Jussi enough for Latics – Millwall 0 Wigan Athletic 0


Jussi Jaaskelainen helped Latics to an important point at the Den

Goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen was the hero as Wigan maintained their promotion push with a hard fought 0-0 draw at Millwall.

Latics had to play 60 minutes without midfielder Sam Morsy after he was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

Millwall were wasteful in front of goal, but the veteran keeper Jaaskelainen is having a superb swan song to his career and made important saves to deny Jed Wallace, Byron Webster, Lee Gregory and Steve Morison.

Wigan remain in second spot, as both Gillingham and Coventry lost and Walsall drew, although they now sit four points behind leaders Burton, while Millwall stay in fifth spot.

Gary Caldwell made one change to the team which defeated Bury on Saturday with Conor McAleny replacing Yanic Wildschut in the starting eleven.

Latics started nervously and the Lions physical presence was causing plenty of problems in the early stages.

Jed Wallace forced Jaaskelainen into a full stretch save before Byron Webster headed over from a Wallace free-kick.

Latics had a free-kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the box but McCann was not able to capitalise, hitting it straight into the wall.

Just as Latics were starting to settle Sam Morsy was dismissed for a second yellow card in the 33rd minute. The sending off seemed somewhat harsh, but Morsy should have known better than to commit a second offence so soon after the first.

Despite the numerical disadvantage Latics finished the first half strongly, with shots from Colclough and McAleny just missing the target.

Gary Caldwell decided to replace Ryan Colclough with Leon Barnett at the interval as the manager looked to strengthen his defence and secure at least a point.

The second half was a generally one sided affair as Millwall pressed for the breakthrough and Latics defended  resolutely with Jaaskelainen outstanding.

Morison blasted over from Shane Ferguson’s cross after 52 minutes. Jaaskelainen had to push away a Wallace free-kick, then an effort from Gregory on the follow up and then Wallace shot wide from a good position.

Caldwell replaced McAleny with Craig Davies after 65 minutes.

Millwall then wasted a glorious opportunity when Jaaskelainen saved from Gregory and with the keeper still on the ground, Wallace blasted over with the goal at his mercy.

The 40-year-old keeper then showed his quality to deny a superb effort from Jimmy Abdou. The Lions came close again when Joe Martin headed just wide from Ferguson’s cross in the 79th minute.

Caldwell replaced Will Grigg with Yanic Wildschut as Latics looked for a breakaway to stem the tide of pressure.

Millwall continued to dominate however and Wallace fired over the crossbar from 25 yards out.

Wallace then produced a free-kick from the right and Morrison missed yet another opportunity as the ball landed at his feet from the initial clearance.

Despite five minutes added time Latics held on for an important point and extended their unbeaten run to thirteen games.

About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Gary Caldwell, Jussi Jaaskelainen, League One, Millwall, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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