‘Latics win thouroughly deserved’
WIGAN, England – Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson conceded that Wigan thoroughly deserved their 1-0 victory over the Red Devils at the DW Stadium on Wednesday.
Shaun Maloney’s second half strike gave the Latics their first ever win over United and ensured United’s lead at the top of the Premier League was cut to five points.
It was also a night packed with controversy, with replays showing Wigan should not have been awarded the corner that led to the goal while United also saw their second half penalty claims for handball turned down.
Wigan themselves were left aggrieved when Victor Moses’ first half header was disallowed for an apparent push by Gary Caldwell on goalkeeper David De Gea.
Ferguson was unhappy with the performance of the officials but was quick to praise Roberto Martinezand his battling Latics side.
“It was a disappointing night for us, in the first half we were totally dominated by Wigan,” Ferguson told Sky Sports.
“It was of those awful nights that you sometimes get in football and it’s unavoidable sometimes.
“I think Phil Dowd had a disappointing game tonight but doesn’t take away from the fact Wigan were the better team and deserved to win.
“They play terrific football, are underrated, in a false position and really deserved the win tonight.
“The kind of football they play considering their position is a credit to their manager.
“Some of the football they play is outstanding, so we weren’t under any illusions, but the thing is we just didn’t cope with it.”
Ferguson was also philosophical about the title race, with this defeat combined with Manchester City’swin over West Brom cutting United’s lead at the top.
“We wish it was better but considering where we were a few months ago I think we have to accept that fact that both teams will drop points some point down the line,” added the 70-year-old.
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez thinks his side’s 1-0 win over Manchester United on Wednesday was a ‘historic’ moment for the football club.
Shaun Maloney’s curler five minutes into the second half gave the Latics their first ever win over United and ensured they climbed out of the bottom three.
Athletic are once again building momentum going into the final stages of the season and this victory is the latest in a impressive string of results that gives them real hope of staying in the Premier League.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the game Martinez was full of praise for his players’ efforts.
“I think we had to work very, very hard and it is fair to say from a football point of view we stopped Man United playing, we had to defend really well,” said the Spaniard.
“When you see the statistics saying one shot on target and three corners it tells you how hard we had to work.
“The most pleasing aspect was how well we were able to keep the ball and create chances.
“The players deserve a huge amount of credit. It shows how hard we’ve been working and what standards they have set and I hope they get the credit they deserve.”
Martinez was left furious midway through the first half when Victor Moses saw his header disallowed for an apparent push on David De Gea by Steven Caldwell, a decision coming just days after Wigan were on the wrong side of some controversial officiating against Chelsea.
However, Martinez did not want to discuss the incident after the game, choosing instead to focus on the result.
“It was blow at that time, but I said I didn’t want to speak about refereeing decisions, I think today is a historic day for us,” he added.
“To get the win in the manner we did and the way the fans pushed us over the line in the last few minutes, It was an historic moment.
“There a were controversial calls, some for some against, but overall I think it’s fair to say we deserved to win, we played really, really well.
“We are out of the bottom three which is a great physiological boost but we have another five crucial games in front of us and there will be many twists and turns until the end.”
Maritnez was also quick to dispel rumours that had spread before the game, suggesting he was ready to quit the club at the end of the season.
“I’m surprised why that story has come out, you have to ask where it has come from,” he said.
“In the summer we have agreed with the chairman a new long-term contract and that’s the situation so it’s not true at all.
“Whatever comes from the outside will get us stronger, the fans, chairman, directors and players have a real focus and that’s the future of Wigan Athletic.”