Latics’ home form continues to disappoint – Wigan Athletic 1 Cardiff City 3

Charlie Wyke

Charlie Wyke on target

  • Wigan Athletic remain winless at home after they slumped to a 3-1 defeat to Cardiff City at the DW Stadium.
  • Callum Robinson put the Bluebirds ahead after only seven minutes when he played a clever one-two with Niles Nkounkou.
  • The visitors added to their lead in the 65th minute when Sheyi Ojo converted Callum O’Dowda’s cross.
  • Charlie Wyke reduced the deficit scoring his first goal for Latics since suffering a cardiac arrest, when he headed home in the 83rd minute.
  • Cardiff sealed the victory when Ryan Wintle scored a superb free-kick in the 91st minute.
  • Latics drop to 16th in the Championship table and the Bluebirds move up to 10th.

Leam Richardson made five changes to the team the which lost at Hull City on Tuesday night. Captain Tendayi Darikwa, Jason Kerr, Joe Bennett, Graeme Shinnie and Charlie Wyke all returned to the starting line-up in place of Ryan Nyambe, Curtis Tilt, Tom Naylor, Nathan Broadhead and Thelo Aasgaard.

But Latics lethargy from Tuesday night continued into the opening minutes and the visitors were ahead after only seven minutes.

Cardiff went straight through the centre of the Latics defence with Nkounkou producing a one-two with Robinson and the former West Bromwich Albion striker comfortably slotted past Ben Amos.

Latics tried to respond and in the 18th minute Will Keane had a great opportunity. Darikwa beat his marker down the right-hand side and pulled the ball back to Keane at the edge of the box but the usually clinical striker pulled his shot wide of the post.

There was some inconsistent refereeing by James Bell and the crowd became increasingly frustrated as the referee failed to award free-kicks to Latics.

Wyke was brought down in the area by Jack Simpson but Bell waved away the Latics players appeals for a penalty.

Chances were few and far until in the 38th minute, Max Power found Shinnie inside the Cardiff penalty area but the former Derby midfielder saw his low drive deflected away from goal.

A minute later, the visitors nearly doubled their lead. Mark Harris was through on goal but he scuffed shot well wide of Amos’ far post.

1-0 to Cardiff at half-time.

Latics repeated their early lethargy at the start of the second half and could have found themselves further behind. Amos did well to push away O’Dowda’s low drive in the 48th minute.

The hosts did however threaten an equaliser in the 52nd minute. McClean’s corner found Jack Whatmough in the six-yard box, but the central defender headed over the Cardiff crossbar.

Latics continued to be cut open far too easily and the visitors nearly added a second goal in the 53rd minute. A deep free kick was spilled by Amos and fell to former Latics loanee Ojo, but Amos recovered well to block Ojo’s strike.

But Latics couldn’t hold out for long and Cardiff doubled their lead in the 65th minute. Nkounkou surged forward and found O’Dowda on the right-hand side. The winger crossed and the unmarked Ojo made no mistake from inside the six-yard box.

The visitors nearly added a third only three minutes later but Wintle was adjudged to be off-side.

Latics had a good opportunity to reduce the deficit in the 69th minute but McClean blazed his volley high over the crossbar from inside the box.

Richardson made a triple substitution in the 70th minute with Curtis Tilt, Tom Naylor and Nathan Broadhead replacing Darikwa, Bennett and Magennis. In the 81st minute winger Anthony Scully replaced McClean.

Latics finally rallied and Wyke scored his first goal of the season in the 83rd-minute. Naylor got to the by-line and produced a quality ball into the box and Wyke powered his header into the ground and past Ryan Allsop to reduce the deficit.

Latics now looked like they might salvage a point but despite their pressure it was the visitors who added a third goal and effectively sealed the three points.

Cardiff won a free-kick on the right-hand side of the Latics penalty area and Wintle produced a superb strike into the top corner. Amos might’ve done better and Latics maybe should’ve had more than one-man in the wall, but it was an exceptional free-kick by the Cardiff midfielder.

Cardiff nearly added a fourth, when Ojo raced clear of Latics defence but the striker saw his shot strike the base of the post.

Latics continued to push forward but they were unable to grab a consolation.

Cardiff had produced a strong counter-attacking performance and deserved the points

Latics will need to show a big improvement if they are to get their first home win of the season against Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday night.

Relentless Championship

Latics have done well in the Championship so far but in the last two games many of the players have not maintained their usual high standards.

They were disjointed against Hull in their last game and Richardson making five changes only seemed to make matters worse against Cardiff.

Cardiff were out of the blocks quicker than Latics and they posed a threat almost immediately. Latics only started to wake up after they had gone a goal down.

The weekend results showed that the Championship is an extremely competitive division with leaders Norwich, second place Sheffield United and third place Reading all losing.

All three of the promoted teams have made good starts to the season but they all lost on Saturday.

The games are coming thick and fast for everyone, but Latics must learn to cope with the intensity and the relentlessness of the Championship if they are to establish themselves at this level.

Richardson faces another selection dilemma against Blackburn with so many players out of form. Ryan Nyambe, Thelo Aasgaard and Anthony Scully could all start on Tuesday night.

Post match comments

Speaking afterwards Richardson spoke about the importance of learning from the defeat ahead of Tuesday’s visit of Blackburn Rovers.

“It was disappointing,” he said.

“The most disappointing thing is how we started the game. It was not like us at all, and we always want to impose ourselves on the game very early on.

“The first goal is soft from our point of view, but I thought we were very competitive within the game. It’s hard to digest it all straight after the game, but you’ve got to give credit to Cardiff, who were very clinical this afternoon.

“The quality of team that you are playing against is what we are trying to build up to as a Football Club, from where we were.

“It’s important that we learn. Another fantastic football club is coming to ours in Blackburn Rovers (on Tuesday), so we’ll digest (and learn from) today.

“The lads will be very similar to myself. We try not to dissect things straight after the game because there is a lot of emotion running through. We will certainly be in tomorrow, and be better looking ahead to Tuesday.

“We’ve got a fantastic group of players with a fantastic work ethic who want to be better. We’re not going to get the top of Mount Everest overnight, but we’ve got to keep making those small steps forward as a Football Club.”

Player ratings courtesy of Whoscored.com

About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Callum Robinson, Cardiff City, Championship, Charlie Wyke, Leam Richardson, Sheyi Ojo, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.