Premier League: Wigan 2 Stoke 2
By Football News
Shaun Maloney's penalty gave Wigan an early lead after Robert Huth handballed James McCarthy's goal-bound effort inside the first five minutes.
Despite dominating the first-half, Stoke were handed a way back into the game after Maynor Figueroa blatantly handled in the area, and Jonathan Walters tucked away the penalty five minutes before half-time.
Wigan were back in front just three minutes after the break though, with Franco Di Santo's fine finish capping an excellent move from the Lancashire club.
Stoke, however, would not give up and deservedly hit back for a second time through Peter Crouch, who headed home after being set up by Walters.
Charlie Adam almost made the headlines after his free-kick was horribly deflected goal-bound by Gary Caldwell, but a fine save from Ali-Al Habsi saved a point for the Latics.
Wigan were keen to build on their impressive 2-0 victory at St Mary's last weekend, and started brightly as they sought to control possession in the early stages, stroking the ball around the back four.
And with their first attacking move of the game, Wigan edged ahead after just four minutes.
Di Santo received the ball on the left and played into the Stoke area to the arriving McCarthy, who struck a powerful effort which hit the outstretched arm of Robert Huth, and despite Stoke's protest that it was unintentional, referee Martin Atkinson had no choice other than to point to the spot.
Maloney stepped up for the penalty, and coolly slotted it into the bottom right-hand corner, sending Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic the wrong way.
The goal gave Wigan a boost in confidence, and despite Stoke pressing Wigan high up the pitch, Roberto Martinez's side were playing some breathtaking football.
Stoke had the ball in the net a few minutes later but the whistle had already gone, with Walters adjudged to have fouled Wigan keeper Al-Habsi as the ball rolled into the net.
Figueroa undid Wigan's good work early, as his feeble attempt to block a pass from Crouch struck his raised arm to earn the visitors a penalty.
Walters stepped up for the spot-kick, and despite Al-Habsi choosing the right way, the Irish international's penalty was well-struck into the bottom right-hand corner to draw Stoke level.
The second half started the same way as the first, with a goal for Wigan after some excellent play from Arouna Kone and Di Santo.
Di Santo broke down the right-hand side after Wigan cleared Stoke's set piece, and played a brilliant ball down the line to Kone. The Ivorian came under pressure and the chance looked to have gone but kept his composure to square to Di Santo, who placed an incisive finish past the helpless Begovic to put Wigan back in front.
Stoke were shellshocked by Wigan's goal and immediately searched to equalise for a second time, with Walters threatening to add to his tally, firing just past the post.
And after scoring from the penalty spot in the first half, Walters turned provider to hand Stoke an equaliser after stepping up a gear.
A flick on from substitute Cameron Jerome played in Walters down the left-hand side of the penalty area, and his floated ball found the towering Crouch, who nodded past Al-Habsi to earn Tony Pulis' men a deserved point.