Wigan Athletic 0 Millwall 0
Wigan produced a performance devoid of power, passion and in the main class against a very limited Millwall side a performnce that saw them firmly ensconced in the lower half of the tble
The major talking point prior to the kick off was the surprise return of former Wigan favourite Maynor Figueroa on a month’s loan from Hull City. Figueroa was thrust straight into the starting line up along with Fortune and Kvist. Taylor, McManaman and Cowie were the men replaced. The game started off at a slow pace, both sides seemingly content to pass the ball around the midfield looking for any chinks in the ir opponents defence. Both midfields largely cancelled each other out with Millwall’s best players Chaplow and McDonnald matching their Wigan opponents.
Chances were sparse in the first half, an error during a clearance by Forde saw the ball fall to McClean but he couldn’t put the chance away . Millwalls best chance was a long range shot from the effervescent McDonald which was well saved by Carson. Wigan continued to look for openings and not for the first time this season McClean looked the mostly likely to score although his shots were somewhat off target.
Half time came with neither side in the ascendancy and with only one shot target for each side the fans were hoping for something better to lift them out of their stupor. The second half carried on in much the same vein, Fortune was Latics both dangerous player, running the angles to beat the offside trap and showing some neat touches to try and create chances for the supporting players. However it was another striker in the veteran stage, Ricardo Fuller who almost scored when a Martin free kick found Fuller but even though he was unmarked he failed to take advantage of the chance presented to him.
Wigan did think they had scored when Riera put the ball in the net but the assistant referee had incorrectly ruled Fortune had played the ball for an offside position. This sparked Wigan into life and a fine move resulted in a shot from substitute McManaman saw the ball bounce back off the cross bar to safety. The game petered out after that and as the boos rang around the DW stadium at the final whistle, the players and coaching staff were left with no illusion at the task ahead of them for the rest of the season. Line up and player ratings
Carson…….6, did what was asked of him
Tavernier…….5, an improvement on Saturday, good set pieces and linked up on the right
Ramis…….5, looked off the pace (withdrawn)
Figueroa……..5, solid debut
Kvist……5, looked to attack but lacked the killer pass.
Forshaw…….5, a few good passes but lacked the consistency
Maloney (C)……6, never stopped trying
McClean………6.5, showed pace and a willingness to shoot ( withdrawn)
Fortune………7, MOM, only player with flair and determination needed
Riera……..5, struggled against solid defence, (withdrawn)
Kiernan for Riera………5, nothing fancy.
McManaman for McClean……5, didn’t have the impact hoped for
Espinoza for Riera……..5, little or no influence on the game
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