Wigan ride their luck to secure a vital three points – Wigan Athletic 2 Newcastle United 1

Arouna Kone

Arouna Kone scored a late winner against Newcastle

Latics secured a crucial victory in their quest for Premier League survival with a 90th minute goal by Arouna Kone. Jean Beausejour had given them the lead in the first half but Newcastle equalised in the second half through Davide Santon before Wigan’s controversial late winner. James McCarthy’s corner appeared to be handled by Maynor Figueroa and a goalmouth melee ensued before Kone finished from close range.

Wigan are now within three points of relegation rivals Aston Villa who occupy 17th spot and four points behind Southampton and Sunderland in 16th and 15th places.

The result was crucial if Wigan were to have a realistic chance of escaping the drop and they started the first half were they had left off against Everton in the FA Cup.

Wigan had retained the same line-up from their FA Cup success and their three-pronged attack of league debutant Callum McManaman, Arouna Kone and Shaun Maloney immediately posed problems for the Magpies back line.

It was McManaman who created the first goal on 18 minutes when his jinking run and cross set up Jean Beausejour who side footed home through the Newcastle keeper Elliot’s legs from eight yards out to give Latics the lead.

More chances followed as they dominated the half, Shaun Maloney had an excellent effort well saved by Elliot and only a last-ditch challenge from Jonas Gutierrez denied James McCarthy adding a second.

Newcastle’s only chance of the first period came when Steven Taylor headed Sylvain Marveaux’s corner straight at Latics league debutant keeper Joel Robles.

The major controversy of the half came when McManaman clashed with Newcastle defender Massadio Haidara. The young Liverpudlian striker initially clipped the ball but his mistimed follow through into Haidara’s knee had the Frenchmen carried off with serious ligament damage. Referee Mark Halsey who was about ten yards from the incident awarded Newcastle a free kick but did not book McManaman. The challenge was certainly reckless and was the result of a desperate attempt to win the ball rather than a deliberate attempt to injure an opponent.

But as the players left the pitch for the interval Newcastle’s coaching staff reacted angrily to McManaman and subsequently both Wigan’s first-team coach Graham Barrow and Newcastle coach John Carver were sent to the stands for the second period.

Immediately after the break Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa denied McManaman as Wigan continued to look threatening. But the young striker had to be withdrawn soon afterwards with an injury and the team seemed to lose some momentum.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew moved to a three-man defence and this allowed Santon to venture further forward down the right. It was the Italian full back who drew the Magpies level with 18 minutes remaining following a clever pass by Papiss Cisse after Paul Scharner had given away possession in midfield.

As the match moved towards full-time it looked as though Wigan would be unable to get the all important winner but goal poacher Kone popped up in the box to score his fifth goal in five matches and give Wigan an invaluable three points in their fight against relegation.

About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Arouna Kone, Davide Santon, Jean Beausejour, Newcastle United, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Wigan ride their luck to secure a vital three points – Wigan Athletic 2 Newcastle United 1

  1. Pingback: Wigan ride their luck to secure a vital three points – Wigan Athletic 2 Newcastle United 1 - Unofficial Network

  2. Dan says:

    Undoubtedly a massive, massive win. Just a case of keeping in touch until Wigan Time is well and truly in full flow! 🙂

    I think Halsey was behind the McManaman incident so couldn’t possibly have seen it. From most parts of the West Stand, it must have looked like a strong but fair challenge similar to the one on Miyaichi last week. Whatever, he’s a lucky boy!

    Apart from that, Macca is looking really impressive. Hope he doesn’t get too long a ban and he is rapidly carving out a role for himself on the right wing.

    • Bad day for football says:

      Sorry but that lad knew what he was doing so deserves to be banned a long long time.

      • To insinuate that was a deliberate high challenge to hurt the Newcastle lad is wholly inaccurate. He only had eyes for the ball – heck, he even *got* the ball. Retrospective straight red, 3/4 game ban.

  3. joeninety says:

    wigan certainly had 12 men on the pitch, when they should have only had 10

  4. Bad day for football says:

    Worst tackle i’ve seen for many years, Showed no remorse. Top young pro will be out for a very long time. Time the FA banned players equivalent to the length of time the injured player is out.

    • ianhaspinall says:

      As I said in the report, the challenge was certainly reckless and was the result of a desperate attempt to win the ball rather than a deliberate attempt to injure an opponent.
      I would expect that McManaman’s punishment is the normal one for a red card offence which is a three game suspension. I’m sure that Wigan fans will wish Massadio Haidara a speedy and complete recovery.

  5. Dan says:

    I think we should stop demonising the poor lad. Yes it was a terrible challenge, but these calls for life bans are insane and intensified by the officials’ sheer inepititude. I’ll bet you any money nobody would have cared so much if it were a non-TV Saturday afternoon 3pm kickoff.

    Luckily nobody was hurt this time. Macca will take his ban like a man, but will the press let him forget it? Hell no. Come on, it’s not like he ever meant to do it.

  6. justchampion says:

    ‘Luckily nobody was hurt this time’ Are you for real? The guy could be out this season and next, he may never fully recover. You obviously go to the same opticians as Martinez who didn’t cover himself in glory in his interview.

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