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Wigan Athletic 0 Bolton Wanderers 0: match report
Published : 17 Feb 2010 21:57:39
There was no real harm done but neither side was able to take advantage of an opportunity to beat a relegation rival on a mess of a pitch at the DW Stadium. With records like Wigan Athletic, one victory since the end of November, and Bolton Wanderers, who have won just once in seven league games under new manager Owen Coyle, it was perhaps no surprise that they were incapable of beating each other. Related ArticlesPremier League tablePremier League: in picturesTelegraph player raterWigan Athletic v Bolton: previewPremier League fixturesSport on televisionBolton remain in the relegation zone but have moved above Burnley into third bottom and although Wigan are two points above it is likely to be a stressful few weeks as both sides battle for the right to do this all over again next season. As the snow fell and fans separated by eight miles argued over which Lancashire town is more despicable, Bolton, inspired by a South Korean, took the early initiative, creating a string of chances. Chung-Yong Lee, one of several decent players left by previous manager Gary Megson, went close to opening the scoring with a drive from wide that flew narrowly wide of Chris Kirkland's goal. The start of the rugby league season used to be cause for celebration in these parts but now its arrival will mean that an already treacherous surface at the DW Stadium will got from bad to worse, not that either side was discouraged from playing open football. Chris Kirkland was alert to block Mario Melchiot's over-hit back-pass but Wigan soon began to threaten at the right end, partly thanks to the dreadful pitch. Zat Knight and Gretar Steinsson collided as they attempted to clear a routine long ball from Maynor Figueroa before Jussi Jaaskelainen rushed out to gather at the feet of Hugo Rodallega. Moments later, Paul Robinson stood off, allowing Charles N'Zogbia to cut inside and as the Frenchman was about to shoot, his little slip helped give the ball a higher trajectory and it was only kept out of the goal by the inside of the post. Even Johan Elmander was encouraged to have a go but the Swede's shot on the turn ran wide of Kirkland's goal, while at the other end, James McCarthy had a low drive held by Jaaskelainen and Rodallega's dislike for using his left foot â€' despite being employed on the left flank meant that a good opening went to waste. Fabrice Muamba was also fooled into thinking he could control the ball in the mud and was robbed by the Bolivian Marcelo Moreno, only for the on-loan Shaktar Donetsk forward to send his shot wide from just outside the area. He still rarely looks like scoring but Elmander continues to work impressively outside the area and a powerful run down the right ended with the Swede sending over a dangerous cross that was almost put into his own net by Gary Caldwell. As the opportunities continued to pass, Rodallega headed wide from a well-struck cross from Mario Melchiot before Muamba almost surprised Kirkland with a low drive that bounced just wide of the post. Taylor drove wide from an Elmander lay-off and should have opened the scoring when he was played through by Davies, only to hit the side-netting. Even the arrival of Victor Moses, wanted by Real Madrid but now of Lancashire, failed to inspire a breakthrough, although Rodallega missed with an ambitious overhead kick. Taylor wasted another decent opening and another prodigy, the on-loan Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, was given just three minutes to attempt to win what had degenerated into a slog in the mud. Moses almost made a telling contribution after a powerful dribble from N'Zogbia but the former Crystal Palace youngster hit the side-netting after he was picked out by the Frenchman.