Latics march past Magpies
Wigan proved far too strong for a lacklustre Newcastle side on Boxing Day as they secured a 2-1 win.
Last Updated: 26/12/08 5:36pm
Wigan proved far too strong for a lacklustre Newcastle side on Boxing Day as they secured a 2-1 success at the JJB Stadium.
A spectacular strike from Ryan Taylor set the Latics on their way before Amr Zaki grabbed a second from the penalty spot.
Danny Guthrie did grab a late consolation when he hammered home another spot-kick, but the Magpies did little to suggest they were capable of earning a share of the spoils.
Both sides had begun the game in a positive fashion, with chances created at either end.
It was, however, the hosts who quickly took control and dominated proceedings for large periods.
It became only a matter of time before Steve Bruce's men forced a breakthrough and the inevitable goal duly arrived on 29 minutes as Taylor curled a sublime 30-yard free-kick past a despairing Shay Given.
The Magpies never looked like finding a route back into the game after the break and fell further behind on 73 minutes.
Sebastien Bassong hauled down Emile Heskey in the box, and was shown a red card as a result, allowing Zaki to slam home from 12 yards.
A clumsy 88th minute challenge from Chris Kirkland on Andrew Carroll allowed Guthrie to slam a penalty into the roof of the net, but it proved to be too little, too late.
It was a bad day for so many in a Newcastle shirt.
For Michael Owen in particular, who you could not help compare with Heskey, who was the attacking thrust of so many of Wigan's best moments.
Liverpool are said to be ready to offer £4million for Heskey in the January transfer window and he would be a big loss at the JJB Stadium.
Owen, though, might have given Newcastle the lead in the 14th minute when he slipped the Wigan offside trap and bore down on goalkeeper Chris Kirkland.
It was the sort of chance Owen at his peak would have accepted with the minimum of fuss but he dawdled over his shot and allowed Wigan defender Paul Scharner to get in the saving tackle.
Wigan, however, were increasingly dangerous and Zaki went close before a wonderful angled run by Antonio Valencia ended with the winger flicking the ball just the wrong side of the post.
When the goal came in the 29th minute it was inevitable and from such a familiar source.
It started with Jonas Gutierrez fouling Zaki on the edge of the box.
It was the type of area and distance Taylor has made his specialist subject and he did not disappoint, rifling a right-foot shot into Given's right-hand corner in what was by some distance the most spectacular strike of the match.
If anything it came against the run of play but Newcastle suffered more problems five minutes later when defender Habib Beye was carried off after being caught by a lunging challenge from Lee Cattermole.
The Wigan midfielder received a yellow card from referee Mike Dean and, in truth, it could easily have been red.
Given was much the busier goalkeeper in the second half, producing the save of the match when he turned a Taylor shot around the post.
For the most part Wigan were in charge and the penalty came when Bassong brought down Heskey after a running battle into the penalty area. Referee Mike Dean then had no option but to send Bassong for an early bath.
Zaki dispatched the spot-kick to set up a thrilling and frantic finale in which Danny Guthrie scored from the spot after Kirkland had brought down Carroll.
Newcastle threw everything at their opponents as the game ticked into injury-time, but they will head back ton Tyneside empty-handed.
|Wigan Athletic||Team Statistics||Newcastle United|
|1||1st Half Goals||0|
|5||Shots on Target||2|
|8||Shots off Target||3|