez opted to take the gamble of further injuring the talisman by keeping him on the pitch, switching Rodallega to the left wing and playing Moses up front although he was virtually a passenger.
Moses to his credit never stopped trying and managed to fire in a cross which fizzed across the six
yard area which only required a tap in but no Wigan player was anywhere near it.
Swansea looked to test Wigan on the break with Dyer still looking dangerous and Sinclair and Allen both went close and Dobbie forcing Al
Habsi into a superb save , the lose ball falling to Sinclair too quickly for the player to stab home.
In the last minute Wigan had another chance when from a Watson corner Figueroa rose unchallenged and his header
narrowly missed the unguarded back post.
All in all a draw was a fair result for a game which wasplayed in a superb atmosphere in front of very hospitable fans. Worryingly for Wigan , injuries to Alacarz, Moses and doubts about McCarthy’s fitness have seriously weakened an already threadbare squad with only McManaman not included in the match squad deemed a first team squad player.
Line up and player ratings
Man of the Match (Wigan)
Once again Victor Moses, showing his undoubted potential
week in week out
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