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Premier League: Wigan Athletic 2 Everton 2

Wigan Athletic were denied their first home victory of the English Premier League season after a late penalty earned Everton a 2-2 draw.

An action-packed first half exploded into life with only nine minutes on the clock at the DW Stadium, as Shaun Maloney broke free on the left-hand side before feeding Arouna Kone to head Wigan in front.

However, Wigan had little time to enjoy their lead as within a minute, Steven Pienaar’s curling attempt at goal deflected into the path of Nikica Jelavic to nod in his fourth goal of the season for the equaliser.

However, Kone’s pace and bustling presence was causing the visiting defence real problems and on 22 minutes, the Ivorian showed speed and endeavour in chasing down a long ball before finding the onrushing Di Santo, who lashed the ball in from inside the penalty box.

Suddenly Wigan were well on top and Di Santo showcased his increasing confidence with a fearsome long-range strike that stung the hands of Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard, while Maloney dragged a shot wide when well placed.

However, Wigan were indebted to Ali Al-Habsi after the Omani shot-stopper produced an outstanding save to keep out a wickedly deflected Leon Osman strike.

The save began a period of sustained Everton pressure just before half-time, with first Kevin Miralles bringing a save out of Al-Habsi before Leighton Baines had a toe-poke that dribbled off the post and only just out of reach of Fellaini, who would pick up a yellow card minutes later for a perceived elbow on Maynor Figueroa.

Everton were clearly fired up at half-time by David Moyes and within the first 10 minutes of the second half played some superb football to construct three good opportunities for Osman and Miralles, the last of which led to a disappointing finish from the Belgian with only Al-Habsi to beat.

However, following that early flurry, Everton’s attacks fizzled out somewhat and with Kone’s pace on the counterattack Wigan continued to carry a threat and only a fantastic tackle from Phil Jagielka prevented the Ivorian from getting his second of the afternoon on the hour mark.

With 13 minutes to go, referee Kevin Friend waved away huge Everton calls for a penalty after Jelavic superbly made space in the box before appearing to be felled by Figueroa just as he looked to pull the trigger.

However, the referee had no choice but to point to the spot when Miralles was felled and former Wigan player Baines stepped up to level the scores.

As the clock struck 90 minutes, Maloney found himself wriggling free in the box and despite the support of his team-mates, opted to go for goal himself only to miss the target and ensure the game finished level.

Sat 6 October, 2012
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