Date: 1st April 2014
Venue: DW Stadium
Referee: Jon Moss
Uwe Rosler called this the bonus game. As the lads slowly begin to tire more and more with the demands and rigors of such a busy schedule the boss gave a rallying call to players and fans alike. This game was a bonus, take what we can from the run away league leaders and give them a game, and that is exactly what we did.
I have to say one thing about the game, which is it was a shame it was a champions league week. For me neither side has been given enough credit for what was a fantastic game of football in what I can only call an amazing atmosphere. It was very plain and clear to see why Nigel Pearsons side are top of the league, and I think it was clear the true impact that Uwe Rosler has had on this side.
Straight from the off our lads looked fired up. Yet to loose on home turf under the new gaffer we want to keep that trend and the boys gave their all. Lead by the resurgent Jord Gomez, some please give this lad a contract. For both Wigan goals on the night he delivered perfection set piece deliveries and his confidence on the ball is amazing. Not only that but he has found that confidence which he has always to me looked like he has been lacking.
Along side him James McArthur was given the chance to do his thing. Tracking back and bursting forward to support the front three, it is a role that James has really grown into and with Jordi controlling the ball James can use his energy to cause other teams problems.
That's not to say we had it all our own way in this game. In fact it was Leicester who looked the more likely to go in front early on. Their best chance falling to the feet David Nugent, following which a Liam Moore header was cleared off the line from a corner. Wigan responded with Jordi Gomez coming close with a low driven shot come cross, and Nick Powell heading against the cross bar.
Nicky Maynard would then have two attempts in the space of a few minutes. His first was saved easily by goalkeeper Kasper Schmiechel before the second effort, after being released by Powell, hit the side netting. Half the ground thought it was in and jumped for joy, only to see the reaction of the Leicester fans.
We wouldn't have to wait long though. A free kick in the Leicester half and Jordi Gomez stepped up, the midfielder curled a beautiful ball in as it bent away from the goal, Ivan Ramis stuck put a head. The combination of Spaniards resulted in the ball in the net and Wigan 1-0 up.
Yet four minutes later, Wigan would be picking the ball out of their own net. These guys aren't league leaders for nothing and were able to get back on level terms before half time as Andy King slotted the ball home after a fantastic touch by David Nugent allowed the attacker some space on the ball.
At half time the even score line was slightly unfair. Wigan having had more of the ball, Leicester though looking more dangerous.
Second half though and Wigan would carry on. A second wind looked have taken over the players as they drove to get the second goal. It would take a while but eventually we would get another goal. Leicester aren't one of the league's toughest defense for no reason and with them plus Schmichel to beat our lads were finding it hard. At the other end Leicester had the small matter of Ali Al Habsi to try and beat, they weren't finding it any easier.
On 67 minutes though Wigan were back in front. Young Rob Kiernan getting his head on a Jordi Gomez corner to score his first senior goal, which was very well deserved. Kiernan has been in fantastic form for Latics and has fully re-payed the faith that Rosler has shown in him.
Yet again though the Foxes tried to bite back. For the next 23 minutes you knew it would be an onslaught and we would have to look to take our chances on the break. That we did not however, with James McClean missing the best opportunity has he bared down on goal late on.
In the Wigan half our back five held strong with Jordi and McArthur holding the line in front of them. It was the removal of Gomez that would eventually signal Leicester getting a foot in the game. We looked more wasteful on the ball as some of the composure was lost in the middle of the park.
With three minutes to go the game went all square. A Leicester free-kick 30 yards out allowed them to whip a ball into the box, it split the Latics defense and Dean Hammond managed to get his head to the ball and get it into the net.
That leveled the game and it finished that way. As both teams took a point from what was arguably one of the best games of the Championship season.