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Aarons salvages point for Norwich against Wigan

Published on: 06 August 2022

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.

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'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, and the lengthy delay may have affected Wigan's concentration as Aarons levelled the score.

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

    Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text

Line-upsNorwich

Formation 4-3-3

1Krul2Aarons4Omobamidele6Gibson30Giannoulis26Núñez19Sørensen23McLean7Rashica22Pukki14Cantwell

    1Krul2AaronsSubstituted forGomes Saraat 90+1'minutes4Omobamidele6Gibson30GiannoulisSubstituted forMcCallumat 60'minutes26NúñezSubstituted forSinaniat 77'minutes19SørensenSubstituted forHernándezat 60'minutes23McLean7RashicaSubstituted forSargentat 77'minutes22Pukki14Cantwell

Substitutes

    9Hugill15McCallum17Gomes Sara21Sinani24Sargent25Hernández28Gunn

Wigan

Formation 4-2-3-1

12Amos27Darikwa15Kerr16Tilt21Bennett8Power4Naylor19Lang10Keane11McClean28Magennis

    12AmosBooked at 90mins27Darikwa15Kerr16Tilt21BennettSubstituted forAasgaardat 90'minutesBooked at 90mins8PowerBooked at 45mins4Naylor19LangSubstituted forShinnieat 90+8'minutes10KeaneSubstituted forNyambeat 90'minutesBooked at 90mins11McClean28MagennisSubstituted forHumphrysat 70'minutes

Substitutes

    1Jones2Nyambe3Pearce18Shinnie30Aasgaard32Hughes39Humphrys

Referee:Matt DonohueMatch StatsHome TeamNorwichAway TeamWiganPossessionHome70%Away30%ShotsHome22Away6Shots on TargetHome4Away3CornersHome9Away0FoulsHome6Away13Live TextPost update

Match ends, Norwich City 1, Wigan Athletic 1.

90'+12'Full Time

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

90'+11'Post update

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

90'+11'Booking

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

90'+10'Post update

Foul by Gabriel Sara (Norwich City).

90'+10'Post update

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

90'+8'Post update

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

90'+8'Post update

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Curtis Tilt.

90'+8'Post update

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

90'+8'Substitution

Substitution, Wigan Athletic. Graeme Shinnie replaces Callum Lang.

90'+7'Post update

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

90'+7'Post update

Foul by Thelo Aasgaard (Wigan Athletic).

90'+7'Booking

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

90'+4'Post update

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by James McClean.

90'+3'Post update

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Curtis Tilt.

90'+2'Booking

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

90'+2'Post update

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

90'+2'Post update

Foul by Thelo Aasgaard (Wigan Athletic).

90'+1'Substitution

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

90'Substitution

Substitution, Wigan Athletic. Thelo Aasgaard replaces Joe Bennett.

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Source: bbc.com

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