Horrid Henry makes it child's play for Wigan

Wigan Athletic 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0
Click to follow
The Independent Football

Wigan's club website match commentary was interrupted last weekend by a phone call from the "Who Wants To BeA Millionaire" host Chris Tarrant, but it is Mick McCarthy who is in desperate need of a lifeline.

A fourth successive Premier League defeat was bad enough for the Wolves manager, but the dismissal of Karl Henry, his captain, for a shocking challenge on Jordi Gomez was too much for McCarthy to stomach.

Henry was cleared of any blame for a tackle which left Fulham and England forward Bobby Zamora with a broken leg last month, but even his manager was not prepared to defend him for his reckless challengeon Gomez which left Wolves with 10 men for the remaining80 minutes.

They held out until the 65th minute when Gomez, the Spanish midfielder, broke the deadlock with a sublime free-kick before Hugo Rodallega sealed Wigan's first home League win since April five minutes from time.

"I've got no argument with the red card," said McCarthy. "Of course I will speak to Karl but I'll leave it until Monday now because emotions are always running high straight after a game. It was ill-judged,mis-timed and it looks very theatrical."

Henry's actions will do little to ease Wolves' growing reputation for being a physical side. McCarthy has seen two players sent off in seven games and his problems are mounting. In addition to losing the last four League games, Wolves have not kept a clean sheet in 10 and have taken only two points from the last 18 on offer.

More frustrating for McCarthy is that he will have targeted three points from this fixture. Wigan have been woeful in front of their own fans, but Henry's dismissal enabled the hosts to double their goal tally for the season.

Gomez's delightful curling free-kick broke Wolves' resistance before the creative Charles N'Zogbia set up the second goal claimed by Rodallega, the Colombian international.

Roberto Martinez, the Wigan manager, was more relieved Gomez escaped a broken leg than he was with his side's first home League win for almost six months. "The noise of the knee against Jordi's shin pad was a nasty moment," said Martinez. "I did fear the worst. I thought it was a broken leg."

Attendance: 14,042.

Referee: Lee Mason.

Man of the match: N'Zogbia

Match rating: 7/10