Premier League - Moses rescues point for Wigan

Sun, 11 Mar 17:56:00 2012

Wigan Athletic came from a goal down to draw 1-1 against Norwich City and avoid a damaging defeat at Carrow Road, though they remain rooted to the bottom of the Premier League.

Norwich 1 Wigan 1

Roberto Martinez's side, who have now won only four of 28 league games this season, fell behind to a well-taken goal from Wes Hoolahan on 10 minutes as the Norwich midfielder converted with a smart volley.

However, while Norwich did enough to bring to an end a run of three consecutive defeats, Paul Lambert's side struggled to contain Wigan, especially after the introduction of Shaun Maloney who created the equaliser for Victor Moses after 68 minutes.

Both sides had clear chances to win the game in the final minutes but a point apiece puts Norwich in 12th place and leaves Wigan 20th, two points shy of safety but a point closer to both Wolves and QPR following defeats for their relegation rivals.

Wigan started the day stranded at the bottom of the league after a poor campaign to date and their hopes of taking something from their visit to Carrow Road suffered a setback after only 10 minutes.

Ali Al Habsi was guilty of a poor kick-out from the Wigan goal and Norwich capitalised with a quick throw. Simeon Jackson received the ball and chipped in a cross in for Hoolahan, who got in front of the lamentably static Gary Caldwell to direct the ball inside the far post with a lovely flicked volley across goal.

It was the 19th time Wigan had conceded the opening goal this season - only Wolves and Bolton can better that tally - and a side accustomed to going behind naturally looked undaunted by the challenge in front of them as they responded with enthusiasm.

Hugo Rodallega - restored to the starting line-up by Martinez - was a lively presence in attack and after 17 minutes played a quick pass in for Jean Beausejour, who tested John Ruddy in the Norwich goal with a low effort. Moses then turned a first-time pass into the path of Rodallega, who took a touch and fired a firm effort into the chest of Ruddy on the turn.

Norwich were finding plenty of space in the final third but clear chances were conspicuous by their absence. Danny Fox hammered one volley over the bar from 20 yards and Grant Holt thumped a shot that caught the arm of Caldwell in the box, though there was no intent on the part of the defender.

It was Wigan who continued to dominate, and after Ruddy had almost been caught out by a deflected Emmerson Boyce cross that struck the top of the bar, the Norwich keeper was twice guilty of fumbling shots. On the first occasion, following a Jordi Gomez effort, Rodallega was unable to tuck the ball home; from the second, Ruddy recovered after spilling Rodallega's fierce drive.

The second half started in upbeat fashion as Adam Drury slung in a cross from the left and Holt was allowed to run free by the Wigan defence to meet the ball with a thumping header that flew narrowly wide of the far post.

Wigan responded within 60 seconds when James McCarthy exchanged passes with Gomez to saunter into the box before seeing his low effort almost squirm under the body of Ruddy, who gratefully clasped the ball after it caught his leg.

Martinez removed Gomez for Maloney after 56 minutes and the change proved to be a prescient one. Having already tested Ruddy with a hooked volley from a corner, Maloney was then instrumental in Wigan's equaliser on 68 minutes.

McCarthy showed admirable poise to hold onto the ball in midfield before slipping a pass to Maloney, but the Scot carved out the chance with a quite sumptuous through-ball to set Moses free down the middle. The forward negotiated his way around Ruddy and then tucked his shot away for a fantastic equaliser.

Norwich were struggling to contain the visitors and after Ruddy was forced to charge from his line to clear as Rodallega raced through the middle, only an ugly high challenge from Drury prevented Moses from testing the out-of-position keeper from long range. The Norwich defender was rightly shown a yellow card.

Following Maloney's star turn, two further substitutes almost made telling impacts late in the game. Steve Morison replaced Holt for Norwich and threatened with two headers: the first was cleared off the line by Beausejour and the second was kept out by a quite brilliant reflex stop by Al Habsi.

Meanwhile, Wigan's Mohamed Diame also spurned a huge chance when Maloney wriggled free down the left and produced a fine cross, only for the midfielder to turn his shot over the bar from eight yards.

In injury time, Diame could only drag a shot wide when entering the left-hand side of the penalty area as the match at Carrow Road came to a frantic climax. Ultimately both sides were forced to settle for a point - a situation more to Norwich's liking than Wigan's.

Tom Adams - @tomEurosport / Eurosport

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