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Match Report: Wigan Athletic 2-2 Everton

I didn't expect much from this game, Everton are playing like a rampaging bull, while we have looked like a deflated balloon. So a point from a team that could be in a Champions league spot come the end of the season is very good going, considering our own form.

Stu Forster - Getty Images

I didn't expect much from this game, Everton are playing like a rampaging bull, while we have looked like a deflated balloon. So a point from a team that could be in a Champions league spot come the end of the season is very good going, considering our own form.

Yet the result could have been so much better for Latics, had we taken a couple more of our chances and cut out those silly mistakes. It could have been all three points instead of the one, had we maintained the high level of performance we had given in the first 45 minutes.

We took the lead inside ten minutes, with really the first chance of the game. That man Shaun Maloney showing great feet and vision, to get to the byline before cutting the ball back across the box. Arouna Kone was in the right place at the right time to head the ball past a rooted Tim Howard.

1-0 and what a start for Latics, the feeling was that we maybe able to win this one now.

Yet what are you told wherever you play in football. After you score keep tight, keep on your feet and get the ball away from your box. So what do Latics do?

We fail to close down, we rush challenges and we allow the opposition to draw back level. It came in the shape of a Steven Pienaar ball from the left hand side of the box sitting up beautifully for Nikita Jelavic to head the ball home for Everton and bring them back level with Wigan.

So maybe not our day again, and you wondered if it would now turn into the long day we had expected.

Yet the fans lifted the players. We had seen that Everton were not the might side we had thought, and sensed that we could win this one.

So we went to work. The midfield passing the ball low on the deck to pull the Everton defense one way, then switch it back to another, then when we didn't have the ball we worked and harried Everton into making mistakes. It was getting the crowd going and the players lifted with it.

Before long we would get the chance to score, and on the 21st minute our second goal came. The returning Franco Di Santo scored the goal, after being set up by his striking partner Arouna Kone. The link up play and the movement of the two had caused Everton defense continuous worries.

It was Gary Caldwell's long ball that caused the first problem. Before Kone was allowed to turn and charge to the by-line with the ball, here he blasted the ball back low across the box for Di Santo to hit the ball home. 2-1 to Wigan and you felt it was well deserved.

We kept the ball but unfortunately weren't able to break down the Everton. Di Santo was the closest with a rifling shot that saw Tim Howard at full stretch to deny the Argentinian a second goal.

Yet it would be Everton who would close the first half the stronger, both Leon Osman and Kevin Mirallas saw shots saved by an inspired Ali Al Habsi, who would go on to have an exceptional second half peformance.

Ali's performance would be needed to stop Everton drawing level in what would be their half of the game. The defense which in the first half had looked very tight was starting to look weak and leaky as Pienaar, Mirallas and Fellaini where given time and space on the ball to create chances.

Latics best chance of the second half would in fact come to nothing thanks to an interception from Phil Jagielka. The Wigan trio of Kone, Maloney and Di Santo had worked the ball beautifully giving Di Santo time on the ball, just has Jagielka got to it.

The rest though truly was Everton any time we got forward Everton won the ball. Yet they couldn't make their chances count. Jelavic was having a quite half, where as Mirallas was troubling Al Habsi at every oppourtuninty it was almost becoming a personal battle between the two of them.

Yet the pressure was telling and Everton could have easily equalized had they been given one of several penalties that we had conceded. All the claims were coming thanks to fouls from Maynor Figueroa, not that the referee judge any of them to be fouls.

The most blatant was a foul of Jelavic. Just as the Croatian striker was about to hit the ball, Figueroa took the players leg away. Nothing wrong said the ref, and you felt that our lucky stars were all in line for this weekends game.

But if you keep making those kinds of fouls, eventually one will go against you, and with three minutes left to play Figueroa was at the heart of it all again. Mirallas was the man fouled this time and the penalty was given. But who would step up for Everton?

It was the ex-Latic himself Leighton Baines, over the years he had scored many for Wigan. Now he has scored many against us, as he blasted the ball into the top corner of Al Habsi's goal.

With time left you wondered if Everton would go the whole way and win it.

Not so as Wigan held on for a point, but it could have been all so different had Shaun Maloney's late effort looped in. The Scottish midfielder had space in the box, before turning and shooting. His shot took a deflection and went mighty close to gathering up all three point for Wigan.

Yet the scored remained 2-2 as both teams went home with a point.