skip to content
The assistant referee signals for offside against Obafemi Martins. Free kick taken by Ali Al Habsi.
Charles N'Zogbia goes off and Mohamed Diame comes on.
Liam Ridgewell sends in a cross.
Maynor Figueroa fires in a goal from outside the box high into the middle of the goal. Wigan 2-1 Birmingham.Tom Cleverley provided the assist for the goal.
Inswinging corner taken by Ben Watson from the left by-line.
Corner taken left-footed by Charles N'Zogbia, Craig Gardner manages to make a clearance.
Charles N'Zogbia takes a shot. Ben Foster makes a save.
Sebastian Larsson crosses the ball.
Inswinging corner from left by-line crossed in by Ben Watson.
Maynor Figueroa shown a yellow card. Foul by Maynor Figueroa on Obafemi Martins, free kick awarded. Sebastian Larsson takes the free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Obafemi Martins on Emmerson Boyce. Free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.
The ball is delivered by Maynor Figueroa, Roger Johnson manages to make a clearance.
The ball is sent over by Tom Cleverley, clearance made by Liam Ridgewell.
James McCarthy produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the net.
Roger Johnson fouled by Hugo Rodallega, the ref awards a free kick. Ben Foster restarts play with the free kick.
Corner taken by Ben Watson, save made by Ben Foster.
The ball is sent over by Tom Cleverley.
Barry Ferguson fouled by Ben Watson, the ref awards a free kick. Sebastian Larsson crosses the ball in from the free kick, James McCarthy makes a clearance.
Hugo Rodallega takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.
Conor Sammon takes a shot. Roger Johnson gets a block in.
Charles N'Zogbia delivers the ball, Stephen Carr makes a clearance.
Curtis Davies is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour. Unfair challenge on Charles N'Zogbia by Curtis Davies results in a free kick. Ben Watson takes the free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by David Bentley on Gary Caldwell. Ali Al Habsi restarts play with the free kick.
The ball is crossed by Tom Cleverley, Conor Sammon takes a shot. Save made by Ben Foster.
The ball is sent over by Sebastian Larsson, clearance made by Antolin Alcaraz.
The referee shows Antolin Alcaraz a yellow card. Antolin Alcaraz challenges Cameron Jerome unfairly and gives away a free kick. Barry Ferguson takes the direct free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stephen Carr by Maynor Figueroa. Centre by Sebastian Larsson, Headed effort from deep inside the area by Liam Ridgewell misses to the left of the goal.
Shot from just outside the box by Charles N'Zogbia goes over the bar.
Hugo Rodallega is brought on as a substitute for Franco Di Santo. Conor Sammon comes on in place of Victor Moses. Obafemi Martins joins the action as a substitute, replacing Jordon Mutch.
Maynor Figueroa takes a shot. Save made by Ben Foster.
Cameron Jerome takes a shot. Ali Al Habsi makes a save.
Jean Beausejour leaves the field to be replaced by David Bentley.
Charles N'Zogbia fouled by Curtis Davies, the ref awards a free kick. Strike comes in from Ben Watson from the free kick, Ben Foster makes a comfortable save.
Tom Cleverley concedes a free kick for a foul on Stephen Carr. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Sebastian Larsson.
Franco Di Santo delivers the ball, Stephen Carr manages to make a clearance.
Victor Moses is cautioned. Free kick awarded for a foul by Gary Caldwell on Craig Gardner. Direct free kick taken by Barry Ferguson.
Inswinging corner from left by-line crossed in by Ben Watson, save by Ben Foster.
Corner taken by Ben Watson, Curtis Davies manages to make a clearance.
Unfair challenge on Victor Moses by Liam Ridgewell results in a free kick. Gary Caldwell takes the free kick.
Unfair challenge on Tom Cleverley by Jordon Mutch results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Tom Cleverley.
Centre by Liam Ridgewell, Antolin Alcaraz makes a clearance.
Foul by Cameron Jerome on Emmerson Boyce, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.
Foul by Emmerson Boyce on Craig Gardner, free kick awarded. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Sebastian Larsson,
Emmerson Boyce sends in a cross, Charles N'Zogbia produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
James McCarthy takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.
Inswinging corner taken by Sebastian Larsson from the left by-line.
Liam Ridgewell fouled by Franco Di Santo, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Ben Foster.
Maynor Figueroa concedes a free kick for a foul on Sebastian Larsson. Free kick taken by Ben Foster.
Unfair challenge on Gary Caldwell by Cameron Jerome results in a free kick. Ben Watson restarts play with the free kick.
The ball is swung over by Victor Moses, clearance by Stephen Carr.
Jordon Mutch has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide right of the goal.
Jean Beausejour is adjudged to have handled the ball. Charles N'Zogbia crosses the ball in from the free kick, Ben Foster makes a save.
Corner crossed in by Ben Watson, Roger Johnson makes a clearance.
Gary Caldwell fouled by Jean Beausejour, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Ali Al Habsi.
Corner from the right by-line taken by Sebastian Larsson, clearance made by Franco Di Santo.
Tom Cleverley fires in a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Wigan 1-1 Birmingham.Assist by Emmerson Boyce.
Corner taken by Ben Watson, Ben Foster makes a save.
James McCarthy gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Craig Gardner. Free kick crossed right-footed by Sebastian Larsson, save made by Ali Al Habsi.
Jordon Mutch takes a shot. Ali Al Habsi makes a comfortable save.
Corner taken by Sebastian Larsson from the right by-line, clearance by Franco Di Santo.
Charles N'Zogbia concedes a free kick for a foul on Liam Ridgewell. Liam Ridgewell takes the free kick.
Corner taken by Sebastian Larsson from the right by-line, Cameron Jerome takes a shot. Save made by Ali Al Habsi.
Martin Jiranek leaves the field to be replaced by Curtis Davies.
Cameron Jerome challenges Maynor Figueroa unfairly and gives away a free kick. Antolin Alcaraz takes the direct free kick.
The assistant referee signals for offside against Franco Di Santo. Free kick taken by Ben Foster.
Franco Di Santo takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Tom Cleverley by Stephen Carr. Ben Watson takes the free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Cameron Jerome on Emmerson Boyce. Free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.
A goal is scored by Liam Ridgewell from inside the box to the top right corner of the goal. Wigan 0-1 Birmingham.Assist by Martin Jiranek.
Ben Watson challenges Jordon Mutch unfairly and gives away a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Sebastian Larsson from left channel, clearance made by Gary Caldwell.
Tom Cleverley takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.
Ben Watson takes the outswinging corner, Antolin Alcaraz takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Liam Ridgewell on Charles N'Zogbia. Direct free kick taken by Ben Watson.
Martinez relishing survival battle
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez expects his players to put their bodies on their line as the relegation battle intensifies.
Latics have just nine games to save their Barclays Premier League status after slipping to the bottom of the table and four points below the crucial 17th place.
Martinez has bemoaned his side's lack of fortune in relation to performances all season - narrow defeat at Manchester City a fortnight ago being a prime example - but believes hard work will be rewarded.
The Spaniard said: "We have got nine games - 27 points to play for.
"We are prepared to give our lives for the cause and as a football club we are ready to experience that challenge.
"We are in the worst position in the table but it can only get better.
"The way we see it, if we play with the bravery and the courage we have shown, we will have an opportunity to be successful again.
"It is not time to look back. We all know the reasons why we are in this situation.
"I have been very pleased with the level of performances but time is catching up with us in terms of points.
"We have dropped too many points but now is the time to look forward to the next nine games and be as strong as we can be."
Wigan face a crucial game against fellow strugglers Birmingham at the DW Stadium.
Birmingham are outside the relegation zone only on goal difference and have not won since their memorable Carling Cup final victory over Arsenal last month.
It could be a good opportunity for Wigan to win for the first time in four league games but Martinez is taking little notice of the form guides.
He said: "There is never a right moment to play a team - it is down to ourselves.
"Birmingham made history and will now be looking to finish as high up the table as they can. It has been a phenomenal campaign for them.
"We need to make sure we create a really tough environment at the DW Stadium in the last four games to make it as difficult as we can for the opposition.
"It is down to the performances and the players are desperate to give their all for Wigan Athletic. As long as we do that, I'm happy.
"When we all get together we are a powerful football club. We are all excited.
"It is an extremely talented young group, ready for one of the challenges of our careers."
Alex McLeish believes a combination of "experience, bottle and passion" is required to keep Birmingham in the Premier League.
The Carling Cup winners now have to concentrate on staying in the top flight for a third successive season - starting at Wigan.
But McLeish will be boosted by the return to fitness of half a dozen players, including skipper Stephen Carr and midfield general Barry Ferguson, for the meeting with the bottom-placed Latics.
McLeish said: "You need that never say die attitude and bottle to get you through.
"You need to persevere right to the very end but the experience factor could help and we have that as well.
"The good thing about this squad is I believe the lot of them could be Birmingham fans given the way they have committed themselves to the cause over the last couple of years.
"That should be a trait in every footballer anyway.
"You sometimes get some players who don't have the character and the same feel for a club and maybe don't put the same input in.
"But I know these guys in the current squad are all capable of being Birmingham fans because of their attitude and approach."
McLeish accepts this weekend could be a pivotal one in the battle to survive with locals rivals Aston Villa and Wolves facing each other at Villa Park.
He said: "There are a lot of big games this weekend and, as a league, we have come to the real business side of the season.
"We know that winning this game would give us fantastic confidence for the run-in.
"But, if we don't get the result we are looking for, the league is not finished.
"There will still be plenty of points to be played for in the nine games after that."
Figueroa gives City the Blues
Defender Maynor Figueroa was Wigan's unlikely saviour as he smashed home a late winner against Birmingham to ignite his side's survival battle in the Barclays Premier League.
The Honduran international has found the net only three times in his three-year Latics career but the importance of his latest strike could not be underestimated.
His side appeared to have been frustrated in their bid for victory despite throwing everything at the visitors in the latter stages of the second half after Tom Cleverley had equalised Liam Ridgewell's disputed opener in the 25th minute.
But when the impressive Cleverley rolled the ball back from the byline in the second of five minutes of added time the left-back switched it on to his weaker right foot before smashing a shot past goalkeeper Ben Foster.
Figueroa has history for dramatic interventions, with his previous goal being the 60-yard effort at Stoke last season.
Whether this latest effort will be enough to keep Wigan in the top flight remains to be seen but it lifted the bottom side to within two points of safety.
More importantly, only a second league win in 12 games will boost confidence for the remaining eight matches.
It also sucked Carling Cup winners Birmingham further into the dogfight as they slipped to second bottom, just a point above the Roberto Martinez's side.
More often than not the Latics have been their own worst enemies but they certainly had cause for complaint when the visitors took the lead after just six minutes.
Martin Jiranek's flick-on appeared to catch three Birmingham players in an offside position on the edge of the Wigan penalty area but with no flag raised Ridgewell reacted quickest to shoot past Ali Al Habsi.
It was Jiranek's last significant involvement as he was replaced by Curtis Davies because of injury soon after.
The substitute's first touch almost created a second goal when he headed Sebastian Larsson's corner back across the six-yard area where Cameron Jerome's shot on the turn was well blocked by Al Habsi.
Apart from Cleverley's early shot the hosts had not threatened but out of the blue the on-loan Manchester United midfielder equalised in the 25th minute.
Ben Watson's brilliant through-ball inside left-back Ridgewell picked out over-lapping right-back Emmerson Boyce and Foster could only push his cross into the path of Cleverley who gratefully accepted the gift inside the six-yard box.
Wigan nerves were not completely banished though and Figueroa, who had a shaky first half, gave the ball away to Jordon Mutch but fortunately for the Honduras international the midfielder's 25-yard shot was well off target.
Late in the half Charles N'Zogbia deflected over Boyce's cross from close range while Larsson hit the crossbar with a free-kick.
As expected the game opened up after the break, with Craig Gardner breaking clear of the defence but shooting straight at Al Habsi.
At the other end N'Zogbia's trickery allowed him to find space in the area but Cleverley swung wildly at his cut-back and Foster saved well as Figueroa blasted the loose ball at him from eight yards.
With time - and matches - running out Martinez made a double attacking change by sending on Hugo Rodallega and Conor Sammon for Franco Di Santo and Victor Moses.
Birmingham did likewise as, having replaced the ineffective Jean Beausejour with David Bentley, they sent on Obafemi Martins for Mutch as Alex McLeish also went in search of victory.
Sammon's flicked header from Cleverley's cross was claimed comfortably by Foster before Antolin Alcaraz and Davies were both booked as tackling became more desperate.
The introduction of the two substitutes had injected new life into Wigan and Sammon and McCarthy both had shots charged down in the area as the home side, for the first time in the game, looked like being the ones most capable of scoring.
With 10 minutes remaining Rodallega had the ball in the net after looping a shot over Foster but referee Lee Probert ruled the Colombia international had pushed Johnson as they challenged on the edge of the area.
McCarthy then wastefully blazed over after the impressive Cleverley had teed him up 20 yards out.
Foster had to scramble to turn aside a late deflected N'Zogbia strike but the England international was stunned when a late shot from Figueroa whistled past him in the 92nd minute.
© 2004 - 2014 football.co.uk