No luck for Latics

Posted by Ned Brown

Chris Brunskill/Getty ImagesWigan's David Jones, left, did his best in the Boxing Day loss

It's old news by now. A sound defensive-minded Latics effort was undone by a lucky deflected Leon Osman strike early in the second half in Wigan's 2-1 Boxing Day loss at Goodison Park.

Wigan's response was strong -- so strong it begs the question why Roberto Martinez didn't have a more concerted go at Everton in the first place. A crystal-clear penalty when Osman brought down Shaun Maloney was not given, and soon after Everton doubled their lead through a Phil Jagielka wonder-header. Arouna Kone scrambled in a consolation goal in the last ten minutes.

The Good:

The defending. Martinez's decision to drop Franco Di Santo in favour of the extra midfield player worked well from a possession and defensive perspective. David Jones was excellent and is really enjoying his extended run in the team. The team performance overall, was favourable. Kone got a much-needed goal. The league table is still tight - a few points would dramatically change the club's outlook.

The Bad:

Another narrow defeat down to a bad refereeing decision. . . .Rumours that Liverpool are after Di Santo.

Player Ratings:

Ali Al-Habsi: 6 -- Had very little to do. No fault on the goals.

Emmerson Boyce: 8 -- Very good defensive performance.

Gary Caldwell: 6 -- Unlucky to have the ball deflect off him for the first goal but it was nice to have him back.

Maynor Figueroa: 7 -- Defended well, might have been out of position for Jagielka's goal.

Jean Beausejour: 6 -- Needs to find his form if Wigan are to start scoring again.

Ronnie Stam: 6 -- Struggled against Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar but offered energy in attack.

James McArthur: 7 -- Steady as always.

David Jones: 8 -- Excellent shift.

James McCarthy: 7 -- As ever.

Shaun Maloney: 7.5 -- Very positive, should have been awarded a penalty, and probably would have emerged with the equaliser .

Arouna Kone: 6 -- Worked very hard but was isolated most of the match. Hopefully the late goal will give him that confidence and composure he had at the beginning of the season but has lost in recent times.

Subs:

Franco Di Santo: Took a few touches to catch up to the pace of the game, but added energy to the attack.

Jordi Gomez: Not enough time.

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