Wigan still in trouble

2011-04-30 19:16

Wigan - Wigan Athletic remain mired in the Premier League relegation zone after Leighton Baines's late penalty rescued a 1-1 draw for Everton against his former club on Saturday.

Charles N'Zogbia gave Wigan the lead in the 21st minute at the DW Stadium and Everton's Mikel Arteta then had a penalty saved by Ali Al Habsi.

Wigan came close to extending their lead on several occasions but a handball by Hugo Rodallega enabled Baines to draw the Toffees level from the penalty spot 12 minutes from full-time.

With three games of the season remaining, Wigan are third-bottom in the table but trail fourth-bottom Blackpool on goal difference alone.

They visit Aston Villa next weekend before hosting fellow strugglers West Ham United and then travel to FA Cup finalists Stoke City on the season's final day.

Everton remain seventh, four points behind sixth-placed city rivals Liverpool, who host Newcastle United on Sunday.

Everton welcomed back key attacking midfielders Arteta and Tim Cahill from injury but it was Wigan who made the more enterprising start.

A pass from Ben Watson released Rodallega behind the Everton defence but the Colombian's snap-shot was way off target.

Everton threatened through Victor Anichebe, who was denied by an alert block from Emmerson Boyce, before the hosts went ahead.

James McCarthy's gentle chip forward ran through to N'Zogbia, who beat Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard to the ball, turned inside and curled a fine shot inside the left-hand post.

Everton came close to an instant response, but Leon Osman's rising drive drew a brilliant one-handed save from Wigan goalkeeper Al Habsi.

David Moyes's side were given a glorious opportunity to pull level in the 36th minute, when N'Zogbia was penalised for a foul on Osman inside the Wigan penalty area following a short corner.

Arteta took responsibility for the subsequent spot-kick but his effort was superbly turned away by Al Habsi.

Man of the moment N'Zogbia had to leave the fray due to injury early in the second period, but his replacement, Victor Moses, proved just as persistent a thorn in Everton's side.

The former Crystal Palace forward drew a fine near-post save from Howard and then brought the American shot-stopper into action again with a clipped shot from Boyce's cut-back.

Wigan were left to rue their failure to register a second goal when Rodallega conceded a penalty for a needless handball.

With Arteta off the pitch, Baines took the set-piece and he made no mistake with an emphatic strike.

Everton had to weather a ferocious onslaught in the closing stages.

Rodallega twice tested Howard and Watson arrowed in a 30-yard drive that the Everton shot-stopper repelled with difficulty before Rodallega spurned the chance to atone for conceding the penalty by blazing wide from 12 yards.