McArthur spark gets Wigan rocking

Bolton Wanderers 1 Wigan Athletic 2: Martinez's men show their survival instinct against a Bolton side whose confidence has evaporated

Reebok Stadium

As one of their biggest victories of the season loomed, those that had made the short journey from Wigan to Bolton began a chorus of "We shall not be moved."

Since Wigan finished the game bottom of the Premier League, they would hope to be proved wrong. Nevertheless, Wigan may be moving at a glacial pace but they are moving. Bolton, the side that dismantled Liverpool here only a few short weeks before, have chosen a precarious time to lose form.

This and their 2-0 defeat at Norwich last weekend would count among Owen Coyle's worst days of the season. It is a measure of how poor they were that he had employed all three of his substitutes by the 64th minute after which came a recovery of sorts.

When the final whistle blew, there were two points separating the bottom five. Each will have an avenue to survival, whether it be Queens Park Rangers' money or the fact that Blackburn will nearly always score.

Wigan's is that they have been here so many times before and that they expected to be going into the spring having to scrap for their lives. Eight successive defeats in the autumn meant they were likely to be nowhere else.

Afterwards, their manager, Roberto Martinez, remarked that the qualities clubs in Wigan's position require from their footballers are: "ability, arrogance and bravery". These are traits which Victor Moses, Wigan's Nigerian-born, England qualified winger, who was one of the casualties as Crystal Palace went into administration, possesses.

The 21-year-old began by turning his marker both ways and shooting into the side-netting and finished it by running hard at the Bolton defence,going past Sam Ricketts and shooting before David Wheater could slide in with the tackle. Frankly, Adam Bogdan might have held a shot that was not struck with any great pace and it spilled into James McArthur's path. He was six yards out, the net was gaping and unguarded and, even for a side averaging less than a goal a game, it was unmissable.

"This game is much easier when you are in the top six," said Martinez. "Down here you need to show your metal and we have been here so many times before that we know how to fight for our lives."

And yet as the second half wore on Bolton seemed the likelier winners. Even playing badly, they managed two fabulous moves. One led to a goal, the other should have done. First came Mark Davies's goal, a long ball that struck David Ngog on the shoulder and fell to Davies before Maynor Figueroa could react. The man, who whatever happens, is likely to be Bolton's player of the season delivered a left-footed shot that screeched past Ali Al Habsi. The introduction of Ryo Miyaichi, whose arrival on loan from Arsenal has ensured Bolton have more press coverage in Japan than at any time in their history, appeared to galvanise a side that appeared not to understand quite how critical this match might be for their club's future.

His father played professional baseball and when the 19-year-old cut into the box and shot, it appeared that this, metaphorically, would be his first home run. The stadium had just started to acclaim the goal when Al Habsi pushed the ball away.

Reflecting on a disastrous afternoon, Coyle bemoaned the waste of a crucial and obvious opportunity and especially the opening goal. A corner from Jean Beausejour, a free header from Gary Caldwell sparked an explosion of flares in the away end that briefly made the Reebok feel like the Estadio Monumental until stewards and police waded in and fire extinguishers were directed into the smoke from an executive box above. This is something that never happens in Buenos Aires.

Bolton (4-4-2): Bogdan; Steinsson, Wheater, Knight, Ricketts; Eagles (Tuncay, 58), Reo-Coker, M Davies, Petrov (Ryo, h-t); Ngog, K Davies (Klasnic, 63).

Wigan (4-4-1-1): Al Habsi; Boyce, Alcaraz, Caldwell, Figueroa; McArthur, McCarthy, Beausejour, Moses; Gomez (Rodallega, 75); Di Santo (Jones, 90).

Referee Howard Webb.

Man of the match Moses (Wigan).

Match rating 6/10.

Life and Style
“What is it like being a girl?” was the question on the lips of one inquisitive Reddit user this week
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
peopleMario Balotelli poses with 'shotgun' in controversial Instagram pic
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice