Wigan   1 - 1   Norwich

Wes Hoolahan scores for Norwich

The alert Hoolahan finished brilliantly for Norwich at the DW Stadium

Newly promoted Norwich fought back from a goal down to come away with a point from Wigan on the first day of the new Premier League season.

The Latics took the lead midway through the first half, when Ben Watson scored from the spot after Ritchie de Laet brought down Franco di Santo.

Norwich equalised on the stroke of half-time when Wes Hoolahan pounced on goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi's mistake.

Di Santo went close with a header while Watson's 20-yard shot hit the post.

Both sides will be content with a draw, although manager Roberto Martinez may think Wigan should have scored at least once from the flurry of chances they created in the last 10 minutes.

Lambert delighted with Norwich effort

The Spaniard stated in the lead-up to the match that it was a bad time to play Norwich and for the first 40 minutes he had little to worry about as the Canaries were cautious but also looked nervous at times, especially in defence.

Their plan seemed to be to stop Wigan first and build from there, although midfielder David Fox took that too literally when he fouled Di Santo inside the first minute and earned the first yellow card of the Premier League season.

Their next defensive mishap resulted in Wigan's opener. Lone frontman Di Santo dispossessed De Laet on the right and sped into the area before he was adjudged to have been unfairly brought down by the defender. It looked like a shoulder charge but referee Stuart Attwell was adamant the challenge was illegal.

Up stepped Watson to smash home the penalty for his seventh Premier League goal for the Latics.

Norwich picked up their own tempo soon after the goal, with Fox going close with a free-kick swung in from the left that eluded the crowd in the area and missed the far post by a couple of inches.

Martinez positive despite opening day draw

The Canaries were now causing the Wigan defence to flap and they levelled shortly before the interval.

Morison, who earlier came off to receive stitches following a clash of heads with Adrian Lopez, darted down the right and fired in a cross that took a deflection.

Al-Habsi spilt the ball on landing, allowing Hoolahan to rocket it into the roof of the net.

The second period was more entertaining, with both sides looking potent in the final third, especially Wigan.

Victor Moses twice came close for the Latics, almost scoring an early contender for goal of the season when he jinked past five players, but saw his shot from six yards blocked by the courageous Zak Whitbread.

Watson then made a bid for glory with a 20-yard punt that rebounded off John Ruddy's right-hand upright.

Late on, De Laet came to Norwich's rescue when he first stopped a goalbound Moses strike before picking himself up to block Hugo Rodallega's follow-up.

Norwich's best chance fell to last season's top scorer Grant Holt, but his header from eight yards floated over when he should have hit the target.

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez:

"I don't think we played as well as we can, that is quite clear.

"But it was a tricky fixture and you have to give great credit to Norwich - I don't think they changed one single bit from what they were doing last season in the Championship.

"They play with bravery and they took their chance really well.

"Probably 12 months ago we would have lost that game, but we had a real fighting spirit and it is fair to say that we were the team who finished the stronger.

"Without playing well, we got a result, and I don't think I've ever been able to say that at Wigan, so it is a real positive for me. But there are many areas we need to improve."

Norwich manager Paul Lambert:

"I think we've got to be happy with that.

"This is not an easy place to come and I think we gave as good as we got."

On the penalty incident, Lambert said: "I couldn't see at the time and I'd have to look at it again.

"De Laet has made a mistake, but he also redeemed himself towards the end with the two blocks, and he is only a young player.

"Hopefully he will learn from that, but I have to give him enormous credit for the blocks - it was brilliant defending."

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

Wigan

  • 26 Al Habsi
  • 05 Caldwell
  • 17 Boyce
  • 24 Lopez (Stam - 82' )
  • 31 Figueroa
  • 04 McCarthy
  • 08 Watson Booked
  • 11 Moses
  • 14 Gomez (Rodallega - 53' )
  • 21 Diame Booked
  • 09 Di Santo (Sammon - 53' )

Substitutes

  • 12 Pollitt
  • 23 Stam
  • 06 Thomas
  • 16 McArthur
  • 19 Jones
  • 18 Sammon
  • 20 Rodallega

Norwich

  • 01 Ruddy
  • 02 R Martin
  • 06 Whitbread (Barnett - 71' )
  • 23 Tierney
  • 24 De Laet
  • 07 Crofts
  • 11 Surman (Bennett - 75' )
  • 14 Hoolahan
  • 15 Fox Booked
  • 05 Morison Booked (Pilkington - 75' )
  • 09 Holt

Substitutes

  • 13 Rudd
  • 20 Barnett
  • 25 Naughton
  • 04 Johnson
  • 12 Pilkington
  • 17 Bennett
  • 10 Jackson
Ref: Attwell
Att: 17,454

Match Stats

Shots

18 13

On target

11 3

Corners

7 3

Fouls

11 8

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:31 Full time

Full Time The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.

90:00 +3:59

Corner taken right-footed by Ben Watson, clearance by Grant Holt.

90:00 +3:16

The official flags Grant Holt offside. Gary Caldwell takes the free kick.

90:00 +2:06

Russell Martin takes a shot and went wide of the right hand post.

90:00 +1:32

Free kick awarded for a foul by Ronnie Stam on Wesley Hoolahan. Ritchie De Laet takes the direct free kick.

90:00 +0:39

Andrew Crofts fouled by Victor Moses, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by John Ruddy.

88:09

Victor Moses takes a shot. Blocked by Leon Barnett. Shot by Hugo Rodallega from 12 yards. Ritchie De Laet gets a block in.

86:49

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Elliott Bennett by Mohamed Diame. David Fox restarts play with the free kick.

85:09

Effort on goal by Wesley Hoolahan from just outside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.

84:46

David Fox takes the free kick.

84:46 Booking

Booking Booking for Ben Watson for unsporting behaviour.

84:40

Ben Watson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Elliott Bennett.

84:08

Ben Watson produces a drilled right-footed shot from just outside the area that bounces off the post.

83:10

Direct free kick taken by David Fox.

83:10 Booking

Booking The referee cautions Mohamed Diame for unsporting behaviour.

83:05

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Anthony Pilkington by Mohamed Diame.

82:08

Elliott Bennett concedes a free kick for a foul on Maynor Figueroa. Maynor Figueroa takes the direct free kick.

81:01 Substitution

Substitution Ronnie Stam joins the action as a substitute, replacing Adrian Lopez.

78:28

Elliott Bennett sends in a cross, Header from deep inside the area by Grant Holt goes harmlessly over the crossbar.

75:18

Hugo Rodallega is caught offside. John Ruddy takes the indirect free kick.

74:02

Ali Al Habsi restarts play with the free kick.

74:02 Substitution

Substitution Anthony Pilkington replaces Steve Morison.

74:02 Substitution

Substitution Elliott Bennett comes on in place of Andrew Surman.

74:02

Foul by Marc Tierney on Victor Moses, free kick awarded.

73:56

A cross is delivered by Russell Martin, Adrian Lopez manages to make a clearance.

72:27

The referee blows for offside against Wesley Hoolahan. Ali Al Habsi restarts play with the free kick.

71:33 Booking

Booking Steve Morison goes into the book for dissent.

70:38

Direct free kick taken by Marc Tierney.

70:38 Substitution

Substitution Zak Whitbread leaves the field to be replaced by Leon Barnett.

70:38

Foul by Emmerson Boyce on Grant Holt, free kick awarded.

69:54

Russell Martin delivers the ball.

67:51

Header from close range by Conor Sammon clears the bar.

67:09

Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Ben Watson, clearance by Ritchie De Laet.

66:48

Emmerson Boyce fouled by Grant Holt, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Emmerson Boyce.

64:50

The ball is delivered by Hugo Rodallega.

63:42

Outswinging corner taken right-footed by David Fox, clearance made by Maynor Figueroa.

62:57

Ritchie De Laet fouled by Conor Sammon, the ref awards a free kick. John Ruddy takes the direct free kick.

61:05

David Fox restarts play with the free kick. Effort on goal by Andrew Surman from inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.

60:36

Hugo Rodallega has a drilled shot. Save by John Ruddy.

58:54

Victor Moses takes a shot. Blocked by Zak Whitbread. Corner taken right-footed by Ben Watson to the near post, Ritchie De Laet manages to make a clearance.

58:40

A cross is delivered by Maynor Figueroa, clearance made by Zak Whitbread.

57:29

Centre by Marc Tierney, Grant Holt takes a shot. Save made by Ali Al Habsi.

55:53

Steve Morison produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.

55:15

Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by David Fox.

54:50

Wesley Hoolahan takes a shot. James McCarthy gets a block in.

53:25

Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Andrew Surman, clearance by Maynor Figueroa.

52:18 Substitution

Substitution Conor Sammon replaces Franco Di Santo.

52:18 Substitution

Substitution Jordi Gomez goes off and Hugo Rodallega comes on.

51:46

Jordi Gomez crosses the ball, save by John Ruddy.

51:03

Franco Di Santo takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Blocked by Ritchie De Laet. Corner taken left-footed by Jordi Gomez from the right by-line, Steve Morison manages to make a clearance.

50:21

Andrew Crofts produces a left-footed shot from inside the area that clears the crossbar.

49:24

A cross is delivered by Maynor Figueroa, Headed effort from inside the area by Franco Di Santo misses to the right of the target.

47:32

Gary Caldwell concedes a free kick for a foul on Wesley Hoolahan. Marc Tierney takes the direct free kick.

46:10

Andrew Surman takes a shot. Grant Holt gets a block in. The assistant referee flags for offside against Grant Holt. Indirect free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.

45:01

The game restarts for the second half.

45:00 +3:04 Half time

Half Time The first half comes to an end.

45:00 +2:22

The ball is crossed by Victor Moses, Franco Di Santo produces a header from inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.

44:58 Goal scored

Goal! - Wesley Hoolahan - Wigan 1 - 1 Norwich Wesley Hoolahan gets on the score sheet with a goal from close in high into the middle of the goal. Wigan 1-1 Norwich.

44:44

Franco Di Santo takes a shot. Save by John Ruddy.

42:50

Victor Moses produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the goal.

39:04

Franco Di Santo takes a shot. Blocked by Andrew Crofts.

38:25

James McCarthy concedes a free kick for a foul on Andrew Crofts. Andrew Crofts restarts play with the free kick.

36:36

Emmerson Boyce concedes a free kick for a foul on Grant Holt. David Fox crosses the ball in from the free kick.

34:05

Corner taken by Ben Watson.

33:09

Russell Martin gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Victor Moses. Free kick crossed by Ben Watson, clearance by Andrew Crofts.

31:32

Victor Moses takes a shot. Save by John Ruddy.

27:02

Long range shot by Mohamed Diame goes wide right of the goal.

26:16

Unfair challenge on Grant Holt by Ben Watson results in a free kick. Grant Holt takes the free kick.

25:13

Marc Tierney produces a cross.

22:34

Andrew Surman has an effort at goal. Gary Caldwell gets a block in.

20:32

Assist by Franco Di Santo.

20:32 Goal scored

Goal! - Ben Watson - Wigan 1 - 0 Norwich Ben Watson scores a power penalty. Wigan 1-0 Norwich.

19:18

Franco Di Santo fouled by Ritchie De Laet, the ref awards a Penalty.

17:17

Effort from the edge of the area by Wesley Hoolahan goes wide of the left-hand post.

16:45

Free kick awarded for a foul by Grant Holt on Gary Caldwell. Free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.

16:12

Victor Moses produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the goal.

15:04

Shot by Emmerson Boyce. Blocked by Zak Whitbread.

13:36

Centre by Russell Martin, clearance made by Gary Caldwell.

11:05

Steve Morison takes a shot. Save by Ali Al Habsi.

9:41

The referee blows for offside against Grant Holt. Gary Caldwell takes the indirect free kick.

8:16

Centre by Gary Caldwell, Franco Di Santo takes a shot. Save made by John Ruddy.

3:42

The referee blows for offside. Ali Al Habsi takes the free kick.

1:23

The ball is sent over by Maynor Figueroa, clearance by Steve Morison. Inswinging corner taken by Ben Watson from the left by-line, Emmerson Boyce takes a shot. Save by John Ruddy.

0:49

Ben Watson takes the direct free kick.

0:49 Booking

Booking David Fox is cautioned.

0:41

David Fox challenges Franco Di Santo unfairly and gives away a free kick.

0:15

Emmerson Boyce fouled by Wesley Hoolahan, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Emmerson Boyce.

0:00

The referee gets the game started.

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