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Premier League: Wigan 1 Everton 1

A late penalty from Leighton Baines rescued a point for Everton and denied his old club Wigan a crucial victory in the Premier League.

Wigan had led through Charles N’Zogbia’s first-half strike, but after Mikel Arteta had been denied from the spot by Ali Al Habsi, Baines showed him the way in the second half to ensure parity.

With just four games left, Wigan knew they had to make the most of home advantage over the Toffees – who have enjoyed a good record in this fixture down the years.

The home side got off to a great start when they took the lead after only 21 minutes.

James McCarthy was the architect, with a lovely dink forward over the head of two defenders into the path of N’Zogbia.

The Frenchman’s initial control was poor, but he kept hold of the ball inside the penalty area and curled a cracking left-foot strike into the top corner.

Everton had the chance to hit back 10 minutes before the interval, when Leon Osman was fouled inside the penalty area by N’Zogbia for an obvious penalty.

Arteta, back in the side after injury, put his hand up for the job, but his effort was magnificently saved by Ali Al Habsi, diving to his left.

Wigan suffered a setback just before the break when Momo Diame limped off to be replaced by James McArthur, but they came close to a second goal when N’Zogbia’s shot was well stopped by Tim Howard.

The American kept his side in it with two more superb saves to deny substitute Victor Moses, on for N’Zogbia, shortly after the break.

Everton took full advantage with an equaliser just 13 minutes from time, when Hugo Rodallega was penalised for handball inside his own area. With Arteta off the field, Baines smashed home past Al Habsi.

Rodallega had a late chance to win it for Wigan, but his left-foot strike was high and wide – which pretty much summed up his afternoon.

Sat 30 April, 2011
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