WIGAN ATHLETIC 2 STOKE CITY FC 0
This was a flat and lifeless performance from Stoke,with too many players below their best .The whole game saw the home keeper threatened just twice.Wigan clearly looked to build on their win at Liverpool,moved the ball around confidently,and if anyone was going to score it was going to be them.
The first half finished scoreless although Beausejour ought to have opened Wigan's account.He made amends on 54 minutes,managing a wonderfully firm cross from the left into the Stoke box,where Alcaraz headed crisply into the net.Beausejour found himself with an open goal minutes later but failed to convert.
As Stoke pressed forward in the 4 minutes added on time Wilkinson was sloppy,Moses took the ball from him headed off for goal,rounded Begovic,and with Wilko still in attendance,rolled the ball into the Stoke net ,to put matters beyond doubt.
Crouch and Walters were largely anonymous.Etherington was taken out of the game once more.Pennant had one or two good touches.The midfield was simply not good enough,seemingly incapable of mounting any threat.Our passing at times would best be described as slipshod.
Jerome and Palacios coming on as subs injected a little more energy and purpose.The other sub Ricardo Fuller was hardly seen until the last couple of minutes.He wriggled his way to the byline,cut the ball across.In the resultant chaos the ball came back to him.A short pass to Jerome provided an excellent chance of an equaliser,but he skied the ball over the net.
Some stats,which if we had studied them closely would have provided pointers to the outcome of this game.
Wigan had only won once at home this season,way back last August.
This was the first time this season that they had won two matches on the bounce.
When did they do that the last time? You guessed..the last two games of last season....courtesy of...STOKE!!
So this leaves us 13th on 38 points.We really didn't look up for this one!