Wigan Athletic travelled the short distance to the Reebok yesterday to take on neighbours Bolton Wanderers for the second time in a month, this time it was in the 4th round of FA Cup but the result was the same.
A goalless draw that was anything but a drab affair with chances at both ends and arguably the Latics going the closest to settling the tie on the day.
Roberto Martinez decided to make eight changes to the starting line-up from Tuesdays defeat to Aston Villa, Hugo Rodallega, Charles N`Zogbia, Steve Gohouri, Ronnie Stam didn`t even feature on the subs bench whilst Ali Al-Habsi wasn`t allowed to play by the Wanderers.
Latics could have been a goal down after 30 seconds when a mix up between Figueroa and Lopez let in Elmander who hit his shot wide of the target when it looked certain he would give the home side a perfect start.
Latics though got their composure together and started to impose themselves on the game, Gomez was playing well and his passing was a joy to watch, he put Moses in twice, first the young Latics man hit a shot just wide, on the second occasion, he was put through by a sublime Gomez pass , Moses skipped passed two Bolton defenders and hit the ball across the six yard box, Callum McManaman met it on the half volley but Bolton left back Paul Robinson made a superb goal line clearance.
Latics were bossing the game and Bolton were playing on the break but neither side could break the deadlock, Petrov came closest for Bolton, he fired wide from 12 yards.
The second half was much the same but the Latics players visibly tired. Moses and McArthur were replaced on 72 minutes with McCarthy and Di Santo coming on as Bolton were starting to try and take control of the game.
It was the Latics though who had the best chances of the final stages, Ben Watson hit a superb low free-kick round the Bolton wall that Jaaskelainen just managed to push passed the post at full stretch. McManaman forced another full stretch save from the Bolton keeper when he cut in from the left and hit a rasping drive that Jaaskelainen pushed out for a corner.
Right at the death Jordi Gomez almost snatched it with a great drive but it wasn`t to be.
A very good performance with Lopez showing lots of potential, McManaman letting us know he has arrived and Victor Moses showing he is just full match fitness away from being back to his best.
A thrilling nil, nil that was anything but a bore
Jaaskelainen; Ricketts, Wheater, Knight, Robinson; Petrov (Blake, 62), M. Davies, Muamba (Holden, 75), Taylor (Rodrigo, 62); K. Davies, Elmander
Subs: Bogdan, Cahill, Klasnic, Alonso
Pollitt; Boyce, G. Caldwell, Lopez, Figueroa; Diame, McArthur (McCarthy, 74); Gomez, Watson, Moses (Di Santo, 74), McManaman
Subs: Kirkland, S. Caldwell, De Ridder, Golobart, Thomas