Delia Smith could depart the DW Stadium content with Norwich's return to the top flight, however another rousing rallying call may be necessary from the Canaries' co-owner. It might have been the first game of the season, yet this contest had been dubbed a relegation "six-pointer" and there was little on show to suggest otherwise. Both easy on the eye, yet displaying defensive deficiencies bigger fish will feast on.
Surprisingly, the most significant mistake came from the usually reliable Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi, whose spilled catch enabled Wes Hoolahan to equalise on the stroke of half-time after Ben Watson had put the Latics ahead with a penalty.
Reflecting on his first match as a Premier League manager, Paul Lambert said: "I think we've got to be happy with that. It's not an easy place to come. The boys held out and great credit for them for their desire not to get beat." Things began badly. The Latics were handed a 21st-minute penalty following Ritchie de Laet's clumsy challenge on Franco di Santo as he advanced towards goal.
Up stepped Watson, and the midfielder placed his penalty into the left corner beyond John Ruddy, the Norwich goalkeeper. Al Habsi allowed the Canaries back into it when he failed to keep hold of an innocuous low cross from Steve Morison and Hoolahan pounced. Di Santo was inches away from restoring the lead with a bullet header from Maynor Figueroa's cross.
Wigan may wonder how they will replace the departed Charles N'Zogbia but in Victor Moses they have a player possessing similar capabilities. The former Crystal Palace man was unfortunate when he slalomed his way past four yellow jerseys into the six-yard area only to see his sliding effort blocked for a corner.
His manager, Roberto Martinez, said: "He is a unique type of player. He's a young man who still needs to develop. He has so much raw talent. I don't think we played as well as we can. Norwich played with bravery and balance and took their chance well. The game just didn't pan out for us, just one of those sloppy days."
Wigan (4-3-3): Al Habsi; Boyce, Lopez (Stam, 82), Caldwell, Figueroa; Diame, Watson, McCarthy; Gomez (Rodallega, 53), Di Santo (Sammon, 53), Moses
Norwich (4-3-1-2): Ruddy; R Martin, De Laet, Whitbread (Barnett, 71), Tierney; Crofts, Fox, Surman (Bennett, 75); Hoolahan; Holt, Morison (Pilkington, 75)
Referee Stuart Attwell
Man of the match Moses (Wigan)
Match rating 7/10Reuse content