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Premier League: Wigan 2 Southampton 2

Shaun Maloney’s late strike denied Southampton a precious win as two relegation battlers fought out an entertaining 2-2 draw.

Wigan had taken the lead when Gary Caldwell headed home unattended from a corner, but they were unable to hold onto their advantage as second-half strikes from Rickie Lambert and Morgan Schneiderlin looked to have sealed an important three points.

Maloney had the last laugh though, as he turned home from a right-wing corner to share the spoils.

The first real opening fell to the home side, with Franco Di Santo coming close to capping off a flowing move, but he could only steer his effort straight at Artur Boruc.

Southampton then mustered up a chance but Gaston Ramirez incredibly missed a fine opening, blazing over the bar on the volley.

The opening goal arrived after 26 minutes as captain Caldwell rose unmarked to nod home from a Jean Beausejour corner.

The marking from the visitors was questionable as Maya Yoshida allowed the Scot to go unchallenged and have the simplest of tasks to glance home past Boruc.

The second half started much like the first – in a cagey manner – as Southampton plotted a way back into the game.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino threw on both Steven Davis and Adam Lallana early in the second half as he sought to win possession, with Wigan all of a sudden starting to go onto the back foot and defend deeper.

They were duly punished. Cork found himself in space in the 64th minute and picked out a delightful cross which Jay Rodriguez flicked on for Lambert, who snuck in behind the defence to head home past a despairing Al Habsi.

Southampton continued to up the ante, with the Latics keen to exploit the visitors on the counter, but Lallana struck the post after hesitancy in the Wigan backline.

The Saints applied serious pressure to the Wigan goal, but the home side always looked a threat with Maloney and Callum McManaman – introduced for Roger Espinoza – broke with pace down the flanks and it almost produced a winner.

The former picked out a cross from the left which narrowly evaded everyone before James McArthur came within inches of applying a finishing touch, only to find Shaw in place to knock out for a corner.

The visitors would not go down without a fight, though, and stole what looked to be a winner five minutes from time.

Rodriguez escaped down the left-hand side and waited for a willing runner in the centre – Schneiderlin obliged as he met the low cross and tapped home.

But Wigan hit back as the match entered stoppage time.

A corner from the right was flicked on by Paul Scharner and at the back post lurking was Maloney, who turned home into the far corner past the dive of Boruc.

Sat 2 February, 2013
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