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Season 2016-17
Wigan Athletic (a)

In association 


Wednesday 14th December 2016, 7.45pm Live on Sky Sports

 DW Stadium

Conditions: Industrious

Admission: £25 (£25 in 2012/13)


Wigan Athletic

Newcastle United

0 - 2




26 mins Mo Diame swapped passes with Isaac Hayden on the edge of the box, forcing his way past two defenders and beating veteran Jussi Jaaskelainen with a low effort from seven yards. 1-0

Half time: Latics 0 Magpies 1

78 mins 
Yoan Gouffran pushed on down the left before pulling the ball back. The pass eluded Diame but fell to substitute Christian Atsu, who took a touch before hammering home a rising left footed effort to register his third Newcastle goal. 2-0

Full time: Latics 0 Magpies 2

We Said


Rafa Benitez:

"We have had some games where we couldn't score the second goal and then we had problems.

"In this case, we knew that we needed to finish the game with the second goal because they were pushing, crossing, winning second balls, it was difficult.

"We needed fresh legs to change the game and we did it. The team was working very hard to get three points.

"We tried to play well. The pitch wasn't the best in terms of the possibility to pass the ball on the floor. You could see they needed to control the ball and it was more difficult.

We try to play well and if we can, perfect, because we will have more chances to win more games if we play well. If not, we have to just work hard and try to win.

"We will try obviously to do it (stay top) but Brighton are doing well. Hopefully we can keep winning our games. We don't need to see what they are doing if we continue doing what we have to do.

"(Chris Hughton) is a great manager and they are a very good team doing really well. It's not easy to win in any competition but in the Championship still they are winning - that shows how good he is and how good the team is."

On fielding our first unchanged line-up this season:

"To be fair, I didnít know! They (the coaches) told me before (the game). Normally, I think about the team before the game and thatís it. 

"I donít have any problem to change players or pick the same team - when you play so many games, you have time for every one. The rest of the players have to be ready just in case: they have to be available.

"Itís really good when you win, because you know they (the fans) will go home happy. The support of the fans is massive and amazing - if we can keep it the same until the end of the season, then that is good news." 

They Said

Latics boss Warren Joyce said:

"There were some good opportunities but even more frustrating was that there were opportunities where we didn't even get contact or efforts on target.

"There was no devilment, no real aggression to get a goal.

"Every game, barring the Reading game, we've always been in with a chance of winning it. I don't think any of the top sides have come here, played us off the park, cut through us and given us real problems."



Mo Diame scored his first Championship goal for United, becoming the 13th different Newcastle player to contribute to our current Championship tally of 43.

The Magpies have now won eight of their 11 away games to date in the Championship, losing two and drawing the other. Their away record in the 2009/10 Championship season was 12 wins, seven draws and four defeats.

That lucky blue and orange strip got another successful airing - Wigan now joining Leeds, Preston, Rotherham, QPR, Derby and Bristol as venues we've worn it and won at. The opening Fulham night defeat at Fulham spoils the record, while black and white was sported for the draw at Villa, victory at Barnsley and defeat at Forest. The white one has appeared just once - at Hull in the EFL Cup.

NUFC in the Championship after 21 games:

2009/10 46 points (W14, D4, L3) F35, A12 1st
2016/17 46 points (W15, D1, L5) F43 A16 1st

We've now amassed 46 points from the last 19 games (having lost the first two) - just under 2.5 per game. Carrying on at that rate would give us 107 points by the end of the season. Reading hold the current record with 106, the mackems got 105 and we finished with 102 last time.

Yoan Gouffran was the only United player involved tonight and for our last visit in March 2013.

Mags @ Latics:

2016/17 won 2-0 Diame, Atsu
2012/13 lost 1-2 Santon
2011/12 lost 0-4
2010/11 won 1-0 Sh.Ameobi
2008/09 lost 1-2 Guthrie
2007/08 lost 0-1
2006/07 lost 0-1
2005/06 lost 0-1 (LC)
2005/06 lost 0-1
1953/54 won 3-2 (FA) Broadis, Keeble, White*

(* at Springfield Park; all others at JJB/DW Stadium)



Newcastle reclaimed top spot of the Championship with a clinical display at the DW Stadium thanks to a goal in each half from Momo Diame and Christian Atsu in front of the cameras on Wednesday.

Brighton's victory at Blackburn 24 hours earlier had seen the Seagulls return to the top of the table, but Rafa's side quickly responded for the second time in a week to regain pole position. 

The performance wasn't that sparkling, but winning at one of our least favourite grounds is worthy of praise - as is scoring twice in this part of Lancashire for the first time since 1954.

After his previous trio of strikes came in the EFL Cup, Diame retained his place as part of an unchanged Magpies selection and netted his first league goal for United against his former club.

The usual heavy pitch here didn't help (Wigan making their intentions clear at half time by watering it further) and the home side's approach was evident after when Jaaskelainen admonished a ballboy for doing his job too swiftly - after just four minutes of the first half.

That was a rare moment of class in a game that never really got going; United retaining their cautious approach and passes going sideways as often as forward once they were a goal up. 

An effort from Jonjo Shelvey that Jaaskelainen almost parried into his own net on half time was the only other notable scoring opportunity for Rafa's side and the second half followed a similar pattern.

That meant a Wigan side only kept off the bottom of the table by beleaguered Rotherham stayed in the game and had begun to sense that an equaliser was a possibility.

For all their pressure though (and some dangerous crosses that skidded across the box) Wigan looked like a team en route to a fifth successive home game without scoring - the apparently inflammable Will Grigg a damp squib that failed to alarm anyone....

Karl Darlow's clean sheet only looked in jeopardy when Andy Kellett shot from a dangerous position on 68 minutes. The goalkeeper was equal to that one and ten minutes later was leaping for joy as Christian Atsu struck to finally allay any fears of a sucker punch of the Aston Villa variety.

While other teams have flirted with the upper echelons of the table before falling away (notably Norwich), Chris Hughton's Seagulls remain the chief threat - unbeaten in 15 outings and with just a pair of defeats all season.

Just as tellingly though, tonight's win also extended the gap over third-placed Reading to nine points - and a goal difference of +27 compared to the +0 of the Royals worth another point in reality.

Nice though it would be to win the league it's essentially meaningless - and the momentum we've regained may yet diminish again in the coming weeks. The Shelvey situation remains unresolved, with his like for like replacement not readily identifiable and Jack Colback's absence lengthening.

Add in the fact that both scorers tonight will be in Gabon next month rather than Gallowgate (a tournament that won't affect Brighton's squad, Cameroonian Bong in dispute with his country) and one or two new faces may well be heading our way as soon as the calendar changes. Safety first.


Page last updated 16 December, 2017