The same team that had won the last three game stepped out onto the pitch against QPR. Personally I would have liked to have seen Jordi Gomez dropped, not because of bad performances but to allow us to have a more defensive midfield. As it was, he wasn't the player that needed dropping in our midfield.
That would become apparent later on in the game as in the early stages both teams had set out to win this one. QPR playing very direct fast flowing attacking football and they cam the closest early on with a lovely volley from Loic Remy, the French striker getting onto the knock down from Hoillet. The strike hit the post.
Wigan on the other hand were building slowly and playing their patient passing game. The closets we came early on was a Callum McManaman shot with his left foot which was straight at the goalkeeper. It wasn't going to cause Julio Cesar any trouble.
The shape of the game would all change though on twenty minutes, when Bobby Zamora decided to tackle Gomez high on the face. The foot was raised and he never looked like getting the ball, so a free-kick and a yellow card would have been a fair retribution. While Jordi was receiving treatment from our medical staff, the linesman and Phil Dowd consultant about the incident. Before Dowd called Zamora over to show him a red card.
Dumbstruck is the word to best describe the QPR players, you could physically see the mental blow hit some of them. They have played well in the first twenty minutes, and now you felt Wigan would have the chance to go on and win this. Typical of us that we couldn't and for the next 25 minutes we where in total control.
The problem was for us that none seemed to know how to put the ball in the net. Christopher Samba took Arouna Kone out the game by physically tracking the player whenever he went in the final third. That left it up to our midfielders to create something, and trust Shaun Maloney to be off the boil in this sort of game. The midfielder would have a woeful game, with passes missing their targets and too many miss controls.
The only times we came close to scoring in the first half were threw Callum McManaman whos two shots both came close to finding the back of the net.
Roll on half time and it was the wrong time for Wigan. You felt that QPE would come out stronger and punish us for not scoring against their ten men.
And so they tried. Wigan though could afford to keep players back and what followed was a very drab and boring second half. Wigan went forward couldn't find and opening, then QPR would counter only to either be tackled or put the ball wide of the goal. Loic Remy at the heart of everything and he nearly scored with a header which just flashed past the post.
Talking of header James McArthur was free six yards out. The Scottish midfielders though couldn't put the ball past the goal keeper so we marched on, and on, and on. But we couldn't blow the QPR defence down.
Then in the final ten minutes of the game it was a mad dash. Wigan pushing harder now and won a free-kick a fair way out. They decided to lay the ball off for Maynor Figueroa to have a power shot. It was blocked and the ball broke to Stephane M'Bia who broke with power and pace, before playing in Remy who sided footed the ball home.
Absolute disaster, and typical of Wigan Athletic. You felt we have thrown the game away then, and with five minutes to go plus stoppage time could we muster something. WE didn't need to though as QPR insisted on fouling our players on the edge of their box.
Wigan had two free-kicks in stoppage time, the first from Jordi Gomez missed the target, but the second with a minute left of added time found the net; and it was the out for form Shaun Maloney who rescued a point for Latics.
The kick looked like Gomez was going to have it again, but this time Shaun made the run up and place in high into the corner of the goal away from Cesar and giving Wigan a share of the spoils.