This is a game Newcastle should have won, but even when Wigan were reduced to 10 men, when Emmerson Boyce was sent off after 54 minutes, with Wigan 1-0 ahead at that point, we couldn’t quite press home our advantage, and it was another 2 points lost to a team who were level on points with us at the start of the game.
Newcastle had a lack-luster first half, and it took Wigan only 3 minutes to go ahead, when Ryan Taylor sliced the ball into the net beyond a helpless Shay Given, after receiving a pass from Kapo. We just have to improve our defense and start these games strongly.
If Joe Kinnear is still here in January, that has to be one of our priorities, since we cannot give away two goals in almost every game we play.
Newcastle were very poor over the first 30 minutes, and it was all Wigan in the first half, but Newcastle came slowly back into the game in the final 15 minutes of the half, but were still 1-0 down at the half time whistle.
However, as we expected, Newcastle came back in the second half, and then Emmerson Boyce was rather unfairly given his second yellow card, and sent off. TV replays showed that Boyce had indeed won the ball from Ameobi, and probabaly shouldn’t have even been given the foul, let alone another yellow card.
Newcastle fought hard to get back on level terms, and it finally came quite late, after 80 minutes, when Shola Ameobi worked room for himself and shot from 20 yards out. Latics goalkeeper Chris Kirkland could only parry Oba’s left-footed strike, and Michael Owen was onto the loose ball in a flash, and prodded home just inside the 6 yard box.
Then after 87 minutes the incredible happened, when N’Zogbia slipped a forward pass into the run of Oba Martins, and the Nigerian hit an unstoppable right-footed shot into the far corner of the net, and Newcastle were ahead 2-1, with just 3 minutes to go.
But then when we thought the 3 points had been won the defense was again culpable, and Titus Bramble, of all people, headed home De Ridder’s corner after 89 minutes, and the ball went into the net off Damien Duff’s knees.
Then Danny Guthrie hit a tremendous shot which Kirkland blocked well, and the whistle went, and this was 2 points lost for Newcastle. Even though we were hopeless in the first 45 minutes, events conspired for us, and yet we still couldn’t win this game.
You cannot start playing in the Premier league, after 35 minutes have gone by, and it asks a lot of questions about the players this afternoon.
Why did they start so poorly for the second game running, and at home too. They seemed half asleep in the first half.
We seem to leave so much to do in the second-half of our games.
And the defense once again conceded another two goals, and hardly looked secure, and then even when we got our noses ahead in this game, with just 3 minutes to go, we still couldn’t hold out for the win.
Sunderland won their game and are now 2 points ahead of Newcastle, after beating Blackburn 2-1 away from home. Newcastle are now 4th bottom of the league, but if we cannot win home games against Wigan Athletic and 10 men, that hardly augers well for our future.
A crowd of 47,657 was at the game.
Newcastle: Shay Given, Habib Beye, Jose Enrique, Fabricio Coloccini, Sebastien Bassong, Nicky Butt (c), Joey Barton, Jonas Gutierrez, Damien Duff, Oba Martins, Shola Ameobi
Subs: Steve Harper, Michael Owen, Danny Guthrie, Charles N’Zogbia, Geremi, Claudio Cacapa, Andy Carroll
Wigan: Chris Kirkland, Paul Scharner, Maynor Figueroa, Emmerson Boyce, Titus Bramble, Olivier Kapo, Lee Cattermole (c), Antonio Valencia, Wilson Palacios, Ryan Taylor, Henri Camera
Subs: Michael Pollitt, Kevin Kilbane, Michael Brown, Daniel de Ridder, Tomasz Cywka, Tomasz Kupisz, Jonathan Routledge
Referee: Andre Marriner