Latics went to Goodison Park looking to get some points on the board only to lose out to a strong Everton side, but once again the main talking point of the game is a refereeing decision, Lee Mason’s refusal to award a penalty following a challenge on Shaun Maloney has been described in some quarters as criminal
The most noteworthy incidents of the opening 15 minutes was the blatant attempts by Everton players to test James McCarthy’s weak ankle, how neither Victor Anichebe nor Darron Gibson weren’t at least booked for challenges on McCarthy is incomprehensible.
The first half flittered away as neither side looked capable of breaking the deadlock, the game came alive moments into the second half when Everton midfield man Thomas Hitzlsperger hit a screamer of a shot from 35 yards that crashed onto the bar with Al Habsi well beaten.
On 52 minutes Everton took the lead, Osman was given time to hit a shot from just outside the box, the ball took a wicked deflection off Gary Caldwell’s arm and left Al Habsi totally wrong footed, 0-1
This goal gave Latics a wakeup call and they started to press. Shaun Maloney ran into the area, skipped passed his man, only to be brought crashing to the floor. Referee Lee Mason with a perfect view of the incident gave the home side a goal kick much to the astonishment of all inside of Goodison Park. Both Maloney and Beausejour were booked for protesting against the decision, though why Maloney wasn’t booked for a dive if Mason didn’t believe it was a penalty is beyond me.
Everton doubled their lead on 77 minutes when a Phil Neville cross, following a short corner, was met by Jagielka who thundered his header past Al Habsi, 0-2
Latics gave themselves some hope when Arouna Kone poked home on 82 minutes, but they just couldn’t get the equaliser, final score 1-2
Everton – Howard, Baines, Gibson (Naismith 46), Jagielka, Jelavic, Distin, Hitzlsperger (Heitinga 70), Neville, Osman, Pienaar, Anichebe (Oviedo 70).
Unused subs – Mucha, Gueye, Barkley, Vellios
Latics – Al Habsi, Kone, McCarthy, Caldwell, Jones (Di Santo 72), Maloney, McArthur, Boyce, Beausejour, Stam (Gomez 79), Figueroa.
Unused subs – Pollitt, McManaman, Boselli, Ramis, Golobart.