Leicester 2-0 Wigan: Belgium calling?

Bodelwyddan Castle

Dare ye tread the path to Castle King Power?

Greetings, o traveller! I see you survived your long and arduous journey to the Realm of the King on this fine afternoon. You are indeed courageous, yet at the same time foolish, for though we provide ample amenities (which sadly no longer include free Walkers crisps), our dedicated team of trained swordsmen shall see to it that you do not leave this place with your dangly bits intact.

“Oh, big bloke with mace, delighted to make your acquaintance. Wait, watch where you’re putting that pointy thing! … Agh, couldn’t you have taken the left one first?”

Sorry about that, I’ve been rifling through my local children’s library –AKA the noticeboard at Wigan Wallgate Station– for non-stolen copies of Horrible Histories again. Some kid offered to fight me for the Henry VIII edition but I squealed to his mother and now have complete control of the quarter-size chairs and table. Hahah, now all I need is four Chunky Kit Kats so I can pretend they’re regular sized ones and the illusion that I am a giant is complete!

Incidentally, I type this article on a requisitioned Bandai B10A 4Kidz laptop computer. It’s rather good, but the sampled speech keeps telling me off for allegedly spelling ‘organisation’ incorrectly. See, it did it just now! I’d turn the volume to zero if the knob wasn’t broken. Shut up, you sorry excuse for Microsoft Sam in a tin can!

Enough of this nonsense, Groucho!

Alright, now 99% of readers have blacklisted JWAW for going off topic *again*, it is time to spend the next five minutes grimacing as we relive Wigan Athletic’s Championship fight with the ultimate King Powers. Ignoring obvious commercial reasons, that is a simply brilliant name on par with that of IPL outfit Chennai Superkings. Except it doesn’t have evil cigarette-related connotations. Aaand there goes the remaining 1%…

The first half was undeniably Leicester’s, and a 1-0 scoreline at 45 arguably flattered the visitors. The impressive Liam Moore, who also effectively jockeyed Marc-Antoine Fortune at his own end of the field, rose unchallenged at the back of the 6-yard area to head home past a goal line defence of Carson and whoever it was that stood next to the back post. It proved far too powerful for both, and Moore stormed away to destroy an advertising hoarding in delight.

Through sloppy pass placement, Wigan granted the hosts a plethora of counter-attacking opportunities, and they probably should have increased their lead from at least one of them. Latics’ scrambling defence struggled to keep up, and were it not for a misguided 8-yard Nugent strike, Carson’s line would have been breached all too easily yet again.

Kasper Schmeichel

You could count all Schmeichel’s saves on two fingers (c)Ben Sutherland

A catatonic Owen Coyle looked on with a face redder than Alex Ferguson’s as passing move after intricate passing move was easily cut out in gleeful fashion by some accomplished Championship-savvy defending. Ironically, it was Wigan’s most direct move of the half that brought their best chance when Ben Watson’s 40-yard free kick fell perfectly for Leon Barnett to smack the ball goalwards. Kasper Schmeichel was equal to it, however, and the half time whistle blew almost immediately after.

After the home side went agonisingly close yet again, changes were painfully necessary – Wigan were being outrun, outpassed and generally outclassed. Pretty soon, Coyle had made all three of his substitutions and Nick Powell, Callum McManaman and James McClean now formed the backbone of a drastically revamped midfield.

However, any personnel alterations seemed futile as the game meandered along much as it had done, with Leicester creating opening after glorious opening. Nugent, after missing two more wonderful chances to finish things, was soon to polish off the game via the spot when Jean ‘Penalty’ Beausejour clumsily tripped Jamie Vardy and the linesman flagged. Carson palmed the resultant penalty onto the post, but there was no escaping it this time. For Wigan to scrape something from this contest would have been a matter for the courts.

At this point, I know you expect me to make a comment about the dreaded curse of the international break™, but I will instead say this: you could certainly hear Belgium calling this afternoon. Speaking of which, I hope you make it there and back in one piece. Join us on Tuesday evening/Wednesday morning with your croissants for an early podcast. Au revoir, amigos!

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