QPR 1 Wigan Athletic 1- Maloney spares Wigan’s blushes

Shaun Maloney’s super strike from a free kick in the last minute of added time spared Wigan’s blushes and pushed QPR firmly towards the trap door of relegation. Despite the home team having to play with 10 men since the 21st minute Latics had not been able to find a way through until that moment.

There was no doubt about the sending off for Bobby Zamora, after his boot was raised high enough to decapitate Jordi Gomez. It was a huge blow for Rangers, but they dug in and played with spirit and organisation. Their much criticized defence was excellent throughout and allowed Latics’ forwards no breathing room.

Despite their numerical superiority Wigan were unable to create many clear cut chances. The best was in the 78th minute when Jordi Gomez put in a superb cross that James McArthur should have buried, but he headed straight at Julio Cesar with the goal at his mercy. Seven minutes later Maynor Figueroa’s shot Wigan’s from an elaborate free kick routine from thirty yards out was cleared and Loic Remy scored one of the goals of the season from the counter attack. A breathtaking strike.

All in all a fascinating match. Wigan supporters will be disappointed not to have got three points against the ten men. However, this should not detract from a superb performance from the home side. Sadly for them the result presents another nail in their coffin. It is going to take a minor miracle for them to survive now.

The Good

The defence played well throughout. It was only a superb goal that stopped them getting a clean sheet. Latics played with organization and discipline.

Once again Wigan have gained a result against relegation rivals. Only with hindsight at the end of the season will we see if the three points should have been gained in this match will outweigh the psychological body blow that QPR might not recover from.

Wigan have had a disappointing season and the threat of relegation still hovers above them. However, today they were playing against a team whose wage bill is probably double their own. Once again to stay up Latics have to punch above their weight. It was a disappointing outcome today for Wigan fans, but Latics are still alive and kicking in the league and the FA Cup semi final is coming up next weekend.

The Bad

The lack of cutting edge of the attack against 10 men was frustrating to see. The incisive pass was not coming from the midfield and the forwards ran down blind alleys. It almost seemed like Latics were playing for the one point, rather than the three.

Roberto Martinez might have played down the effect of the upcoming FA Cup semi final on the players’ minds, but was it a factor today?

Player Ratings

Joel Robles: 6 – once again not tested with shots on goal. However, looks commanding and composed. Could not be faulted for Remy’s goal.

Emmerson Boyce: 7 – very solid in defence, made a superb tackle on Remy in the first half to prevent a goal. Played a captain’s role.

Paul Scharner: 6 – not at his best but his partnership with Alcaraz gives Latics much hope.

Antolin Alcaraz: 8 – once again excellent in defence.

Maynor Figueroa:6 – as committed as ever, although he had problems with Townsend. Let’s hope he will sign a new contract and stay at Wigan.

Jean Beausejour: 6 – worked hard down the left flank. Taken off after 62 minutes.

James McCarthy: 8 – consistent as ever. Could not be faulted for effort and commitment. Had a good shot pushed wide by Cesar in the first half.

Jordi Gomez:6 – infuriating at times, but improving in the role of holding midfield player. Covered a huge amount of ground during the game. Put in a sublime centre that James McArthur should have buried in the second half.

Shaun Maloney: 7 – well marked and not as effective as in recent games, but his free kick was superb.

Callum McManaman: 6 – worked hard and had a good effort go very close in the first half. Substituted after 68 minutes.

Arouna Kone: 6 – tightly marked and did not receive much good service. Grafted hard as always.


James McArthur: – has scored some really important goals for Latics, What a shame he could not put that one in today. Came on after 62 minutes for Beausejour.

Franco Di Santo: – ineffective after coming on for McManaman after 68 minutes.

Roger Espinosa: – brought on after 88 minutes for Figueroa.

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2 responses

  1. Gomez 6?????????????????????????? One of the laziest players ever to don a Latics shirt One pass in a game dosn’t make him a Good Player. If he did half of the work Maloney and McCartney do we wouldn’t be in this position. What ever does Martinez see in him to get picked week in week out?

  2. This was such a disappointing game. I don’t know why Wigan seemed so intent on attacking through the middle. I think they would have had much better chances just running at the defense (as the opponents demonstrated many times, causing Wigan to miss many tackles and even scoring a goal) and crossing from the wings. They seem to want to create a perfect opportunity through controlled passing and possession in that final third, but they’d be better off creating chances by putting the ball into dangerous locations repeatedly and eventually have the ball fall for them. Take a lesson from hockey, which is to take shots and get into dangerous areas and good things will happen.

    There was some lack of determination too. I saw a few times where Wigan players gave away possession because they didn’t even attempt to shield the ball away from single defenders.

    Wigan does better under pressure. They just pass the ball to keep possession and avoid the pressure and it naturally creates openings. But going against a defense that is sitting back, they looked like they had no ability to sustain an attacking maneuver. At best, they’d have the movement to get a pass to the forward players, but no secondary movement to play off of that. I think they looked best when the central midfielders ran forward. I also always like to see when the Wigan defenders run forward with the ball, as long as the mids run forward to create space instead of standing there watching.

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