Football.com - everything football

Norwich 2 - 1 Wigan

By Nick Webster



NORWICH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 15: Bradley Johnson of Norwich City battles with Franco Di Santo of Wigan during the Barclays Premier League match between Norwich City and Wigan Athletic at Carrow Road on December 15, 2012 in Norwich, England
NORWICH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 15: Bradley Johnson of Norwich City battles with Franco Di Santo of Wigan during the Barclays Premier League match between Norwich City and Wigan Athletic at Carrow Road on December 15, 2012 in Norwich, England

Norwich looked mostly comfortable throughout as it beat Wigan 2-1 at Carrow Road during an attacking game on Saturday.

The hosts took the lead through midfielder Anthony Pilkington in the 15th minute after good work by Wes Hoolahan. The midfielder tackled Emmerson Boyce on the edge of his own half and played to Pilkington, whose shot flew past Ali Al-Habsi.

The visitors equalized early in the second half thanks to a good strike by substitute Shaun Maloney before Hoolahan restored the Canaries' lead with a header from a Pilkington cross.

The game started with a lively tempo as both sides looked to break the deadlock and it was the hosts who broke through after tenacious work by Hoolahan as he dispossessed Boyce to slide in Pilkington. The former Huddersfield man's ferocious left-foot strike flew past Al-Habsi in the Wigan goal. 

The home side should have doubled the lead more than once as the half went on, as first Pilkington shot wide from two yards out after good work by Robert Snodgrass, then Snodgrass himself missed from the same distance as he got his head on the end of a Garrido cross, only for Al-Habsi to make a good save.

It looked as though Norwich’s dominance would continue after the break as Grant Holt forced a good save from Al-Habsi from the kick-off. However, Wigan responded well and halftime substitute Shaun Maloney scored after he unleashed a powerful shot from 20 yards after a fine run by Kone down the left.

The visitors looked like a different side in the second half as they started to control the game just like Norwich did in the first. The home side came back on the hour mark, however, and Holt had a good opportunity as he was unopposed in the box but his volley went wide.

And soon after the home side restored its lead after great work down the left by Pilkington, turning Boyce inside and out, then crossing for Hoolahan to head home.

The third looked to be on the way for Norwich as first Bradley Johnson, then Pilkington were both denied by great saves by Al-Habsi, but the Canaries held on to move above Arsenal in the Premier League table.