Swans deny Martinez return win
Keeper Vorm earns point with penalty save
Last Updated: August 20, 2011 10:43pm
Watson: Missed opportunity to hand Wigan victory
Newcomers Swansea claimed their first Premier League point with a 0-0 stalemate against Wigan.
Man of the match: Victor Moses. Wigan's young forward looked a threat whenever he had the ball at his feet and came within inches of bagging the winner when he smashed a second half shot against the Swansea crossbar. Save of the match: What else but Michel Vorm's brilliant full stretch dive which prevented Wigan's Ben Watson from opening the scoring. Shot of the match: Jordi Gomez's stunning volley with the outside of his left boot from the edge of the Swansea box. Vorm was well beaten but was thankful to see the ball crash back off the post. Talking point: Swansea certainly look more than capable of outpassing many of their top flight opponents. But will they have enough cutting edge to survive the harsh reality of the Premier League?
But Latics boss Roberto Martinez, making his first return to the Liberty Stadium since swapping the two clubs, was denied a winning return when Swans keeper Michel Vorm superbly saved Ben Watson's second-half penalty.
Swansea were hoping to extend their nine-match unbeaten run at the Liberty with a victory in their first home game in the top flight since 1983.
But in the end, despite several decent chances falling to new £3.5million striker Danny Graham in the first half, they were relieved to walk away with their record intact.
Former Swans star Jordi Gomez and Victor Moses both crashed second-half efforts against the woodwork for the visitors before Watson blew his golden opportunity from the spot.
Alan Tate dropped to the bench for the hosts with left-back Neil Taylor available again following suspension, while Wayne Routledge made his full debut in place of Stephen Dobbie.
Antolin Alcaraz was the only change for Wigan with the Paraguayan coming in for Adrian Lopez.
Swansea started brightly and some good link play from Scott Sinclair and Angel Rangel put the latter away on the right. His cross was half blocked with Graham's shot being sharply saved by Ali Al Habsi.
The hosts' lively opening continued as Graham dragged his effort after racing through on goal, with Sinclair recovering the wayward shot to cut inside and fire wide of the near post.
Graham was soon involved again as the record signing headed wide from Kemy Agustien's cross.
The hosts continued to dominate possession and James McCarthy covered back well to block a Taylor pull back.
Alcaraz then brilliantly denied Graham a tap-in after Sinclair and Routledge combined down the left, but the defender soon departed the fray as a calf problem picked up early on saw him withdrawn, with Ronnie Stam coming on.
Moses fired a tame effort wide before Gomez worked Vorm in the Swansea goal for the first time with a shot from an acute angle just before the break.
Mohamed Diame was off target from distance shortly after the restart but Swansea were soon back on the attack, Sinclair blazing high and wide after Graham had robbed Stam.
Rangel's scuffed effort was directed into Graham's path just six yards out in the 54th minute but the former Watford man was crowded out by Latics defenders.
But Wigan were posing a greater threat than in the first 45 minutes and the dangerous Moses had an effort diverted wide by an Agustien block, before Routledge was narrowly off target with a shot across Al Habsi at the other end.
Moses tested Vorm after the Swans defence failed to pick him up at a short corner, before Gomez struck the woodwork with a lovely outside of the foot effort from the edge of the box as the visitors enjoyed their best period of the game.
Swansea's failure to capitalise on their dominance looked as though it would cost them when Wigan were awarded a 73rd minute penalty after Williams brought down Gomez as the midfielder followed up a Moses shot that had also cannoned back off the bar.
But Vorm made himself an instant hero with the Liberty Stadium faithful as he got down low to his right to keep out Watson's spot-kick.
Substitute Hugo Rodallega then somehow failed to connect with a header back across goal from the resulting corner.
Swansea replacement Dobbie's shot from the edge of the area was then parried away by Al Habsi, but Sinclair could not properly connect with the rebound as the game entered the final 10 minutes.
Home nerves became frayed as the Latics finished strongly with Maynor Figueroa heading across the face of goal, but Swansea held out for a point.
|Swansea City||Team Statistics||Wigan Athletic|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|4||Shots on Target||3|
|8||Shots off Target||6|
Barclays Premier League
|8||West Bromwich Albion||38||49|
|10||West Ham United||38||46|
|20||Queens Park Rangers||38||25|