Despite putting in another good performance and matching Everton throughout the 94 minutes, Wigan came away from Goodison Park without any points. Once again the Latics were on the receiving end of some abysmal refereeing decisions by Lee Mason.
With the score at 1-0 to the home side Wigan had a clear penalty denied when Shaun Maloney was tripped by Leon Osman in the box. The referee was well positioned and it appeared to be a straight forward call but he waved away appeals despite close attention from Maloney and Jean Beasejour. It was to be the turning point in the game and if Wigan don’t start to get these decisions in their favour then the conspiracy theorists will have a field day.
Injury ravaged Wigan had Gary Caldwell returning to the back three alongside Maynor Figueroa and Emmerson Boyce. Arouna Kone was the lone striker with Wigan loading the midfield. Everton had Thomas Hitzlsperger making a rare start in midfield and Victor Anichebe leading the forward line.
Both sides struggled to create any clear-cut chances in the first half with the teams sharing possession 50/50. The major talking point for Wigan’s Banana clad and fancy dress following was the poor officiating from Lee Mason. In particular how Darron Gibson, who had been sent off in his previous game, had avoided a booking. The former Manchester United player committed two bookable offences in quick succession but the referee failed to caution him for either. It was perhaps not surprising that David Moyes decided to withdraw him at half time.
Everton upped their game early in the second half and Thomas Hitzelsperger crashed a thirty yard effort onto the Wigan cross-bar and they had a huge stroke of luck on 53 minutes when Osman’s left foot shot was cruelly deflected off Gary Caldwell’s arm to give them the lead.
Despite the set back Wigan surged forward to create an equaliser but it was evident that their luck had once again deserted them when the referee failed to award a penalty when Maloney was clearly brought down.
Kone had a close range shot blocked by Phil Neville before Everton went two ahead following a short corner on 77 minutes. Neville was allowed too much space to cross and Phil Jagielka rose high above Caldwell to power his header into the top corner.
Arouna Kone grabbed a goal back on 83 minutes following a scramble in the Everton box. Di Santo’s blocked shot spun high into the air before Kone out muscled three Everton defenders and then poked the ball past Tim Howard to give Everton a nervy last ten minutes.
In the post match press conference Roberto Martinez was inevitably disappointed with referee Mason and in particular the penalty decision. It was telling to hear that Everton manager David Moyes also felt a penalty should have been awarded.
Moyes also said afterwards: “Wigan are a good team, they don’t get the credit they deserve for how they play, and this is a good win (for Everton).”
Yes it was another good performance by Wigan but it is worrying that we are not getting the results we deserve.
The games are now coming thick and fast and we now go to Villa Park on Saturday for what is already looking like a must win fixture.