A very bold move by Roberto Martinez, the same team was kept to face Newcastle United that swept the floor 3-0 with Everton. Newcastle where and are a different entity, on the up with their new faces, last weeks 2-1 win over Stoke for them look to pull them clear of the bottom three. So Martinez had to go for broke in this one.
At first it looked like it wouldn't have been a good idea. Wigan failed to really settle early on, much like they did against Everton. Newcastle full of pomp and vigor looking to get through our often leaky defence, but the returning Antolin Alcaraz was a testament to how to defend.
That didn't stop Newcastle coming close, with Stephen Taylor getting free off a corner. The defender powered a header straight towards goal, and Joel Robles on his league debut managed to get his hands to it and collect the ball at the second attempt. That was a wake up call, and it seemed to hit the message home.
Shaun Maloney managed to find that extra yard, much like last season and was appearing here there and everywhere as he played the ball from left to right and back again. On the right hand side, also getting his first league start, Callum McManaman was having a good time of it, penning back David Santon.
At the other side Newcastle managed to get the ball into the back of the net. Mathieu Debuchy, found space behind Maynor Figueroa and slipped the ball past the stranded Joel. There was one small problem with the goal, the full back had been offside. On his way back to his position, Debuchy looked to have tweaked his hamstring and was substituted. Lucky for Wigan as the full back was causing problems.
At the other end 17 minutes in, Wigan managed to grab the first goal of the game. Callum crossing a lovely ball over from the right, the ball hit Steven Taylor, leaving goalkeeper Rob Elliott in no mans land. Jean Beasuejour managed to sneak in and get his first goal for Latics.
What an important goal that looked to be, and Wigan held onto their lead till the 71st minutes. Before then though, we have the small matter of the McManaman challenge, which will now haunt over this game.
It has no right to has it takes away from a great game of football, and what was an enthusiastic, but none the less reckless challenge now appears to have left Massadio Haïdara with some form of knee injury. Callum should have been shown a red, the referee missed it, and to be perfectly honest at the time in the stand it looked like a clash of knees.
Having now seen the replays I know it wasn't, and Callum will more than likely get a ban depending on what happens with the referee's report. That challenge did look to shake Callum up, and in the end Martinez would bring him off in the second half.But as the teams went in to close the first half, Newcastle United's assistant manager decided to be a bit of an idiot. Squaring up to young Callum. Not advisable as he was sent to the stands for a time out.
So tempers where rising, and Newcastle wanted this win now. They wanted to win it to shove it in our faces. That is acceptable, the number of time we have had injustice and wish to win games following are numerous and I understand the Newcastle fans view. So their players step it up a gear.
Newcastle were by far the better team second half, yet Alcaraz acting like a rock at the back and Newcastle's inability to put the ball in the net worked to our advantage as Mr Cisse would have a quite afternoon when it came to getting on the score sheet, he was good at getting in the right place, just no good at finishing.
The experienced head of Shola Ameobi was summoned to the field and within five minutes of his taking to the pitch Newcastle were level.
Paul Scharner messing about with the ball on the Wigan right, allowed the Geordies to get a foot on the ball and switch it to their right. David Santon who by his standards had a quite game going forward was able to burst into space past Maynor Figueroa into the box, before blasting the ball into the bottom corner. 1-1 good finish and the momentum was now with Newcastle, you felt they might win this one now.
The last twenty minutes went from one side to the other. Both teams pushing for the win, and Wigan seemed to be doing it better Shaun Maloney getting into some good wide positions, but the midfielder didn't really manage to pick anyone out, while Newcastle broke quickly, then lost their way in the final third of the pitch.
So come the 90th minute and Arouna Kone trying to curl the ball into the goal. A deflection and a corner. Jordi Gomez would take it, whipped into the front post, and now came a small session of pinball as the ball bounced around in the box.
Newcastle appealed for handball, the ball appeared to touch the arm of a Wigan player (I believe it was Paul Scharner) but I don't see it as intentional. In that split second, Kone was able to latch onto it and blast the ball home into the back of the net 2-1, and the Wigan fans went into delirium.
A much needed three points, the survival push starts now.