Wigan Athletic 1 Norwich City 0 match report: The late escape is on as Arouna Koné strike lifts Wigan hopes

 

the dw stadium

Escape specialists Wigan can sense another act of defiance after Arouna Koné came up with his second consecutive match-winning goal to lift his side out of the bottom three and ensure Aston Villa take on Liverpool today under maximum pressure.

Koné was on the spot to score a 90th-minute decider to beat Newcastle before the international break, when Maynor Figueroa appeared to touch the ball with a hand in setting up the chance. There was, however, no argument over the legitimacy of his goal this time.

Sent clear by a superb through ball from Jordi Gomez with a little under 10 minutes left, the Ivory Coast striker hit a shot from the edge of the box that had too much power for Lee Camp the goalkeeper, who got both hands on the ball but could not stop it beating him.

The goal – Koné's 10th this season in the Premier League, 12th overall and sixth in his last six matches – sealed back-to-back wins for Wigan for only the second time this season and left Roberto Martinez, the manager, with a strong conviction that his team can beat relegation again after winning seven of their last nine matches a year ago.

They have a tough run-in, with Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal among their eight remaining opponents, but have a chance to do further damage to Queens Park Rangers next week. Their last fixture is at home to Villa.

Martinez felt his team might have kept the ball better and played with a little more style, but had reason to forgive his players. "What was good is it is the first time we have come back from an international break and won," he said.

"We are unusual in that we have 13 players who leave us when there are internationals and it makes it very difficult physically at this stage of the season.

"What we did show was incredible character. To restrict any team in the Premier League requires massive effort."

In the case of Norwich, though, it might be argued that less effort is required than with some Premier League sides. The Canaries have scored only three goals in their last seven matches and have won only one in 14, a statistic which is beginning to weigh heavily on them.

A week or so back, they were one of the group in mid-table who looked comfortably out of danger but this morning they sit only four points clear of the bottom three. They are not quite in such peril as Sunderland among those slipping backwards but by no means safe.

"We've got seven matches left but four are at home," said their manager, Chris Hughton. "Clubs like ourselves are stronger there but I thought this was a good opportunity to pick up points.

"I'm disappointed with the goal. I couldn't see it happening as we were so solid. For me it was soft. We lost the ball in middle of park and one good strike saw them get the goal that they really needed."

In reality, Wigan deserved the win on the basis that they threatened to score, which Norwich rarely did.

Hughton's players twice cleared off the line, Michael Turner from a shot by Gomez and Jonny Howson from a header by Antolin Alcarez, who was also the pillar of Wigan's defence.

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Sport
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
football
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
News
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Travel
travel
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

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"