Saturday March 31, 2012 Day 31 Finished DW Stadium

Wigan Athletic 2 - 0 Stoke City

  • Alcaraz 55’
  • Moses 90’

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  1. Wigan boost survival hopes

    Wigan boost survival hopes

    Wigan Athletic secured three vital points in their bid to avoid relegation with an impressive 2-0 victory at home to lacklustre Stoke. More

  • Live Commentary

    Time:90'
    • Wigan Athletic
    • Stoke City
    • - Don't forget you can watch highlights of this match, along with every Premier League game, from 00:01 on Monday morning (UK only).
    • - Stoke, however, were very flat. They didn't deserve anything from today's game and will have to be careful if they're to avoid their season ending in lame fashion. In truth, another season of safety is a good one but it may not feel that way if it finishes badly
    • - It's a deserved victory for the home side and three vital points towards possible Premier League survival. The reality is they'll need several more points yet and will need to be more ruthless to secure them; they made today far harder than it needed to be by simply not taking some great chances. Regardless, they looked committed and together, which is key at this stage of the season and more than can be said for some of their rivals
    • 90+5' FT: Wigan 2-0 Stoke
    • 94' Stoke know they're beaten and Wigan are just retaining the ball now...
    • 93' Wigan score! 2-0! Moses, actually unconvincingly, finishes after being gifted a great chance to race through beyond Wilkinson and slot past Begovic! Three points secured now for the home side after what was almost a one-on-one out of nowhere
    • 91' Four mins of added time to be played... Moses was probably fouled their on the edge of the box but he fell theatrically which probably swayed ref Mark Clattenburg's mind into believing it a dive. Wigan still in possession, which is exactly what Martinez will want
    • 90' Wigan are looking a bit tired now. Though Stoke aren't producing anything of note, their threat remains. Wigan just want to hear the final whistle and secure that second home league win of the season
    • 89' Gomez gets another shooting opportunity but his effort is rather tame and Begovic saves...
    • 88' Another good chance missed by Wigan! This time Gomez's shot is blocked, but the midfielder was in a good position. Corner to Wigan...
    • 87' Beausejour off, Sammon on... Moses now likely to come back onto the wing with Sammon as the lone frontman. Time for Wigan to close this result out
    • 86' Jerome fires over! Wigan let off there; they just couldn't clear the ball from their box, which initially came in from Fuller, leading to a shooting opportunity for the striker. That was a good chance to equalise
    • 86' Stoke again with the ball at the back (Conor Sammon looks to be ready to make an appearance...)
    • 84' Shawcross caught well offside from a lofted pass into Wigan's penalty box. Well defended from Wigan there. The clock continues to tick...
    • 83' Interesting move that - looks like Wigan are going 4-5-1, as opposed to 4-3-3, with Moses as the lone striker. Gomez should help retain the ball, which is key at this stage, but Moses will have to work really hard up front to prevent any additional pressure
    • 82' Di Santo off, Gomez on...
    • 81' Stoke continue to send long, deep balls from the back but Wigan are reading them well; Caldwell heads the latest clear...
    • 80' Jordi Gomez is ready to come on for Wigan...
    • 79' Relegation battle news: Wolves 1-2 Bolton (latest score)
    • 78' Shawcross heads wide from right in front of goal from Wilkinson's cross! Good chance, that - he needed to take it
    • 77' Stoke are currently furious after Jerome is judged to have fouled Figueroa; that was harsh - it was a 50/50 - but it was also emblematic of the way this game has been going for the two sides
    • 76' Cynical play from Stoke; Wilkinson hit - not punched - Beausejour in the face with the winger advancing. Free-kick given to Wigan but that perhaps could have been a red.
    • 74' Throw in to Wigan on the left; the home side certainly seem to be winning all of the 50/50s at the moment; the momentum is entirely their's but, again, a one-goal lead remains so uncertain
    • 73' Beausejour misses another superb chance! He's had a good game but that was another shocker! Watson crossed superbly to the winger, who had both time and space, and again failed to connect properly with the ball and send it goalbound. That could really have sealed three crucial points for the home side; now, because of that miss, Stoke are still well in this game
    • 72' Whitehead booked for fouling Moses. Free-kick to Wigan from a position of real potential; Watson likely to cross from the right
    • 71' Wigan should now have more tenacity in midfield; though Maloney's had a decent game, with 20 mins to go Wigan won't want to be too lightweight in midfield and concede their lead
    • 70' Wigan's first sub: Maloney off, Ben Watson on
    • 68' Good play again by Wigan but again that final ball, and movement inside the penalty area, wasn't penetrating enough, and Whelan defended well to clear the danger
    • 66' Pennant made no effort to hide his displeasure at the manager's decision there. Stoke are clearly going for a 4-3-3, looking to solidify in midfield - stop Wigan playing - and capitalise on their big front three
    • 65 Two subs from Stoke; Walters off, Fuller on, and Pennant off, Palacios on
    • 64' Good 'keeping there from Begovic, who caught Boyce's cross-come-shot that was actually heading in and was dangerous to deal with if his footing wasn't correct. Stoke now with the ball
    • 62' Stoke now with the ball at the back and are slowing the tempo down, but quite what Stoke intend to do with the ball is unclear. Their usual tactics have so far proved largely ineffective
    • 60' Stoke are actually now looking disinterested. Wigan still have all of the possession and even look as though they've an extra man (that can probably be attributed, to an extent, for Jerome replacing Etherington and unbalancing Stoke's rigid 4-4-2)
    • 59' Wigan enjoying a substantial, albeit unthreatening, spell of possession at the moment
    • 58' If the scores stay the same, Wigan climb to 17th above Bolton and QPR, and go level on points with 16th-placed Blackburn
    • 57' Another free-kick to Wigan on the half-way line. The home side look lifted and the crowd sound lifted. Wigan are in a great position now but, with their defence - and with Crouch on the pitch - one goal never looks secure
    • 55' Whelan had been booked just before the build up to that goal...
    • 55' Wigan score! 1-0! Alcaraz with the header after good link-up play on the left wing resulted in a superb cross by Beausejour, creating a simple header for the centre half. A deserved lead, on balance.
    • 54' Wigan are snatching at half chances; instead of creating something more promising the likes of Maloney are shooting hopefully and their efforts are getting blocked by Stoke's pressure
    • 52' Throw in on the halfway line to Wigan (news just in: Wolves are beating Bolton 1-0)
    • 50' Moses fouled by Whelan. No booking given by free-kick to the home side near the half-way line
    • 50' Etherington off, Jerome on. Less balance now for Stoke but more physicality; Etherington's had a quiet game and perhaps didn't recover from an injury suffered in the first half
    • 49' Poor from Figueroa, who gifted the ball to Walters who in turn failed to take the chance he'd been gifted and shot wide. Goal-kick for Al Habsi
    • 48' And still with the ball at the bacl (they did make their way forward but Stoke continue to defend well and limit any openings)
    • 47' Corner comes to nothing; Wigan have the ball at the back with Figueroa at the moment
    • 46' Corner given to Wigan but the home side appeal for a penalty! It looks to be the wrong decision to; handball there by Whitehead.
    • 46' Wigan kick-off, we're underway
    • ...The teams are coming out for the second half...
    • Focusing on the relegation battle... Wolves vs Bolton remains 0-0 and QPR are drawing 1-1 with Arsenal. Wigan currently remain 19th in the table but this is a fixture they need to win if they're to avoid making this season any harder than it already is
    • Wigan will be disappointed not to be in front now after great chances for Di Santo and Beausejour. Stoke look somewhat lacking in impetus but they're still posing a threat and inhibiting Wigan elsewhere. Still anyone's game. Feel free to tweet your thoughts on the game to @decwarrington
    • 45+1' HT: Wigan 0-0 Stoke
    • 45' Shawcross heads over! Wigan escape there; that sort of play is Stoke's forte and they didn't take advantage of it there. Goal-kick to Wigan
    • 45' Now a free-kick to Stoke, from crossing range. Pennant to take...
    • 45' Stoke are currently defending very well. They're well drilled to Wigan's movement; even when the home side have a lengthy spell of possession and commit men forward, Stoke do very well to maintain their shape and limit their options
    • 45' Wigan now in possession in Stoke's half, though no threat at the moment. Three minutes of added time to be played
    • 44' Handball by Moses. Free-kick to Stoke inside their own area...
    • 42' Throw in on the halfway line after McArthur overran the ball. Martinez felt the midfielder had been fouled in the build up to that but the referee ignores him
    • 40' What a waste by Beausejour! All it needed was a simple tap in! Shocking miss; a good low cross came to him in the penalty area with Begovic exposed by the winger sliced the ball sideways instead of towards goal. Surely one of the misses of the season! What a great time that would have been for the home side to score. Now Stoke's free-kick in their own half
    • 38' Pennant fouls Beausejour now. Tension building between these two, though nothing wrong with commitment (but ideally it'd be without Pennant's petulance). Wigan now in possession at the back
    • 37' Begovic gathers the loose ball after pressure from Wigan, who broke well and showed intent but are lacking a decent delivery at the moment.
    • 35' Boyce booked now as well. The game hasn't been particularly aggressive but it was a clumsy foul by the full back on Etherington, who so far has had a quiet game. Easy decision, Etherington's steal receiving treatment
    • 34' Beausejour booked for another foul on Pennant. Seemed harsh - simply pressuring the winger and Pennant's obvious unhappiness seemed to catch the ref's intention and inspire the booking
    • 33' Close there for Stoke! A shocking, sliced clearance by Boyce fell to Walters who fired wide from a decent position in front of goal. He snatched at the ball instead of striking with any authority and it's out for a goal-kick
    • 31' Free-kick to Stoke after Beausejour fouled Pennant. Can be no complaints, obvious decision
    • 29' Real clash of styles here; Stoke look to spoil, slow the game down and pressure Wigan, who are trying to play with a high tempo, counter and retain possession of the ball
    • 28' Al Habsi collects Wilson's long ball after the full back intercepted Boyce's hopeful lofted through ball to Moses
    • 27' Stoke goal-kick, Begovic to take
    • 26' Wilson booked for his foul on Moses after pulling his shirt right in front of the ref. Wigan free-kick (Wilson will need to be careful for the rest of the game; Wigan's greatest threat so far has been on the right)
    • 25' Poor there from Moses. Had the chance to release Boyce on the right but his pass was sloppy and Wilson intercepted with ease.
    • 23' Stoke now pressuring now. Alcaraz cleared Pennant's cross but Stoke have won the ball back and aren't letting Wigan out of their half. Effective play from the away side until Whitehead fouls McArthur and gifts Wigan a free-kick
    • 21' Wigan now with the ball at the back... Stoke will feel hard done by there; Wigan were previously awarded a throw in that should have been Stoke's and would have been a threatening position if so
    • 20' Figueroa shoots wide. Goal kick to Stoke, Begovic to take
    • 19' Waste there from Boyce! Had a great chance to volley but instead tried to take a touch and failed to control. Corner to Wigan but could have been better
    • 19' Al Habsi rolls the ball out to the back after collecting Begovic's goal kick. Wigan grateful for possession
    • 17' Comes to nothing. Wigan throw in. Could have been a threat there but Pennant's delivery simply wasn't good enough
    • 16' Comes to nothing. Stoke clear and now have a free-kick following a Wigan hand ball. Crossing territory from the right, Pennant to take...
    • 15' Good save from Begovic after another good Wigan move! Boyce has been a threat on the right wing and so it just proved again as his cross created a good shooting opportunity for Maloney. The forward connected well enough, if not superbly, and got his shot on target. Wigan corner after Stoke head the loose ball out
    • 14' Wigan throw after Pennant's long clearance. Purpose in Wigan's play so far, but Stoke won't feel unsettled
    • 13' Typical play from both sides: great, educated pressure from Stoke but Wigan remain calm, pass the ball around and retain possession
    • 13' Which he then catches safely to make amends...
    • 12' Poor from Begovic. Maloney had a shooting chance after the corner but it was a poor effort that was going wide, though Begovic somehow managed to concede another corner from it.
    • 11' Wigan corner! Wilkinson heads Boyce's promising cross out for a corner after being unsure about who was behind him.
    • 10' Throw in now to Wigan...
    • 9' Calmer now from the home side. It's a goal-kick to Stoke after Boyce can't reach Alcaraz's pass but they weren't being rushed by Stoke then.
    • 8' Alcaraz heads Walters' cross clear, but Wigan still can't retain possession. Throw-in to Stoke
    • 6' Replays are now showing how superbly Al Habsi did from the corner, acrobatically diving to punch the ball out when it looked goal bound. A bright start, then
    • 5' What a miss that was! Despite Stoke going close from the corner, a great chance came to Franco di Santo which he spurned at the other end - poor composure and finishing. The striker did really well to chase down a clearance and win possession but, when one-on-one with Asmir Begovic, shot untidily for a rather routine save for the 'keeper. The resultant corner came to nothing
    • 4' Stoke are not applying some pressure. They're not getting their shots away yet but are making it difficult for Wigan to successfully clear. Corner to the away side
    • 3' Goal-kick now to Wigan. Jermaine Pennant appealed for the ball but it hit Peter Crouch last - with no threat posed - and swiftly went out of play.l
    • 2' Promising start there from the home side. A quick counter attack - a tactic which is likely to feature heavily today - ended when Beasejour failed to deliver a suitable cross despite having time and space. A statement of intent, nonetheless.
    • 1' Stoke kick-off...
    • 14:58 The teams are now on out the pitch. Kick-off is imminent. Key players for me are Ali al Habsi, Victor Moses and James McCarthy for Wigan, and Ryan Shawcross and Peter Crouch for Stoke (who are less reliant upon inspiration). Al Habsi, in particular, has had a superb season so far and if Wigan do survive they'll owe much to him. He's an incredibly resilient goalkeeper but then he has to be; Wigan's defence isn't good enough so he'll always be busy.
    • 14:55 Gordon Strachan’s Coventry City team eventually fell short, as did Southampton. Will Wigan be next? Five minutes now until kick-off in a game that could be crucial in shaping Wigan’s season (and potentially next).
    • 14:55 Both sides will hope to keep the game's play to their strengths. My personal opinion is that Wigan look confident of late and if they've a good start, they can win more crucial points in their bid to avoid the dreaded drop. That said, Stoke are superb at upsetting the form back and are dangerous opponents. Wigan's need is greater, and though they've a great habit of escaping relegation however unlikely doing so may seem, there's only so many times you can be in a battle for survival and win.
    • 14:50 Wigan are very much Stoke's antithesis. Their commitment to passing football has neutral admirers but it is at the expense of a poor defence which concedes far too many points and means they never look like achieving anything beyond survival (which, to this day, some consider an overachievement). Stoke, in contrast, are a far more effective team and have never looked in danger of relegation since their 2008 promotion. They're also a solid side who place an emphasis on physicality and height...
    • 14:45 WIGAN: Al Habsi; Alcaraz, Caldwell, Boyce, Figueroa; McCarthy, McArthur, Beausejour; Maloney, Di Santo, Moses SUBS: Kirkland, Jones, Gomez, Stam, Sammon, Crusat, Watson /// STOKE: Begovic; Wilson, Huth, Shawcross, Wilkinson; Pennant, Whelan, Whitehead, Etherington; Walters, Crouch SUBS: Sorensen, Fuller, Upson, Jerome, Jones, Palacios, Shotton
    • 14:40 In reality, there are few genuine team selection surprises for either side. Wigan, as you'd expect as this stage of the season, have picked what manager Roberto Martinez considers to be a strong, settled side. For Stoke and Pulis, line-ups have been less predictable and their rotation system has continued.
    • 14:35 Team news is on its way...
    • 14:30 That may seem harsh, but I would suggest the motivation of Swansea City and Norwich City to finish in the top 10 is greater than Stoke's, while Everton and Sunderland have the momentum (and exceptional managers). Given that safety is more or less secured for another season, the risk of an innocuous end to the season isn't insubstantial. Teams need something to play for at this point and I'm not convinced Stoke have.
    • 14:25 It looks like another interesting one (though how many aren't at this stage of the season?). Wigan's form, as is traditional, appears to be improving as the season enters its decisive stage. Stoke are obviously a formidable side and represent a serious challenge, but their form hasn't been entirely consistent this season and one can't help but question their motivation at this point.
    • 14:20 Afternoon all, I'll (@decwarrington) be providing you with updates from today's crucial Premier League fixture between Wigan Athletic and Stoke City.
  • Summary

    • 93' Wigan score! 2-0! Moses, actually unconvincingly, finishes after being gifted a great chance to race through beyond Wilkinson and slot past Begovic! Three points secured now for the home side after what was almost a one-on-one out of nowhere
    • 86' Jerome fires over! Wigan let off there; they just couldn't clear the ball from their box, which initially came in from Fuller, leading to a shooting opportunity for the striker. That was a good chance to equalise
    • 78' Shawcross heads wide from right in front of goal from Wilkinson's cross! Good chance, that - he needed to take it
    • 55' Wigan score! 1-0! Alcaraz with the header after good link-up play on the left wing resulted in a superb cross by Beausejour, creating a simple header for the centre half. A deserved lead, on balance.
    • 40' What a waste by Beausejour! All it needed was a simple tap in! Shocking miss; a good low cross came to him in the penalty area with Begovic exposed by the winger sliced the ball sideways instead of towards goal. Surely one of the misses of the season! What a great time that would have been for the home side to score. Now Stoke's free-kick in their own half
    • 5' What a miss that was! Despite Stoke going close from the corner, a great chance came to Franco di Santo which he spurned at the other end - poor composure and finishing. The striker did really well to chase down a clearance and win possession but, when one-on-one with Asmir Begovic, shot untidily for a rather routine save for the 'keeper. The resultant corner came to nothing
    • 14:45 WIGAN: Al Habsi; Alcaraz, Caldwell, Boyce, Figueroa; McCarthy, McArthur, Beausejour; Maloney, Di Santo, Moses SUBS: Kirkland, Jones, Gomez, Stam, Sammon, Crusat, Watson /// STOKE: Begovic; Wilson, Huth, Shawcross, Wilkinson; Pennant, Whelan, Whitehead, Etherington; Walters, Crouch SUBS: Sorensen, Fuller, Upson, Jerome, Jones, Palacios, Shotton

Team Line-up & Ratings

  • Line-up

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    • Player Y! Users Expert My Rating
      Goalkeeper
      - -
      Defenders
      Goal - -
      - -
      - -
      Midfielders
      - -
      - -
      Yellow Card Substitution Out87′ - -
      Yellow Card - -
      Strikers
      Goal - -
      Substitution Out70′ - -
      Substitution Out83′ - -
      Subs
      Substitution In83′ - -
      Substitution In87′ - -
      Substitution In70′ - -
    • Player Y! Users Expert My Rating
      Goalkeeper
      - -
      Defenders
      Yellow Card - -
      - -
      - -
      Yellow Card - -
      Midfielders
      Yellow Card - -
      Yellow Card - -
      Substitution Out65′ - -
      Substitution Out49′ - -
      Strikers
      Substitution Out65′ - -
      - -
      Subs
      Substitution In65′ - -
      Substitution In49′ - -
      Substitution In65′ - -

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