The Europa League: Group D
Zulte Waregem Vs Wigan Athletic
Score: 0 - 0
Kick Off: 18:00pm
A historic night for Wigan Athletic ended with the spoils being shared at the Jan Breydal Stadium in Bruges.
Wigan started brightly and James McArthur saw a shot skim the post after just three minutes. Wigan, the only team in the draw with any continental experience, showed Zulte Waregem how to play in the first twenty minutes and largely dominated play. Jordi Gomez shot wide from twenty yards early on and there was a feeling that maybe Wigan would rue the fact that they hadn’t converted these two ideal opportunities as Eden Hazard’s younger brother, Thorgen (on loan from Chelsea), seemed to be working himself into the game.
It was only a matter of time until Zulte Waregem had a decent chance to score and this came in the form of a James McClean header which hit his own Wigan Athletic post. This was before Scott Carson showed the Wigan faithful that he is still a top class ‘keeper as he parried a close range strike to deny Ibrahima Conte which kept the scores level at half time.
Carson almost cost his team the game early on in the second half as he miss punched the ball which led to Habib Habibou to head wide. Wigan were not as strong in the second period and failed to create many chances with their best chance falling to new signing, Ryan Shotton, who went close with a flick and although they looked more dangerous with the introduction of Marc-Antoine Fortune Wigan could not score.
A well worked and well deserved point nonetheless and Wigan, with Nick Powell playing as striker, and Callum McManaman back in the starting eleven, should feel much better than they did on Saturday when they were beaten by Leicester City.
The man of the match was Nick Powell. He was running all over the pitch and making crucial runs and showed why Alex Ferguson has branded him the new Paul Scholes. Chris McCann was also much improved from his previous appearances in the Championship: He seemed to want to play and made a challenge in the final minutes that kept the game goalless.
Wigan fans can certainly expect an exciting season, whatever happens and they should feel optimistic for their chances in Europe.