Derby day deadlock – Wigan Athletic 1 Blackburn Rovers 1

Shaun Maloney

Shaun Maloney helped secure Latics a point

Both teams will have reason to feel frustrated after this Lancashire derby ended 1-1 at the DW Stadium on Saturday.

Rovers went ahead when Tom Cairney set up Corry Evans and his smart finish beat Scott Carson from the edge of the area.

James McClean equalised for Latics when he headed in substitute Shaun Maloney’s whipped free-kick.

Opportunities were wasted at both ends as the match finished level and with both managers feeling that they should have secured all three points.

Malky Mackay made four changes from the side that lost at Birmingham last week, with Ben Watson, Leon Barnett, Martyn Waghorn and William Kvist coming in for Don Cowie, Ivan Ramis, Shaun Maloney and Rob Kiernan.

Latics attacked from the kick off and should have been ahead within the opening four minutes through Adam Forshaw. The midfielder found himself in the perfect position when he picked up Martyn Waghorn’s low cross but he fired straight at Jason Steele before sending the rebound over the crossbar.

Rovers responded well and took the lead on 15 minutes through Evans. Carson punched the ball out from a corner and into the path of Cairney who teed up Evans, who then expertly curled the ball into the right hand corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area.

Despite the set back Latics continued to be competitive with James McClean was once again proving to be their most dangerous attacking player.

McClean nearly drew Wigan level five minutes before the interval from Chris McCann’s cross but he managed to miskick with the goal at his mercy.

Just before the interval McClean was booked for a lunging challenge on Markus Olsson and Rovers players surrounded referee Mike Jones arguing that it should have been a red.

Substitute Shaun Maloney replaced the disappointing Adam Forshaw at half time and Latics looked much improved going forward.

Maloney was instrumental in drawing Wigan level on 63 minutes when his excellent whipped free kick found McClean and the Irishman headed powerfully past Steele.

Latics now dominated possession and pressed for the winner. Yet it was Rovers who looked odds on to score on 70 minutes but Jordan Rhodes had his close range effort spectacularly headed off the line by Leon Barnett.

Striker Andy Delort joined the fray with 18 minutes remaining as Latics went for the winner. Rovers went closest two minutes from time with a header from a corner, but the hard-working Maloney was in the perfect position to clear off the line and secure the point for Latics.

Overall Rovers probably edged the first half and Latics the second. It was noticeable that Wigan improved following the introduction of Maloney and Emyr Huws and they must both surely start against Huddersfield.

William Kvist playing his first game under Mackay added stability to the midfield and put in a solid display and McClean who was Wigan’s outstanding player, is improving week by week.

Latics may remain in the bottom three and five points from safety but there are some signs of improvement and hope of survival still prevails.

 

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About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Blackburn Rovers, Championship, Corry Evans, Emyr Huws, James McClean, Malky Mackay, Shaun Maloney, Wigan Athletic, William Kvist and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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