Premier League - West Brom survive shelling to snatch draw

Sat, 17 Mar 16:56:00 2012

West Bromwich Albion somehow managed to escape with a 1-1 Premier League draw from Wigan's DW Stadium despite seeing their defence ripped to shreds by the home side.

Wigan 1 West Brom 1

Visiting captain Paul Scharner - a Wigan old boy - made Roberto Martinez's men pay for their profligacy when he popped up unmarked on 65 minutes to nod home from Chris Brunt's corner to earn his team a point they barely deserved. It was their only memorable moment of the afternoon.

Scotland midfielder James McArthur netted the opening goal on 54 minutes for Wigan, but they should have been three or four goals ahead by the time they finally found the net.

A win would have carried Wigan off the bottom of the table and out of the relegation zone, but they remain rooted to the foot of the standings on 22 points with a worse goal difference than Wolves and QPR, who were not in action today.

Wigan went into this match as the lowest scorers in England. After such a hectic afternoon of failing to finish off the numerous chances that they came their way, it is not difficult to understand why.

Scharner admitted Roy Hodgson's team were fortunate to get out of town with a point in their pockets, but Wigan were not unlucky not to win. They ultimately paid the price for their own inability to finish and are where they are in the league because of such an obvious failing.

Home forward Franco Di Santo set the tone for the day when he lifted a volley over the bar in the opening minute before knocking an effort wide on the stretch from the outstanding Jean Beausejour's cross a couple of minutes later.

The impressive visiting goalkeeper Ben Foster was then called into action to tip a James McCarthy volley over his bar before Emmerson Boyce hit the bar on 17 minutes from Maynor Figueroa's delightful delivery.

Still the chances came and went for Wigan with Di Santo nodding wide from Shaun Maloney's cross. James McCarthy then forced Foster to make a heroic stop as he dived full length to claw a howitzer onto his bar with Victor Moses foiled by Foster on the rebound.

Visiting coach Hodgson could only look on in disbelief as his side somehow trotted off level at the break with Maloney missing a chance to convert after Antolin Alcaraz had cushioned a header into his path from Beausejour's delivery.

Wigan's perseverance finally paid off when Moses's driven ball across the face of goal broke off Billy Jones for McArthur to stab over the line.

The joy was shortlived when Alcaraz went AWOL from Brunt's delivery enabling Scharner to score with ease.

Scharner opted not to celebrate his goal out of respect to his former team, but Wigan continued to be their own worse enemies in the death throes of the match.

Boyce failed to convert from Beausejour's ball before Mohamed Diame - on for McCarthy - slapped a shot against a team-mate and wide when he found himself unmarked standing 12 yards out.

Substitute Callum McMananman failed to show the compusure of his distant cousin Steve when he failed to get a shot away in plenty of space with West Brom toiling while Gareth McAuley saw a shot deflect against his own post with Foster beaten as it became evident that Wigan would not be collecting three points from a hectic afternoon. It was a farcical but apt finish to such an afternoon.

Referee Michael Oliver had a fine afternoon, but should probably have sent off the erratic Youssuf Mulumbu for pushing McArthur in the second half. He opted to book the midfielder, but it is doubtful if a wasteful Wigan would have scored even against 10 men.


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