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

Maloneygoal
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.

Substitutes.

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.

Like us on Facebook, or follow us on twitter here.