Lightning strikes twice as Latics topple Leeds again – Leeds United 0 Wigan Athletic 1

Joe Williams

Joe Williams

For the second season running Latics stunned Leeds United at Elland Road in the process knocking them off the top of the table.

Latics went ahead on 59 minutes when Joe Williams corner deflected off Pablo Hernandez and looped over Kiko Casilla and into the net.

The Championship leaders dominated possession and created plenty of chances but a combination of some excellent defending and poor finishing gave Latics a vital three points in their quest for survival.

Latics remain in 22nd spot but are now just two points from safety and Leeds drop to second place in the table.

Paul Cook made four changes to the starting line up with full back Tom Pearce making his debut in the league and Chey Dunkley coming into a five man backline.

Williams replaced the injured Kieran Dowell and Gavin Massey replaced Jamal Lowe.

Leeds opened strongly and David Marshall had to deny Helder Costa’s shot after five minutes.

Latics were on the back foot and Patrick Bamford struck an effort over the bar before Jack Harrison’s low shot struck the foot of the post.

Latics weathered the early storm and gradually grew into the game.

Captain Samy Morsy nearly gave the visitors the lead when his powerful shot from distance was parried away by Casilla.

Leeds were still creating chances and Harrison had the best chance when he went around Marshall but struck the ball into the side netting.

The former Leeds defender Pearce was getting forward to good effect and when he beat Costa to the byline he was brought down just outside of the area. Williams disappointingly fired the resulting free kick into the side netting.

All level at the interval but the hosts started the second half as they had done in the first. 

Cedric Kipre continued to be outstanding in the air as Leeds bombarded the Latics defence with crosses from the wings.

Leeds attacked in waves and forced a succession of corners but Latics held firm.

The visitors determination to was to prove crucial when they went ahead in the 59th minute.

Williams’ corner deflected off Hernandez and looped over Leeds Casilla and into the net. A little lucky perhaps but no more than they deserved for their efforts.

It could have been 2-0 soon afterwards but Morsy was again denied from distance by another Casilla save.

Bielsa’s men drove forward again but Kal Naismith was on hand to deny Bamford with a vital goal line clearance.

Latics then had a glorious opportunity to double their lead. Pearce burst forward from his own half and was through on goal but was denied by a last-ditch challenge just inside the box.

Latics would have to endure a late onslaught as Leeds desperately tried to rescue the game.

Kipre was resolute and the big 23-year-old Ivorian defender won every important challenge in the box.

With Marshall beaten the former Motherwell man provided the final crucial intervention clearing off the line to ensure another remarkable result at Elland Road.

Leeds will inevitably be wondering if their season will once again end in disappointment with Latics as the catalyst for decline.

Huge celebrations at the end as Latics recorded back to back wins for the first time this season. The result will be a big confidence booster for the rest of the season.

The Championship table is looking much better for Latics who are now only two points behind 21st placed Stoke City and three points behind 20th placed Huddersfield.

Latics next face a difficult test against local rivals Preston but the fighting spirit is evident amongst the players and the prospect of survival is a real one.

About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Cedric Kipre, Championship, Joe Williams, Leeds United, Pedro Hernandez, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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