Match Report: Roger Espinoza rewards Wigan manager Roberto Martinez by inspiring fightback against Stoke

Stoke City 2 Wigan Athletic 2

The Britannia Stadium

Queen's Park Rangers target Peter Crouch marked only his second Premier League start in two months with what may have been his last goal for Stoke before Wigan's new signing Roger Espinoza inspired his side to fight back impressively from two goals down to extend manager Roberto Martinez's unbeaten run against Stoke to eight matches.

Watch full highlights of the match here

While Tony Pulis, the Stoke manager, ponders the wisdom of selling Crouch, save perhaps from bringing in a defender, Martinez has done much of his business and the Honduran Espinoza, signed on a free from Major League Soccer side Kansas City, looks a typically shrewd capture. The 26-year-old, who had been on the Martinez radar since the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, set up second-half goals for James McArthur and Franco di Santo. Wigan have one in 11 but climb out of the bottom three on goal difference.

Yet the performance was greeted with mixed feelings by Martinez, whose record as Wigan manager against Stoke stands at two wins and six draws. "Not many teams come back from a 2-0 deficit at the Britannia but we should not dominate as we did and concede two goals," he said.

"There was a two-goal deficit but we kept playing the same way and you never saw a player losing their composure. We scored two goals which were as good as you are going to see in this league from open play, which was very difficult to do against this Stoke side," Martinez added.

Conceding the first goal is a habit Wigan must crack. When Ryan Shawcross put Stoke ahead after 23 minutes it was the 16th time in 24 matches so far that Wigan have gone behind to the opening goal, although this one in mitigation was unusually freakish as Jean Beusejour's attempt to head clear a Charlie Adam free kick rebounded off team-mate James McCarthy and back towards the Wigan goal, where Shawcross was lurking to hook the ball past Ali al-Habsi.

Wigan fell further behind early in the second half after Espinoza's misplaced pass allowed Glenn Whelan to lead a Stoke break, at the end of which Al-Habsi saved an Adam shot but pushed the ball straight to the feet of Crouch, following in, who scored his first goal since September.

But Wigan – and Espinoza – responded superbly with a fine goal, executed by McArthur via the outside of his right boot and the inside of the left post on the end of Espinoza's threaded pass.

They scored an equaliser on 61 minutes, Espinoza again involved when his cross was headed back across goal by McArthur and swept home by Di Santo. The point was well deserved.

Man of the match Espinoza.

Match rating 7/10.

Referee M Jones (Cheshire).

Attendance 24,421.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links