Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Steve Gohouri salvaged a point for Wigan and relegated Hull City to the Championship.

- Moses 30,
- Gohouri 90

- Atkinson 42,
- Cullen 64

**Wigan Athletic is in 15th place in England’s Premier League with one game remaining. Its position is neither laudable nor shameful. But during the final stretch of the season, the club’s results will prove crucial both in the title race and the relegation fight.

On Monday, Wigan condemned Hull City to relegation after Steve Gohouri scored on an acrobatic overhead kick to earn a 2-2 tie in the teams’ penultimate game of the season.

“It is one of those performances which leaves you with mixed feelings because we knew that we had to take control of the game and break Hull down,” Wigan Manager Roberto Martinez said after the game. “But then what we don’t lack is that character and desire to carry on doing the right things until the end. I thought the second goal was the reward the players deserved.”

On Sunday, Wigan will travel to London to play first-place Chelsea in a game that could decide the championship. Chelsea, with a 1-point lead over Manchester United, must win to secure its first title since 2006. A loss or a tie combined with a Manchester United victory over Stoke City would secure United, the defending champion, its fourth straight championship. (If both teams have the same results, Chelsea will win the title.)

Frank Lampard, the Chelsea midfielder, said he was confident the Blues would see the season to a triumphant conclusion.

“We have got a head of steam up,” Lampard said. “There is still another game to go but we are in a good position. If you are going to win titles you are going to have these moments. Whether it is a crunch moment like on Sunday, when we played Liverpool with United playing Sunderland after us, or whether it be a game at home which you should win comfortably.”

“You have to do the job right,” he added.

Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson is hoping Wigan can do a job on Chelsea. His team won at Sunderland on Sunday, thanks to another opportune goal from the Portuguese wing Nani, and now must win at home against Stoke City and get some help.

“They’re a good team, they’ll have a go and you never know, it’s a crazy game,” he said of Wigan, adding: “Manchester City did us a great turn when they beat Chelsea twice. Wigan are neighbors too.”


Wigan Athletic: Stojković; Melchiot, Gohouri, Caldwell, Figueroa; Gómez (Scotland 79), Diame (Scharner 82), Watson, McCarthy (Sinclair 65), Moses; Rodallega

Hull City: Duke, Mendy, Gardner, Mouyokolo, Dawson; Atkinson, Cairney, Boateng, Kilbane; Vennegoor (Folan 70), the Cullen


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