Championship
NorwichNorwich City1WiganWigan Athletic1

Norwich City 1-1 Wigan Athletic: Max Aarons equaliser rescues point for Canaries

Max Aarons
Max Aarons' goal was his first for Norwich since the 2020-21 season

Max Aarons rescued Norwich with a second-half equaliser as they had to settle for a point against Wigan Athletic in their first home game of the new Championship season.

Dean Smith's side made a confident start but were stunned when a defensive error led to James McClean giving the visitors the lead.

Teemu Pukki and Milot Rashica combined to tee up Aarons moments after Dimitris Giannoulis was stretchered off in the second half, and he slotted home past Ben Amos.

Pukki almost won it for the Canaries with a curling strike against the crossbar, but Wigan held out for their second draw following last weekend's goalless stalemate against Preston.

Lauren Hemp
The match ball was carried out by Lionesses star Lauren Hemp, born half an hour away in North Walsham

Norwich - promoted as champions in their past two second-tier campaigns - were looking to avoid a fourth successive home defeat, having lost their final three Premier League games at Carrow Road last term.

And boss Smith, seeking greater midfield creativity following last weekend's defeat at Cardiff, included midweek signing Marcelino Nunez in his starting line-up, with Ben Gibson replacing suspended Grant Hanley in central defence.

Norwich knocked the ball about confidently at the start against a side who were two divisions below them last season and Pukki, scorer of 10 goals in his previous 12 home games in the Championship, soon showed the threat he poses by outmuscling Curtis Tilt and firing just wide of the target.

The Latics were content to sit back, stay disciplined and keep their shape for the opening 20 minutes and Chile international Nunez showed what he is capable of with a deft chip over the top for Rashica, who tried to lob Amos but could not direct it on target.

Suddenly, though, Wigan won the ball in the Canaries half and Will Keane played in Callum Lang, whose shot was beaten away by the onrushing Tim Krul.

Norwich did not heed the warning and when Gibson carelessly gave the ball away to Keane following a throw-in, he found the unmarked McClean, who slipped the ball through Krul's legs for the opener.

James McClean
James McClean's goal was his 11th for Wigan since joining last summer

Wigan's confidence grew as a result of the goal and although the home side produced 11 shots in the opening half, only one was on target, and there were some boos from the crowd as they walked off at the interval.

Rashica tested Amos straight from the restart, but the powerful Josh Magennis soon forced another mistake out of the Norwich defence and Krul had to kick away his powerful shot from an angle, with the excellent Keane again providing the assist.

Canaries left-back Giannoulis went off with what appeared to be an ankle injury following a touchline challenge with Lang. The lengthy delay may have affected Wigan's concentration as Aarons levelled the score within two minutes of the game restarting.

Norwich then felt they should have had a penalty when Aarons was tackled strongly in the area by Tom Naylor, although the defender did make contact with the ball.

Pukki rattled the woodwork from Todd Cantwell's pass before 10 minutes of added time, during which Smith threw on his second South American import, Brazilian Gabriel Sara, to try and force a winner.

Sara produced a brilliant drag-back but Tilt threw himself in the way of his shot and Cantwell blazed the follow-up over the bar.

Norwich boss Dean Smith told BBC Radio Norfolk:

"A step in the right direction performance-wise, but it was a game we should have won.

"We've made two big mistakes in possession in our half, given them two big chances but, by then, we should have been two or three up with the chances we created, so we've got to be better in finishing.

"We wanted to play in the opposition's half and made them drop into a deep block but the quality of the chances have got to be better. The first time we really moved it quickly across the pitch, we got the goal.

"How we haven't had a penalty I don't know. He went over the top of the ball and caught Max in the shin, it's a really poor decision."

Wigan manager Leam Richardson:

"The lads deserve all the credit after a really strong performance. Everyone who came on the pitch put in a really good shift and I would argue that it was a fair result in the end.

"For the first 15 minutes or so it was tough but once we got used to their shape and our distances we grew into the game and I am disappointed we didn't go in front before we got our goal.

"After that we had to work really hard as you expect coming to a place like this. They are a top side, top four no doubt about it, and have some really good players, but we stuck to our task.

"We have come a long way since being in administration and only having three players and we know it will be a big challenge this season. But it's a challenge we are all up for."

Line-ups

Norwich

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Krul
  • 2AaronsSubstituted forGomes Saraat 90+1'minutes
  • 4Omobamidele
  • 6Gibson
  • 30GiannoulisSubstituted forMcCallumat 60'minutes
  • 26NúñezSubstituted forSinaniat 77'minutes
  • 19SørensenSubstituted forHernándezat 60'minutes
  • 23McLean
  • 7RashicaSubstituted forSargentat 77'minutes
  • 22Pukki
  • 14Cantwell

Substitutes

  • 9Hugill
  • 15McCallum
  • 17Gomes Sara
  • 21Sinani
  • 24Sargent
  • 25Hernández
  • 28Gunn

Wigan

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 12AmosBooked at 90mins
  • 27Darikwa
  • 15Kerr
  • 16Tilt
  • 21BennettSubstituted forAasgaardat 90'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 8PowerBooked at 45mins
  • 4Naylor
  • 19LangSubstituted forShinnieat 90+8'minutes
  • 10KeaneSubstituted forNyambeat 90'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 11McClean
  • 28MagennisSubstituted forHumphrysat 70'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Jones
  • 2Nyambe
  • 3Pearce
  • 18Shinnie
  • 30Aasgaard
  • 32Hughes
  • 39Humphrys
Referee:
Matt Donohue
Attendance:
25,595

Match Stats

Home TeamNorwichAway TeamWigan
Possession
Home70%
Away30%
Shots
Home22
Away6
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home9
Away0
Fouls
Home6
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Norwich City 1, Wigan Athletic 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Norwich City 1, Wigan Athletic 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Joshua Sargent (Norwich City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Tim Krul.

  4. Booking

    Ben Amos (Wigan Athletic) is shown the yellow card.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Gabriel Sara (Norwich City).

  6. Post update

    Tom Naylor (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Curtis Tilt.

  8. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Todd Cantwell (Norwich City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Gabriel Sara (Norwich City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Andrew Omobamidele.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Wigan Athletic. Graeme Shinnie replaces Callum Lang.

  11. Post update

    Todd Cantwell (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Thelo Aasgaard (Wigan Athletic).

  13. Booking

    Ryan Nyambe (Wigan Athletic) is shown the yellow card.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by James McClean.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Curtis Tilt.

  16. Booking

    Thelo Aasgaard (Wigan Athletic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  17. Post update

    Sam McCallum (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Thelo Aasgaard (Wigan Athletic).

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Norwich City. Gabriel Sara replaces Max Aarons because of an injury.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Wigan Athletic. Thelo Aasgaard replaces Joe Bennett.

Comments

Join the conversation

These comments are now closed.

144 comments