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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
17:10 26th December 2013
By  Nick Taylor

REPORT: LATICS 0 BIRMINGHAM 0

Wigan Athletic were left to settle for a point at the DW Stadium after Birmingham City were sent down to 10 men in the second half following a moment of madness from on loan Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard.

Birmingham's tightly packed defence held on despite a late charge from the hosts, buoyed on by a lively, fancy dress wearing DW crowd who were furious as their side were denied two penalties after claims for fouls on Grant Holt and Jean Beausejour.

Uwe Rosler made two changes for his second Latics home game, with Ivan Ramis returning to the line-up in place of the suspended Ben Watson, alongside Grant Holt who came in as a replacement for Nick Powell.

The opening exchanges proved tricky for both sides, with neither being able to grab complete control of possession, leaving it down to both sets of wide men to take the initiative and try to force the issue.

Chris Burke was a spark for Birmingham creating a number of half chances in the area and for Latics, it was the usual suspects in James McClean and Callum McManaman who were giving the Blues' defence something to think about.

A period of mid first half pressure gave Latics something to defend, but the best opportunity fell to McManaman who drove the ball out of his feet from distance, forcing Darren Randolph into a stretching save.

Latics upped their game at the start of the second half, but following a heavy period of attacking pressure, the game was brought to a stop when Jesse Lingard lost his head and was given his marching orders for a challenge from behind on Jordi Gomez.

The on loan Manchester United forward claimed to have been fouled on the counter attack by Chris McCann, but when the referee waved play on, Gomez (the next player to touch the ball) was on the end of a hefty challenge, sparking a scuffle in the centre of the pitch.

Lingard saw red and the DW crowd surged behind their team once more with the prospect of victory in their sights.

Birmingham made it difficult for Uwe Rosler's men though, holding deep and compact, only allowing half chances to creep through, with Latics main threat being a ball around the right full back on three occasions by Gomez to Jean Beausejour.

The final ball couldn't be produced, with Latics left to twice claim for penalties as a route into the lead.

Birmingham goalkeeper Randolph and his centre back Dan Burn got mixed up, both trying to clear the ball in the air.

After a collision, the ball looked to be dropping for Holt inside the area, only for him to be tumbled to the ground by the recovering Randolph but nothing given.

The second claim came in the final minute of added time when a high ball was played into the air towards Beausejour, who claimed to be pulled down on the stretch, to a chorus of boos from the crowd as the referee waved away his claims.

Similar groans could be heard at full time, but Latics and their supporters were left to settle for a point, making it three games unbeaten in the Championship.