Wigan, Stoke share spoils in four-goal thriller

AFP, Saturday 1 Sep 2012

Wigan equalized 2-2 with Stoke City in the 3rd matchday of the English Premier League on Saturday

Wigan Athletic vs. Stoke City

Wigan Athletic and Stoke City played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in the sun at the DW Stadium on Saturday as the visitors twice came from behind to earn a point.

The first half was a tale of two penalties, with Shaun Maloney giving the hosts the lead before Jonathan Walters hauled Stoke level from the spot at the other end.

Franco Di Santo and Peter Crouch then exchanged blows in the second period, with Wigan moving on to four points after three games and Stoke settling for their third draw in as many Premier League games.

Wigan's afternoon got off to a dream start when they were awarded a penalty inside five minutes following a handball by Stoke's German defender Robert Huth, with Maloney sending goalkeeper Asmir Begovic the wrong way from 12 yards.

Stoke saw very litte of the ball in the opening half hour and manager Tony Pulis moved to change things by sending on deadline-day signing Charlie Adam in place of Andy Wilkinson after 35 minutes.

The Scotland midfielder, brought in after a difficult 12 months at Liverpool, had an immediate impact as his curling free-kick caused consternation in the home defence.

And Stoke then won a penalty of their own six minutes before the break after referee Martin Atkinson spotted a handball by Wigan's Honduran defender Maynor Figueroa.

Walters netted despite Ali Al Habsi diving the right way, but Wigan retook the lead four minutes into the second half when Di Santo produced an excellent first-time finish after persistent build-up play by strike partner Arouna Kone.

It was Di Santo's second goal in as many games after he found the net in last Saturday's 2-0 win at Southampton.

But Stoke fought back again, with Crouch heading in a Walters cross to equalise on 76 minutes.

And the visitors might even have won it with five minutes left, when Al Habsi produced a brilliant save, while diving the wrong way, to keep out a deflected Adam free-kick.

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