Mar 17, 2013 at 4pm UK at ​DW Stadium
WiganWigan Athletic
2-1
NewcastleNewcastle United
Beausejour (18'), Koné (90')
Scharner (45')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Santon (72')
Perch (50'), Gutiérrez (67')

Live Commentary: Wigan Athletic 2-1 Newcastle United - as it happened

Aruna Kone pokes home Wigan's winner against Newcastle on March 17, 2013
© AP Photos
Sports Mole brings you live coverage of the Premier League relegation battle between Wigan and Newcastle.

Wigan Athletic moved to within three points of safety courtesy of a controversial 2-1 win over Newcastle United this afternoon.

Jean Beausejour opened the scoring for the Latics, who then should have had a man sent off when Callum McManaman put in a shocking tackle on Massadio Haidara.

Davide Santon levelled the sides with 20 minutes left but Arouna Kone struck late on to secure all three points for Wigan, although replays suggest that the goal should have been disallowed for a handball.

You can read how a dramatic 90 minutes unfolded with Sports Mole's live play-by-play coverage below.


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3pmGood afternoon! Thank you for joining Sports Mole for today's match between Wigan and Newcastle, and what an important match it could prove to be this season.

3.02pmWigan have forged a reputation as the ultimate Premier League survivors in recent years. They always seem to be destined for the drop only to escape at the last minute. They face as big a task as ever this season, however. Surely they can't pull off another great escape?

3.04pmThe Latics do still have their Premier League status in their hands, which isn't a luxury they have enjoyed in the past. They are six points adrift of safety, but that gap looks a lot less intimidating when you realise that they have two games in hand, one of which is this afternoon.

3.06pmHowever, the six-point gap does pile the pressure on Wigan to keep on winning. They are getting dangerously close to every match becoming a 'must-win' one if they are to survive, especially with the likes of Aston Villa and Southampton above them beginning to find a bit of form.

3.08pmOne advantage they do have over 17th-placed Villa is the goal difference. Villa have the worst in the league, which could prove to be vital in the run in. You just have to look at how last season's title was decided to see how important the odd goal can be!

3.10pmLet's turn our attention to Newcastle, then. The Magpies should really be safe from being dragged into the relegation battle, but manager Alan Pardew will be taking nothing for granted. If they lose today then they will be just six points clear of Wigan in 18th, and the Latics would still have that one game in hand.

3.12pmSo, by the time Wigan are up to speed in terms of games played, Newcastle could be just three points clear of the bottom three. Their vastly superior goal difference effectively makes this a four-point gap, but they will still be keen to get a win today to prevent the chance of it getting that close.

3.14pmA draw wouldn't be the worst result for Newcastle this afternoon, however. As long as they keep picking points up on a regular basis then they really should be safe this season.

3.16pmTEAM NEWS: Newcastle have made three changes to the side that sealed their place in the next round of the Europa League on Thursday night. They bring in Guitterez, Debuchy and Gouffran for Cabaye, Haidara and Anita. Wigan, meanwhile, are unchanged.


3.18pmWIGAN STARTING XI: Blazquez; Scharner, Figueroa, Alcaraz; Boyce, McCarthy, Gomez, Beausejour; McManaman, Kone, Maloney

3.19pmWIGAN SUBS: Al Habsi, Stam, Caldwell, Henriquez, McArthur, Golobart, Di Santo

3.20pmNEWCASTLE STARTING XI: Elliot; Debuchy, S.Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon; Gutierrez, Tiote; Marveaux, Sissoko, Gouffran; Cisse

3.20pmNEWCASTLE SUBS: Harper, Haidara, Perch, Anita, Gosling, Obertan, Shola Ameobi

3.22pmSo, what can we make of both of those teams? Well, it's hard to say much about the Wigan side as they can perform excellently one week and terribly the next. The fact that Martinez has chosen to keep the same side that beat Everton so emphatically in the FA Cup is no surprise, but don't be shocked if the Latics don't repeat that performance this afternoon.

3.24pmAs for Newcastle, Elliot remains between the sticks due to Krul's injury but he should get good cover from the four players in front of him. One big loss for the Magpies will be Cabaye, who is injured again. The likes of Marveaux, Gouffran and Sissoko certianly have the quality to provide plenty of creativity, but none of them are quite in the same league as Cabaye. Up front, Papiss Cisse is more than capable of sticking the ball in the back of the net if he is given the chance.

3.26pmBoth sides will come into this one in confident mood. Wigan enter the match on the back of that brilliant 3-0 win over Everton at Goodison Park, a result which will have lifted the whole squad.

3.28pmNot long before that, they also thrashed Reading away from home, running out 3-0 victors once again on that occasion. Between those wins, however, came a 4-0 thumping at home courtesy of Liverpool, and it is that sort of inconsistency that makes it so difficult to predict which Wigan side will turn up today.

3.30pmLooking solely at their league form, however, it is easy to see why Wigan are where they are. The Latics have won just one of their last eight and two of their last 15 in the Premier League - a run of form that they will have to improve significantly if they plan on staying in the division.

3.32pmThe slightly worrying news for Wigan today is that they haven't won at home in any competition since November last year, a run stretching back eight games.

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3.34pmIn those eight games, the Latics have scored just seven times, conceding 19 in the process. Unsurprisingly, they have the worst home record in the league this season, picking up just 10 points from their 14 games at the DW Stadium this season.

3.36pmSo, that's the bad news for Wigan - now for the good news! Today they come up against the second worst away record in the Premier League this season. Newcastle have one just once on their travels, drawing five and losing the remaining eight of their 14 away games. That one win came in January against Aston Villa.

3.38pmLooking at the Magpies' form in a wider sense, though, they have started to pick things up a bit. They have won four of their last six games in all competitions and are unbeaten in their last three matches.

3.40pmThey have struggled to string a run of wins together in the league this season, though. They have alternated between wins and losses in their last five games, although that run does include an impressive win over Chelsea.

3.42pmBoth sides have reasons to be optimistic and pessimistic going in to this one, then. Today is a day that could have a big impact on the rest of the season for both of these sides, particularly Wigan who need a win to keep up with Aston Villa.

3.44pmWigan will be aware that they still have some tough teams to play in the run in, so matches like this take on even more importance. Martinez will be drilling it into his players that this is a very winnable game.

3.46pmSo, who exactly do they Latics have left to play? Well, after this one they still have the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal to play, all of which they won't be expecting to get much from.

3.48pmHowever, they also have the likes of QPR, Norwich, West Ham, West Brom and Swansea to play which are all games that they will be hopeful of getting at least a point from. If they can stay in touch until the last day of the season they face what could potential be the definition of a relegation 'six-pointer' as they take on Aston Villa.

3.50pmPREDICTION: These two sides can be very hard to predict as they are both mecurial teams. However, on this occasion I think that this one has draw written all over it. Wigan are poor at home, Newcastle are poor away, and I think they will cancel each other out. I'm going for 1-1.

3.52pmNewcastle will also be keeping one eye on their run in at the end of the season. Pardew, as I've already mentioned, will be wary of being dragged into the relegation battle so, just as Martinez will be looking on this as a winnable game, so will the Newcastle boss.

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3.54pmThey still have Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal to play, while QPR and Sunderland are the only sides below them in the table that they will be playing after today.

3.56pmMany of their remaining matches are against teams in and around them in the table at the moment - the likes of West Ham, West Brom and Sunderland - which could prove to be a good thing or a bad thing for the Magpies. Only time will tell which.

3.58pmRight, we're nearing kickoff at the DW Stadium. The players are out on the pitch ahead of this one, the captains are about to shake hands and exchange flags, but they are just waiting for the mascots, who are late!

4pmBoth of these sides are still in the race for silverware this season, remember. Wigan are in the FA Cup semi-finals while Newcastle are in the last eight of the Europa League. It's all eyes on the Premier League today though!

0 minHere we go! Kone and Maloney get us underway at the DW Stadium.

1 minIt is interesting that Ali Al Habsi has been left on the bench today. Joel has been the Latics' FA Cup keeper this season and his performance against Everton has earned him a start today. Big game for him.

2 minWe have an early stoppage as Jordi Gomez goes down holding his head after an aerial challenge. He'll be alright, he was just caught by a stray arm. Aggressive start by Newcastle.

4 minThere is a great atmosphere in the DW Stadium at moment, and both sets of fans are playing their part. There isn't always noise here so it makes a nice change.

5 minDebuchy cuts inside and tries to slip a reverse pass in to Cisse, but Figueroa sticks out a leg to intercept it. Important piece of defending.

6 minSHOT! The first shot of the day comes courtesy of a Jordi Gomez free kick. His curling strike from about 30 yards out isn't troubling Joel, however, as it goes comfortably over the bar.

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8 minWigan are struggling to get into their stride so far. Their passes aren't finding their own men and Newcastle are on top in the early stages.

9 minCHANCE! Great chance for Taylor to give his side the lead. He gets in front of his man and glances a header goalwards from the edge of the six yard box. The ball is straight at Joel, but the Wigan keeper needs two attempts to collect it. A foot either side of the keeper and that probably would've been 1-0.

11 minUPDATE! There has been a goal at White Hart Lane, and what a big goal it could prove to be in the Champions League race. Dimitar Berbatov has given Fulham the lead over Spurs.

12 minDebuchy is down here and clutching his hamstring, which is not a good sign for Newcastle. It's always best to be cautious with those sorts of injuries, so it looks like Debuchy will have to come off.

13 minNEWCASTLE SUB: Sure enough, off goes Debuchy to be replaced by Haidara, who will go to left-back and Santon will go over to right-back.

15 minSissoko has a chance to break away and Newcastle have a three-on-three situation, but his touch is far too heavy, allowing the Wigan defence to clear the danger.

17 minGOAL! Wigan 1-0 Newcastle (Jean Beausejour)

18 minOh how important could that goal prove to be this season? McManaman takes his man on down the right and squeezes a cross in which Kone is inches away from connecting with. The ball should be cleared by Santon at the far post but he doesn't react in time and the ball falls to Beausejour, who rolls it in.

20 minWigan had started to come into the match for a few minutes before that goal so it wasn't against the run of play. It came at the end of a good spell of possession for the Latics too.

21 minUPDATE! There has been a goal at Stamford Bridge! Frank Lampard edges ever closer to that goalscoring record with a strike against his former club West Ham. It's 1-0 there.


23 minHaidara has gone down in a heap after a strong challenge by McManaman. The ref doesn't award a free kick straight away, but the replays show that it should have been a free kick and a red card. McManaman may have got a slight touch on the ball, but the follow-through was knee-high and very hard. Horrific challenge and if Haidara's leg isn't broken he's a very lucky man. The sub looks like he will have to be subsituted himself now.

24 minHis foot was planted in the ground too, which made that tackle even more dangerous. That one gets worse everytime you look at it. How McManaman has got away without even a free kick being given is shocking.

26 minNEWCASTLE SUB: Alan Pardew is forced into his second change already as the man who came on as a sub early is stretchered off. Perch comes on for Haidara.

28 minThe visitors are just knocking the ball about patiently now, trying to get themselves back into the match after a less-than-perfect start to this one. They have lost two full-backs and a goal in the opening half an hour.

30 minMaloney tries to take Taylor on down the left but the Newcastle defender gets a foot in and pokes it behind for a corner. Boyce meets the corner with a header but he can't direct it goalwards.

33 minGouffran threatens to break free down the left but eventually he is forced to cut back on himself. He still finds space to whip a cross in, but it's too far in front of Cisse and Joel collects.

34 minSAVE! Maloney almost squeezes a shot into the far corner for Wigan. Tiote isn't tight enough to the Wigan man inside the box, allowing him to get a curling strike that Elliot is at full stretch to keep out.

36 minA quick update regarding the injury to Haidara, and it's not good news. The player still can't straighten his leg, which means that the medical team can't assess him. It looks bad.

38 minKone just spins past Yanga-Mbiwa, who prevents the Ivorian from getting any further by tripping him up. There was a defender behind him so the ref opts not to bring out a card.

40 minAlcaraz tries to find Kone with a long, searching ball upfield, but Newcastle's defence deals with the danger pretty comfortably. Both attacks are struggling to find a way through at the moment.

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41 minCHANCE! Just as I say that, McCarthy waltzes straight through the middle of the Newcastle back four, which is cut completely open. The midfielder makes a lung-busting 50-yard run and just runs out of legs at the end as Gutierrez gets back to put in a fine tackle.

43 minAt the other end, Newcastle swing a corner in that is easily cleared by Wigan. The visitors are yet to have a really good chance in this match, they just can't get past the Latics' defence.

45 minWe will have six minutes of added time here due to the injury to Haidara.

45+2 minYELLOW CARD! Paul Scharner dives in on Sissoko from behind and is rightly handed the first card of the game. Poor tackle from the Wigan man.

45+3 minNewcastle fire two crosses into the box that Wigan fail to deal with straight away. No Newcastle players can take advantage, however, and the hosts scramble it clear.

45+4 minCHANCE! Big chance for Newcastle to get a late equaliser in this half! Scharner mis-times a header, sending it up into the air inside the Wigan box. Perch wins the initial header and looks to volley in from close rnage as the ball drops back down. However, Cisse just steals it off the toe of the substitue and sends it over when he really should have done better.

45+6 minHALF TIME: Wigan 1-0 Newcastle

4.54pmThere are angry scenes at half time as the Newcastle staff confront McManaman over that tackle on Haidara, which looks to have left the defender with a serious injury. John Carver is especially angry and is being held back by Perch and a number of stewards. Dramatic stuff at the end of this half.

4.55pmTo be fair to Carver, he has a point. It was a shocking tackle from McManaman and he could have easily broken Haidara's leg. Referee Mark Halsey didn't even award a free kick for the challenge when it was a stone-wall red card.

4.57pmThat tackle looks like being the main talking point of an otherwise positive half for the Latics. They have taken a 1-0 lead into the break and, as things stand, will move to within three points of safety with a game in hand. It was Jean Beausejour who got the goal - his first for Wigan - and they deserve the lead.

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4.59pmNewcastle have not really threatened in an attacking sense today. In fact, that first half was one to forget for the Magpies. Their best chance came through Taylor with a close-range header fairly early on but, since then, haven't caused the Wigan defence any problems.

5pmSENT OFF! Those unsavoury scenes during the interval have resulted in both Newcastle coach John Carver and Wigan coach Graham Barrow being sent to the stands for the second half.

5.04pmNewcastle's half was not only a shocker due to their failings going forward and them being behind. They were forced into two changes in that first 45 minutes. Haidara was stretchered off after that horrific McManaman tackle just a couple of minutes after coming on himself in place of Debuchy.

5.06pmThe players are back out for the second half now. Newcastle need more on the pitch in this second 45 minutes, and they will need to put that McManaman tackle out of their heads.

45 minWe're back underway at the DW Stadium. Newcastle kick us off.

46 minJoel flaps at a corner which McManaman gets half clear. Newcastle recycle the ball, eventually working it to Sissoko, who tries to curl an effort into the far right corner, but it goes a yard or so wide.

48 minUPDATE: Chelsea are now 2-0 up against West Ham at Stamford Bridge, Eden Hazard getting the goal for the Blues.

49 minYELLOW CARD! Kone pokes the ball past Perch, who swings a wild leg at the Ivorian, catching him on the knee. Kone doesn't go down straight away, but the referee eventually pulls play back to correctly give Perch a yellow.

51 minCHANCE! Beausejour and Maloney work the ball into the box nicely before the latter pulls it back towards McManaman. The winger takes him time before shooting from close range, but Newcastle have enough bodies back to block the shot.

53 minSHOT! At the other end, an aerial ball comes into Cisse inside the box and he tries to hook a volley into the far post, but only succeeds in putting it over. He has scored some crackers in his time at Newcastle, but that one was a step too far.

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55 minSHOT! Cisse tries another ambitious effort from a tight angle, and his teammates aren't happy about it. There were about five of them inside the box waiting for a square ball but Cisse hammered a shot towards the near post, sending it wide.

56 minSHOT! It all opens up for Kone about 25 yards from goal, and he goes for goal with a powerful effort. His strike swerves wide right of Elliot's goal, however.

58 minWIGAN SUB: McManaman shouldn't be on the pitch as it is, and he comes off to a chorus of boos from the away fans. The Wigan fans try to drown it out by cheering him, but McManaman looks visibly shaken by the effects of that tackle in the first half. He is replaced by James McArthur.

60 minWigan almost open up the Newcastle defence on two occasions in quick succession as the game begins to open up. Both times the final pass is cut out by a Newcastle man, though, so both chances have gone begging for the hosts there.

61 minThe hosts are beginning to find space on the edge of the Newcastle box. Again no-one comes to meet McArthur, who works his way across the 18-yard line before seeing his shot deflected out for a corner. All too easy for him to find space to shoot there.

63 minThe match is being played at a high tempo at the moment and it is really end-to-end stuff. Wigan are looking to take advantage of the open nature of the game as Newcastle pour forward looking for an equaliser. I would be surprised if there were no more goals in this one.

65 minYELLOW CARD! Marveaux plays a lazy cross-field pass that is easily cut out by Maloney. Gutierrez fouls the winger as he threatens to break away, and is given a yellow card for his troubles.

67 minNEWCASTLE SUB: Pardew makes a positive, attacking sub as Shola Ameobi replaces Gouffran. Newcastle have just over 20 minutes to try to get something out of this game.

68 minNewcastle are caught in possession again and McArthur looks to take full advantage. He makes a driving run at the heart of the Newcastle defence before trying to steer an effort towards the bottom right corner. His effort takes a nick off Taylor on the way through and Wigan have a corner.

70 minThe Magpies have switched their formation since Ameobi's introduction. They are now playing with three at the back as Gutierrez moves forward.


71 minGOAL! Wigan 1-1 Newcastle (Davide Santon)

71 minNewcastle grab the equaliser out of nothing! Wigan carelessly give the ball away on the halfway line, and Gutierrez immediately feeds Cisse, who flicks it on to Santon. The full-back advances into the area before firing his shot past Joel into the far corner. We're all square now!

73 minThat has sent the Newcastle fans wild. They are making a phenomenal noise inside the DW Stadium right now and might even be thinking of going on to win this one.

74 minScharner dwells on the ball for too long and Newcastle pounce again to dispossess him. The ball is fed to Cisse who tries to take it past Alcaraz, but he is denied by a strong tackle from the Wigan defender.

76 minNewcastle are on top at the moment and Santon is getting a lot of joy down the right. He is slipped in again down that side and tries to find Cisse with a square ball inside the box, but it is behind the striker and Wigan scramble it clear.

78 minTiote gives the ball away in a dangerous position and Perch, in his haste to try and win it back, brings down Beausejour on the edge of the box. He is lucky not to pick up a second yellow there.

78 minWIGAN SUB: Martinez is looking to stem the tide here, but he will do so by bringing on a striker. Franco Di Santo is coming on for Beausejour.

79 minSHOT! Maloney has plenty of time to decide what he wants to do with his free kick, but his strike is fairly tame and easy for Elliot to collect.

81 minTiote is down holding his ankle, but I don't think this one is too serious. The midfielder probably just wants a rest, it's been tiring work out there for everyone today.

83 minTiote has given the ball away on a number of occasions today, putting his side in trouble each time. This time it is McArthur who gets the ball off him before feeding Maloney out wide. The winger cuts inside and goes for goal, but his shot is blocked.

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85 minJust a hint of an opening for Wigan. Di Santo uses his strength well to hold off his marker before cushioning the ball down into the middle of the box. Kone hasn't made the run that Di Santo wanted him too, however, and Elliot collects under no pressure.

86 minCHANCE! So close for Newcastle! Sissoko makes his way down the left and pulls a low ball back to Cisse inside the box. The striker tries to poke it past Joel from the edge of the six yard box, but the keeper gets a foot to it. The referee awards a goal kick, but that should have been a corner.

87 minA hanging ball to the back post finds Santon, who rises highest to nod it back into the danger zone, but the ball falls between two Newcastle players as Wigan get it away.

89 minMcCarthy swings a dangeorus ball into the box that is sliced behind for a corner by Yanga-Mbiwa. That one could have gone anywhere!

89 minGOAL! Wigan 2-1 Newcastle (Arouna Kone)

90 minThat is about as messy a goal as you will see all season, but Wigan won't care. Kone pokes the ball in from a yard or so out after pinball inside the box. Scharner, Di Santo and Figueroa all went for goal during that while Taylor and Perch tried to clear. It shouldn't have counted, however, as Figueroa handled the ball at the front post to start it all off.

90+2 minWe will have a minimum of four minutes added time.

90+2 minCHANCE! Chance for Kone to secure the points for Wigan, but Newcastle survive. A long ball forward finds Elliot miles out of goal. The Ivorian stiker beats the keeper to the ball but Newcastle's defence gets back well to clear.

90+3 minSHOT! Kone tries to place a shot into the far right corner, but it deflects wide. The Latics play the corner short and are looking to waste the rest of the time.

90+4 minFULL TIME: Wigan 2-1 Newcastle

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5.58pmThat's a huge win for Wigan! They move to within three points of safety with a game in hand as Newcastle will still be looking over their shoulders. Manager Alan Pardew will be furious, however, as Wigan should have been reduced to ten men in the first half and their winner shouldn't have been allowed as Figueroa handled the ball in the build up.

6pmRight, that's it from me today! Thank you for joining Sports Mole for what was an important, action-packed and highly controversial match at the DW Stadium. Wigan will be the team celebrating tonight, but expect a lot of fallout from this one, all of which will be on site soon. I will leave you with Liam Apicella's match report, and be sure to stick around for analysis, which will be on site within half an hour. Goodbye!

Wigan defender Maynor Figueroa celebrates making it 1-0 against Everton on March 9, 2013
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