Today’s game was very much a must win for latics, and one we really should have. If we want to survive we need more than just a point from our remaining games, we need at least another five if not more. When we could have picked up a very helpful three points, and finally started to pull away from the drop. Our lack of fire power shone through.
The game started very shaky, neither team really taking control of the ball or the game. But with inside ten minutes we had seen our first shots at goal from both sides. Neither side really tested either keeper. The first really attempt on goal in the game produced the first goal. A ball over the top by Watson found N’Zogbia. Howard came and closed the Frenchman down, and looked to have done enough. Before N’Zogbia turned and fired a well placed shot into the Everton net 1-0 to Wigan; very good start for the home side.
On came the Everton pressure which was held out well by Latics for about 20 minutes of the first half. The defence looked strong, and Ali made a great save at his near post to stop an Osman goal. The pressure continued and from a corner, the ball went short to Osman inside the box. Who was clipped by N’Zogbia, penalty for Everton.
Arteta returning from injury stepped up to the spot. He fired the ball hard to the keepers left side. A great save was made by Ali tipping the ball wide, when it was heading straight for the corner. Lady luck was looking to be on Latics side. It didn’t last long. A tackle by Diame on Rodwell, saw both go down injured and a booking for Diame. With only two minutes left of the half, Diame was replaced by James McArthur.
On came the second half and a sluggish start by Wigan saw a pressing Everton team able to run freely in the Latics half. They were unable to take advantage of us sitting off and we held well. But with seven minutes played on the second half, N’Zogbia pulled up and on came Moses.
The Nigerian got stuck in straight away and his first touch of the ball was to head the ball wide. The substitution looked to have paid off in Wigan’s favour Moses making havoc where ever he had the ball and caused Howard to pull of two great saves.
With thirteen minutes to go, an Everton corner saw Rodallega hand ball in the box to give Everton their second penalty. Leighton Baines stepped up and only just converted smashing the ball into the roof of the net to get Everton level and break Latics hearts.
All season we have struggled with goals and that vein continued again today. Chnaces for Di Santo, Moses and Rodallega all missed by the players as the time counted down. Ali still had to be sharp and pulled off a good save from a Coleman volley who nearly won it for Everton.
On the face of it a good result for Wigan against an in form Everton side. But any Everton fans would admit they did not play well today and all in all, Latics should have taken three points. It is the story of our season. Well played but unable to take our chances and cost us many valuable points throughout the season.
In total we have drawn fourteen matches throughout the season. Imagine if we had won at least half of those matches. That would be an extra fourteen points, we would be on 49 points and in seven place. That shows one of two things. First how close the league is this year, and secondly how appalling our scoring is this year. We have averaged a goal per game.
If we do go down, it will be because we squander so so many good chances. Let’s hope with three games to go we can score a few more than one a game. Next we face Villa in what I think now becomes a must win game. We have had good results at Villa in the past and lest hope that continues next Saturday. We showed today we have the quality and the fight. So let’s give it our all and win some matches.