West Ham United vs. Wigan Athletic  2 - 0


Martinez targets three wins

20 April 2013 20:37

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez believes his side need three wins from their five remaining games to keep their place in the top flight.

Martinez's men fell to a 2-0 defeat at West Ham on Saturday after dominating for large periods, with the hosts bagging two goals against the run of play to earn the points.

The result leaves Wigan three points from safety and Martinez has set a target of three wins for his side to stay in the English Premier League.

"We know what to expect. There is no margin for error," he told reporters. "We've got five games and we need to get, I would say, probably three wins and that's something we can achieve.

"If you look at our performance today we were the better side over 90 minutes. We were very soft in terms of keeping that clean sheet.

"We knew what West Ham could do and the goalscoring ability they have, and I don't think we were strong enough to keep one.

"Apart from that we beat West Ham in every single department. I enjoyed the second half performance. I thought it was as dominant as you're going to see from a team away from home."

Wigan host Tottenham on April 27 knowing only a win will do, and Martinez is focusing solely on their results and not worrying about the fortunes of the sides around them.

"The way we are in this moment of the season is not about the other results. It's about affecting our points tally," he said.

"We are disappointed we couldn't get any points today because obviously we're getting to that critical moment of the season, but we've still got a game in hand on everyone else."

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce was delighted his side were able to win a game which Wigan dominated for large parts.

"If you can win a game in the Premier League and not be playing your best it's a measure of what your determination and capabilities are when things are not going quite your way," he said.

"We didn't surrender and go under. We stayed in the game until we got the opportunity to clinically finish them off which is exactly what we did.

"Our quality of finishing in the end has won us a game 2-0 and we're absolutely delighted to be on 42 points with four games to go."

When asked about signing a new contract, Allardyce remained coy but said he would sign when the right time comes.

"I don't know whether the owners want me to be mathematically safe (until I sign)," Allardyce said. "But the contract is sorted and I will sign."


Premier League: West Ham 2 Wigan 0

20 April 2013 18:34

West Ham moved into the top half of the Premier League table and compounded Wigan's woes with a 2-0 victory at Upton Park on Saturday.

Goals in either half to Matt Jarvis and Kevin Nolan proved the difference as the hosts held off a strong second-half performance from Wigan to earn victory.

The result leaves Wigan in 18th place, still three points from safety and with a real challenge to maintain their top-flight status.

Sam Allardyce's men were struggling to deal with Wigan's fluid attacks early on, but after Antolin Alcaraz had a tame first shot of the match the hosts eventually fashioned a chance of their own when James Collins' glanced header was met by Nolan, who could only divert the ball over.

It was nearly 1-0 at the other end immediately when Callum McManaman was put through one-on-one but Jussi Jaaskelainen stood firm to deny the Wigan winger.

Joel Robles then palmed Nolan's volley away, before West Ham went in front, albeit against the run of play.

The goal came when the impressive Jarvis cut inside from the left and whipped in a dangerous cross which eluded the Wigan defence and Robles before nestling in the far corner.

After Nolan had a penalty appeal waved away, Ricardo Vaz Te darted in front of Joel Robles to meet Gary O'Neil's dangerous cross, but could not divert his header on target as the hosts continued to impose their dominance.

But Wigan started brightly after the break and Arouna Kone nearly levelled matters with a 25-yard volley.

At the other end, Andy Carroll hammered an effort wide before Robles was called into action, stopping a dangerous Mohamed Diame strike.

Wigan were continuing to press and, after substitute James McArthur tested Jaaskelainen with a fierce long-range strike, Jean Beausejour was denied by the West Ham goalkeeper as he tried to curl an effort into the top corner.

Jaaskelainen was the hero again as he produced a stunning low stop to keep out McArthur's driven effort from 12 yards out.

But the hosts countered in the best way possible, wrapping up victory with 10 minutes left as Nolan got on the end of Carroll's attempted bicycle kick to produce an excellent acrobatic finish of his own.

Carroll nearly got on the scoresheet himself as he broke past the Wigan defence, but with Robles rushing out he snatched at the shot and it went well wide.

West Ham held on though and move into the top half of the table, while Martinez's men have a real scrap to survive.


Allardyce: Wigan ´a bigger game than Manchester United´

19 April 2013 18:13

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has placed more importance on Saturday's visit of Wigan than their 2-2 draw with Manchester United on Wednesday.

A win against Roberto Martinez's side would put the London club on 42 points to effectively ensure Premier League football for another season.

And Allardyce has called on his side to show the same level of performance against struggling Wigan as they did against Alex Ferguson's league leaders in midweek.

"We've had a good run of results and are on a good run of form, particularly at home," he said.

"It's home against Wigan and I see it as a bigger game than Manchester United.

"I hope the players see it as the same as I do, because the emphasis on what happens if we can produce a performance that wins us the three points is massive in terms of where we want to be.

"While it still might not be mathematically impossible for other teams to catch us on 42 points I don't think anyone will have any chance [of doing it]."

Allardyce believes that the current Wigan side is the strongest to have been brought together by Martinez and their league position of 18th does not reflect the ability in their squad.

"I think Roberto has assembled the best squad he's assembled in his time there, so I think he'll probably be really disappointed with the league position he's in," the 58-year-old added.

"I think he'll be disappointed that they haven't consistently performed to their best, and if they had they would be in a more comfortable position.

"When they are at their best they are very, very good. I thought they were excellent against Manchester City, but like all of us you suffer if you miss your chances and they missed their chances.

"They paid the prices as we've done many times in the Premier League this season."


Premier League preview: West Ham v Wigan

18 April 2013 11:01

Wigan will need to extend their recent dominance over West Ham if they are to have a realistic chance of staying in the English Premier League.

While Wigan can be understandably happy to have qualified for the FA Cup final, the Premier League strugglers have definitely set themselves a task to remain in England's top division next season.

Due to their cup run, Wigan have a number of rescheduled Premier League matches to play before the season finishes in just over a month and this will test Roberto Martinez's squad to the limit as he attempts to put together another late escape act.

Wigan have six Premier League matches to play, plus the FA Cup final, before their season concludes on May 19.

Four of those Premier League fixtures are against teams in the top 10, which means Martinez's side will most likely need to take maximum points against West Ham on Saturday and Aston Villa on the final day if they are to avoid relegation.

Wigan sit 18th on the Premier League table, three points and one position from safety, but should be confident against West Ham, having beaten the London club in their past three meetings in all competitions.

Martinez's men have already knocked off West Ham twice this season with a 2-1 win in the league at home in October, while they triumphed 4-1 at Upton Park in the League Cup in September.

Pint-sized Scottish attacking midfielder Shaun Maloney will be critical for Martinez with two goals in Wigan's past three matches in all competitions.

Maloney has six goals and five assists for Wigan this season.

West Ham will be keen to get rid of their frustration against Wigan after being pegged back twice in their midweek 2-2 draw with leaders Manchester United, while the visitors lost 1-0 to Manchester City on Wednesday.

The hosts moved up to 11th with their draw against Manchester United and could reach the top half of the table if they overcome Wigan, which would be an impressive result for manager Sam Allardyce after leading West Ham up from the Championship last season.

West Ham are undefeated in four matches and should be tough opposition for Wigan with centre-forward Andy Carroll in top form for Allardyce's team.

Carroll has been involved in all but two of West Ham's past six goals, scoring three and setting up another in his team's past five matches.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25