Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-1 Wigan Athletic – Match Review

Wolves won for the first time in the Premier League since August to move clear of the Premier League relegation zone after seeing off a spirited effort from Wigan at Molineux.

David Edwards proved to be the match winner 10 minutes into the second half putting Mick McCarthy’s men back in front after Ben Watson’s penalty cancelled out Jamie O’Hara’s earlier strike. Stephen Ward put the gloss on Wanderer’s first win in eight league games lashing home just after the hour mark to leave the Latics staring at yet another defeat. Roberto Martinez’s side remain at the foot of the table after losing a club record eight games on the spin. They meet Blackburn at the DW Stadium after the international break and they should be confident of taking something from that game after a spirited display in the Midlands. Martinez will be ruing his strikers luck after they squandered a number of chances prior to Watson’s equaliser just before half time. That goal gave them the belief that they could claim their first point for over two months but it was Wolves who had their shooting boots on at Molineux to move away from danger and into 13th.

Despite the game showing a flagrant disregard for possession mixed with some suspect defending it was still an entertaining spectacle served up by two teams desperate to put points on the board. It was clear why both teams are struggling though with the lack of quality at the back and in the final third making gruesome viewing for any watching defenders and strikers. Wanderers were shorn of the services of the injured Steven Fletcher with McCarthy deploying Kevin Doyle up front on his own with O’Hara tucked in behind and it worked a treat in the early stages as the home side started brightly. An early 20-yard strike from Edwards stung the palms of Ali Al Habsi before the keeper did enough to deny Steven Hunt after the winger danced his way into the Latic’s penalty area. The visitors took a while to get going but should have found themselves leading only for Hugo Rodallega to spurn two glorious chances. The Colombian has been finding his feet again after injury but his manager will be furious after he headed a Victor Moses cross horribly wide with his blushes spared by an offside flag. He was then presented with another opportunity after Karl Henry was dispossessed in midfield but could only shoot straight at Wayne Hennessey from inside the area before side footing a Franco Di Santo cross wide just before the half hour mark. It proved to be costly as just 35 seconds later The Latics found themselves behind. Wolves launched a devastating counter attack that ended with O’Hara slotting home Doyle’s cross for this third goal in two games.

Martinez’s side responded with vigour and found themselves level just before half time after Emmerson Boyce’s charge into the area was halted by the shoulder of Hunt and referee Lee Probert duly pointed to the spot. Watson stepped up only to see his initial effort saved by Hennessey before graciously snapping up the rebound. However, despite going into the break level it was Wolves who ruled the second half and they regained their lead just 10 minutes after the restart through Edwards. The midfielder was hand to pounce on the rebound after Al Habsi showed great athleticism top deny both O’Hara and Hunt but couldn’t repeat his heroics for a third time as Edwards lashed the ball home to make it 2-1. McCarthy’s men were now firmly in the ascendency and they put the game beyond doubt as Ward followed up to slot home after Al Habsi denied O’Hara yet again only to see his save drop into the path of the Wolves man who made no mistake. From then on it was a case of shutting up shop and seeing the game out for the home side although Wigan did threaten on occasions but never looked likely to come from behind again. Steven Gohouri was denied by Hennessey after rising highest to meet a Moses corner before Mohamed Diame screwed a shot wide from 12-yards. The Latics are now firmly embroiled in yet another relegation battle whilst Wolves can breathe a sigh of relief after they moved clear of the drop zone after a well earned first win in eight.

 


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