A question of ethics for you all now. You’re in position to slot the ball into the back of the net, but the opposing goalkeeper is lying injured on the ground. Is it morally right or just plain stupid to kick the ball out of play for the goalie to have treatment, when you have a clear and certain opportunity to easily roll the ball over the goal line? Faced with that situation this afternoon, I’m sure Hugo Rodallega would have been berated by the powers that be at Wigan Athletic had he done the former.
After all, this is the very top flight of English football. Chivalrous moments such as the scenario described can and do happen in Sunday league matches, but are few and far between in the dog-eat-dog, big money world of the Premier League. It’s just outright bad luck that Burnley found their own keeper, Brian ‘The Beast’ Jensen, in said unfortunate situation at approximately 3:11PM today, doubly so as he’d already made two cracking saves up until this point.
Yes, Rodders had to put it away, no question.
I wouldn’t say the incident turned the game on its head, as at this stage the game was far from lost. In fact, it brought Latics back into things after Steven Fletcher’s back post scoop in off the bottom of Chris Kirkland’s crossbar barely seven minutes earlier. Enter Peru international Diego Penny, who wouldn’t really have anything to do but sit on his heels until the latter part of the first half, when Wigan’s passing game started to fall into place.
It was The Clarets who just about shaded things, finishing the first half on top. This continued into the second half, as on resumption of play Chris Eagles just managed to squeeze the ball past the Wigan goalkeeper’s left hand post. Soon after, though, Latics snatched the upper hand thanks to a fine strike in off the post from Hugo Rodallega – his second of the afternoon.
After some nervy scrambles in the Wigan goalmouth, Emmerson Boyce put the game beyond doubt arriving unmarked at the back post from a Rodallega corner on 76. The last ten minutes or so played out rather sedately as Latics looked to keep possession and Burnley largely accepted their fate: a first home loss of the season.
Credit in particular must go to Rodallega, whose second goal really was a crucial strike that I feel really swung the game in Wigan’s direction, perhaps quite obviously so. Burnley were definitely not outplayed and looked threatening in the Wigan half, but just couldn’t manage enough shots anywhere other than the arms of Chris Kirkland or sliding across the top of the crossbar.
It wasn’t really Burnley’s day, and Wigan pounced to capitalise. The only downsides are injuries to Maynor Figueroa — who had to be replaced by Jordi Gomez within the first thirty minutes — and Paul Scharner, but I’m sure the big Austrian can shake off a head bang suffered when rising for a corner that would ultimately lead to Latics’ third goal. Hendry Thomas also looked a bit groggy, but finished the game fine.
Next match is against Portsmouth on 31st October, Halloween. Let’s hope it doesn’t give us all nightmares. (I’m really sorry, but I just had to put that silly little ‘joke’ in there. Believe me, you’ll be hearing a lot more of that from the mainstream media this time next week.)