Wigan Athletic vs. Stoke City  2 - 0

Article

Premier League: Wigan 2 Stoke City 0

31 March 2012 19:18

Wigan gave their Premier League survival hopes a boost after defeating Stoke City 2-0 at DW Stadium on Saturday.

Antolin Alcaraz and Victor Moses netted goals in the second half to give Roberto Martinez's side their first win in front of their DW Stadium faithful since August.

The result was not enough to lift Wigan out of the relegation zone, but they remain there only by account of goal difference.

Stoke had the first chance of the game through Ryan Shawcross, who tested Wigan goalkeeper Al Habsi with a header from Jermaine Pennant's corner.

Wigan responded through Franco Di Santo, the Argentine forcing Stoke custodian Asmir Begovic into his first save of the match.

The hosts stepped up the pressure with Shaun Maloney forcing another save from Begovic, before Stoke cleared a dangerous Jean Beausejour cross.

Beausejour should have handed his side a half-time advantage but somehow managed not to guide Moses' cross into the net from close range.

Martinez's side continued to press after the interval and were rewarded in the 55th minute when Beausejour picked out Alcaraz, who fired home a header for a deserved lead.

Beausejour had another golden chance in the 72nd minute, but again scuffed his shot after being left unmarked at the back post.

Despite their wastefulness in front of goal, Wigan made sure of the victory in injury time when Moses capped a fine performance by rounding Begovic and sending the ball home.

Article

Premier League preview: Wigan v Stoke

29 March 2012 23:13

Wigan will be aiming to win consecutive games in the English Premier League for the first time this season when they host Stoke on Saturday.

Roberto Martinez's side scored an upset victory over Liverpool at Anfield last week to move within one point of safety, and are now unbeaten in three matches after draws with West Brom and Norwich.

The last time they won back-to-back matches in the league was the final two games of last season, when they beat West Ham and Stoke to ensure their top-flight survival.

A similar win over Stoke this season could have the same effect, with the potential to move as high as 17th with just seven matches left in the campaign.

Wigan have also been given some good news on the injury front, with Victor Moses, Hugo Rodallega and Mohamed Diame all in line to play on Saturday after making quicker than expected recoveries.

Moses took a Martin Skrtel boot to the face in the win over Liverpool, but scans have revealed the Nigerian does not have a broken jaw and could take his place at the DW Stadium.

"The results came back really positive and there was no fracture which allows us to treat him," Martinez told the club's official website.

"We will see within the next few days whether he is available for selection on Saturday."

For Stoke, Saturday's match represents an opportunity to snap a winless run which has seen them take just two points from their past three matches.

However, given that run has been against top-five sides Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City, Tony Pulis' team could be forgiven, particularly after leading against Spurs and City only to settle for draws.

"We can take a lot of belief from this week - the three games that we've played, and the performances that we've put in," defender Jonathan Walters told the club's official website.

"We have to take that into the final games of the season now and hopefully end the campaign in style."

Striker Peter Crouch scored one of the goals of the season last week against City, volleying home from 30 yards after spotting goalkeeper Joe Hart off his line.

The beanpole striker has scored four goals in his last seven appearances for Stoke, and will prove a handful for the Wigan defence alongside Cameron Jerome or Kenwyne Jones.

Stoke are also well placed with injuries, with only Salif Diao and Mamady Sidibe unavailable.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +64 89
2 38 +56 89
3 38 +25 70
4 38 +25 69
5 38 +5 65
6 38 +19 64
7 38 +10 56
8 38 +7 52
9 38 -3 52
10 38 -7 47
11 38 -7 47
12 38 -14 47
13 38 -1 45
14 38 -17 45
15 38 -20 43
16 38 -16 38
17 38 -23 37
18 38 -31 36
19 38 -30 31
20 38 -42 25