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18:53 11th April 2012


History is made at the DW Stadium as Maloney strike stuns United


Maloney 50


Report by Nick Taylor

It was a night every Latics fan, player and member of staff will never forget as Shaun Maloney scored five minutes after half time, thundering the home side into the lead.

The evening wasn't as simple as it sounds with, Victor Moses having a goal chalked off for an alleged foul by Gary Caldwell on David De Gea.

United then had a shout for a penalty for handball but, could have been reduced to 10 men when Jonny Evans should have arguably picked up a second booking.

Roberto Martinez named another unchanged side after the defeat at Stamford Bridge and Latics looked up for it from the off.

Inside the first minute Jean Beausejour was up to his usual tricks when he latched onto a long ball but, saw his cross float into the box with nobody there to attack.

It took more than 10 minutes for the Barclays Premier League champions to even get out of their own half as Latics pushed, pressed and pinned the away side into submission.

When the Red Devils did venture forward they were met by the ever solid pairing of Caldwell and Maynor Figueroa who extinguished every attack.

Then came the disallowed goal.

Moses dispossessed Rio Ferdinand in United's half running the defence ragged and eventually earning a corner.

From that came a thumping header from the winger as he rose above the defence but, referee Phil Dowd had other ideas as he ruled it out for a barge on the United keeper by Caldwell.

It seemed unfair as the defender was seemingly nudged into the keeper and Latics were dismayed by the call.

Martinez's men didn't let that get them down though as they continued to battle in every area of the pitch.

After half time, Latics came out firing once again.

Beausejour ran the ball down the left wing and attempted to cut inside, he slipped and earned a corner much to the anger of United's fans and players who claimed for a goal kick.

The Chilean took full advantage and his quick corner put Maloney into space.

The midfielder ran and ran from the corner of the box to the middle and curled his effort beyond an outstretched De Gea.

With 40 minutes to go you could feel the belief in the stadium and the DW was rocking.

Speaking of rocks, Caldwell and Figueroa where at it again ten minutes later when they held a solid defence line, putting in two goal saving challenges as United forced the issue.

United had Latics pinned back but, in gladiatorial fashion the home side continued to battle as they tackled, cleared and saved everything that was thrown at them.

On 71 minutes Ali Al Habsi made his first contribution to the game as he flew out of the six yard box like Superman to punch the ball clear from a dangerous corner.

Martinez made two changes late on as Mohamed Diame and Conor Sammon came on for man of the match Maloney and Franco di Santo to add even more strength.

Latics didn't sit back on their lead though as Moses and Sammon caused the United defence all sorts of problems as they pushed to make it 2-0.

The Nigerian winger twisted and turned Patrice Evra inside out, beating the full back but having his low drive saved by the feet of De Gea.

Then Sammon powered his way from half way all the way to the by-line.

He cut back his pass to Diame who saw his shot blocked.

The Senegalese midfielder got the ball back squaring it to Moses who once again had a shot knocked out for a corner.

Just as Latics looked sure to double their lead, United showed their first real threat of the game on 83 minutes.

Danny Welbeck found space inside the area but, was met by Al Habsi who parried away his right footed shot.

It was heart in the mouth stuff as Latics held on to create a magical piece of footballing history.

Despite the five minutes of added time, Latics held firm and lifted themselves out of the bottom three and on to 31 points.

Wigan Athletic: Al Habsi, Alcaraz, McCarthy, Caldwell (C), Di Santo (Diame 70), Maloney (Sammon 77), Moses, McArthur, Boyce, Beausejour, Figueroa.
Unused Subs: Crusat, Watson, Pollitt, Gomez, Stam

Manchester Utd: De Gea, Evra (C), Jones, Ferdinand, Evans, Rooney (Nani 65), Giggs, Hernandez (Welbeck 58), Carrick, Young (Cleverley 45), Valencia.
Unused Subs: Amos, Smalling, Park, Pogba

    Data provided by Press Association