Wigan’s run of victories came to an end on Boxing Day when they were held 0-0 by a resolute Birmingham City, who had Manchester United loanee Jesse Lingard sent off in the 60th minute.
Callum McManaman was denied by Darren Randolph in the Birmingham goal and the home team had three penalty appeals turned down by referee Stephen Martin.
Despite Lingard’s straight red card for a stamp on Jordi Gomez, the Latics could not penetrate a well-drilled City back line.
Uwe Rosler’s team selection options were limited due to a number of injuries and a suspension. Ivan Ramis returned to the starting line-up in place of the suspended Ben Watson and Grant Holt came in as a replacement for the injured Nick Powell.
Latics started hesitantly and showed little of their recent first half vigour under Rosler. Birmingham’s tall striker Nikola Zigic had a header saved by Ali Al-Habsi before Chris Burke wasted a great opportunity to get onto the score sheet.
Wigan responded with McManaman testing Randolph from distance and the Blues keeper doing well to push the ball away for a corner.
Wigan were not producing the flowing football of previous weeks with Nick Powell’s absence being particularly noticeable. But they did have a good shout for a penalty turned down when James McClean appeared to climbed on in the area by a Birmingham defender.
Birmingham were well organised and determined to continue their unbeaten run, but all their good work could have been undone early in the second half when Lingard was sent off for a petulant stamp on Gomez.
The Blues would have to defend the final 30 minutes with only ten men and it was no surprise that they were no longer an attacking threat. Wigan pressed forward trying to tease the opportunity that would unlock the two banks of defenders.
Substitute Gomez and wing back Jean Beausejour were both prominent but despite a series of tantalising crosses the forwards were unable to get the final touch.
In the final minutes Latics had two further penalty appeals turned down by the referee.
The first came when the keeper Randolph and his centre back Dan Burn collided while trying to clear the ball.
The ball fell to Holt who appeared to be pushed to the ground by Randolph but nothing was given.
The second claim came in the final minute of the game when a high ball was played into the air towards Beausejour, who claimed to be pulled down but the referee once again waved away the appeal.
Overall a draw was probably a fair result as Wigan had not performed at their best and Birmingham had defended well despite going down to ten men.
Latics slip down a place to 13th in the table and are now five points off the Championship play-off places but with a game in hand.
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