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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
17:00 2nd February 2013
By  Nick Taylor

REPORT: LATICS 2 SAINTS 2

Wigan Athletic left it late as they claimed a vital point when Shaun Maloney equalised on 90 minutes after Latics lost their 1-0 lead from Gary Caldwell's header when first Rickie Lambert equalised and then Morgan Schneiderlin sent the visitors ahead.

Roberto Martinez handed a second debut to warmly welcomed Paul Scharner as he started in the back three in place of Roman Golobart and Ronnie Stam returned to the starting line-up as a result of Emmerson Boyce's injury against Stoke City in midweek.

The first half went to plan for Latics but it was a tough start as Southampton came out of the blocks quickly and enjoyed a lot of pressure high up the pitch.

Franco Di Santo sniffed out the games first chance though when Jean Beausejour played a perfect ball across the back of the defence for the Argentinian to stretch onto.

His effort was good but it was trumped by Southampton goalkeeper Artur Boruc who stretched out a big arm to save from close range.

Moments later Latics lived dangerously when a chipped ball over the top of the defence fell to Gaston Ramirez who was on his own having been judged onside but, the Uruguayan blazed the ball over under no pressure at all.

On 25 minutes Roger Espinoza's pressure in the final third paid off to win a corner for Jean Beausejour to take.

The ball in from the Chilean was inviting as Scharner and Caldwell lurked, with the captain rising the highest to thump the ball past Boruc with his head and send the DW crowd into raptures.

From kick off Southampton almost had an equaliser when James McCarthy's attempted clearance cannoned off Morgan Schneiderlin and nearly caught Ali Al Habsi out as the Omani had to produce a diving save to turn the ball around the post.

Jos Hooiveld came close for the Saints as they upped the pressure towards half time when his header from a corner went inches wide of the back post.

Latics finished the half with a chance of their own as Shaun Maloney's in-swinging free kick from the left found Scharner's head but, the ball was blocked and didn't fall kindly to Di Santo who was waiting to follow the ball up.

Southampton came out for the second half with that same in-your-face style as they continued to push high up the pitch.

The warning signs of an equaliser were coming when Lambert played the ball across the face of a gaping goal but Jason Puncheon couldn't finish at the back post as James McCarthy's made a last ditch tackle.

On 64 minutes Latics were undone as a lofted ball into the box from the right was flicked on by the head of Jay Rodriguez who beat Caldwell in the air and into the path of Lambert at the back stick to nod it past Al Habsi who couldn't come off his line quick enough.

The visitors continued their assault for winner, hitting the post from substitute Adam Lallana and forcing Latics to try and clear frantically as they piled men into the box.

With five minutes to go the pressure paid off as Southampton broke down their left side with Rodriguez.

Latics substitute Callum McManaman dove into a tackle but Rodriguez stayed on his feet to skip down to the by-line, he had Maynor Figueroa to beat but simply laid the ball back into the six yard box at the front post for Schneiderlin to run in and tap home.

A dejected DW Stadium was then sent into a frenzy on 90 minutes as a corner from Jean Beausejour to the middle of the area was knocked back towards the front post by Paul Scharner for Shaun Maloney to tap past Artur Boruc for 2-2.

Angelo Henriquez was brought on straight after the goal for James McCarthy as Latics looked for a winner but the referee blew for full time without another chance with both sides having to settle for a point each.