Venue: D.W. Stadium, Wigan. Date: Saturday, 28th April, 2012. Kick-Off: 3.00pm. Referee: Mike Dean (The Wirral).
Aye, we lost, and we lost badly too, but painful as that is, the match is still worth watching for the beauty of Wigan’s play in the first half in what was a masterful performance from Roberto Martinez and the Wigan team. They actually lined up like a highly defensive 5-4-1 at the start, then quiclkly morphed into a highly offensive Cruyffian 3-4-3 formation which just devastated the Magpies in short order. Painful as it was to watch as a Newcastle United fan, as a lover of the game it was also quite beautiful to see such verve and flexibilty from Wigan. The first half was some of the best football I have seen all season, and no disrespect, but it was Wigan, not Barcelona! Once again, fair play to ‘em! Why do they always leave it so late though?
Extended highlights of the game.
Wigan Athletic (3-4-3): Ali Al Habsi (G), Emmerson Boyce, Antolin Alcaraz, Gary Caldwell (C), Maynor Figueroa, James McCarthy, Shaun Maloney, James McArthur, Jean Beausejour, Franco Di Santo (Conor Sammon 68), Victor Moses (Jordi Gomez 81).
Subs: Mike Pollitt (G), Mohamed Diame, Albert Crusat, David Jones, Jordi Gomez, Conor Sammon, Hugo Rodallega.
Newcastle United (4-3-3): Tim Krul (G), Danny Simpson (James Perch 82), Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (C), Davide Santon, Cheick Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez, Hatem Ben Arfa (Ryan Taylor 72), Yohan Cabaye (Shane Ferguson 84), Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse.
Subs: Rob Elliot (G), James Perch, Shane Ferguson, Ryan Taylor, Dan Gosling, Leon Best, Shola Ameobi.