West Bromwich Albion won their first away game of Steve Clark’s tenure but home manager Roberto Martinez will be left to rue his shot shy charges inability once again to turn possession and dominance into goals.
Martinez opted to keep the same line up which earned a deserved win against Tottenham at White Hart Lane last Saturday and his Wigan team with McCarthy and Watson controlling the midfield started much the stronger, with Kone and Maloney looking sharp and putting the Baggies’ giant defenders under almost constant pressure for the first quarter of the game. However as so often this season Wigan seemed content to put in an extra pass in the area when a shot might have borne fruit, the notable exception being a powerful drive from the edge of the area by Watson which flew straight into the hands of stand in keeper Myhill.
West Brom are having a good start to the season and showed why when they broke quickly at pace and Wigan were forced to concede a corner. Olsen and Ramis had one hell of a tussle more suitable to a mix martial arts arena but Wigan thankfully for the home supporters managed to scramble the ball clear.
Wigan continued to dominate proceedings but with Beausejour and Di Santo both having off days too many opportunities went missing and Wigan were made to pay for this wastefulness when on the half hour, against the run of play a poorly cleared corner fell to Brunt who put a cross into the Wigan penalty box and with the Wigan defenders apparently half asleep, Morrison had an easy task to head the ball into the net for the opening goal.
This appeared to knock Wigan off their stride and their play became ragged but they gradually began to re-assert their dominance when the sucker punch of a second goal from the away side sent the large away following into raptures of delight. A ball from out wide by Jones hit Caldwell who with his keeper watched the ball sail into the net for a two nil lead.
Wigan showed character and hit make almost immediately when Kone scrambled the ball over the line following Beausejour’s cross from the left hand side.
The second half followed much the same pattern but Wigan will only have themselves to blame for not coming away with something from the game; Di Santo missing badly with two headers and Maloney shooting over without troubling the stand in keeper.
At the other end Al Habsi had to pull off two superb saves to keep the scoreline close and despite a lot of effort from Wigan they failed to produce enough shots on target to deserve anything from the game and as with Barcelona’s defeat at Celtic, possession is nothing unless you can put the ball in the net, something Wigan need to rectify if they are to reach the higher echelons’ of the Premier League this season.
Wigan Team and Player Ratings
Al Habsi….7 some fine saves
Figueroa….6 a steady performance
Caldwell….6 did ok, unlucky with the own goal.
Ramis….6.5 growing in confidence
Boyce….7 linked well going forwards but lacked support.
Beausejour….5 a poor game
McCarthy….7 excellent first half faded after the break
Watson….8 Man of the Match, controlled the game
Maloney….6 should have done better with his shooting
Kone….7 worked hard with a little support.
Di Santo….5 Not his best game
Stam….6.5 linked well and put over some challenging crosses
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