Latics got their first win of the new season against Blackpool at the DW Stadium, a 35th minute goal from Oriol Riera, his first in the Championship since his summer move from Osasuna, was enough to secure the points.
Latics started the game very bright and were causing Blackpool problems with some neat play, the front two of Riera and McManaman looked dangerous, Cowie was playing further forward than usual and both wingbacks, Perch and Taylor were getting up and down the flanks.
Emmerson Boyce had a great chance to put the Latics a goal up, Huws’ right sided corner was met by the Latics skipper at the near post but he put his side footed effort over the bar from eight yards out.
Another early chance fell to McManaman, Boyce launched the ball high up the pitch, Riera won the header against his marker and spun after the ball, he then hit a peach of a first time cross right into the path of an in rushing McManaman six yards out, unfortunately the Latics number 15 connected with his weaker left foot and put the ball wide of an open goal.
Next up a great run by McManaman down the Latics left, he crossed from the bye-line but his ball was slightly too high for the incoming Don Cowie who headed over from close range.
The goal came on 35 minutes, James Perch crossed into the box from teh right, Riera flicked the ball backwards to Andrew Taylor on the left, the Latics defender then played the ball along the floor back to Riera who hit a sweet left footed effort into the far corner, 1-0.
McManaman had another great chance shortly after the goal, Perch again getting free down the right, he hit a low cross into the six yard box but a fantastic challenge from Blackpool defender Daniels cleared the ball virtually off the line.
A great first half full of chances from the Latics, just lacking slightly in front of goal otherwise Rösler’s men would have been out of sight.
The second half the Latics continued to create, with Rob Kiernan possibly having the best opportunity to score, substitute James Tavernier hit a delightful free kick into the box which Kiernan met free at the far post just six yards out, the young defender put too much onto his header and the ball flew over the bar.
Tavernier’s set piece delivery in his 15 minute cameo at the end of the game was a joy to watch, his quality is up there with that of ex-Latics deadball specialist Ryan Taylor, a lot more to come from Tavernier this season and he will be a great offensive weapon.
Latics inability to convert their numerous chances almost came back to bite them on the bum, all game Ramis had been superb in marshalling the defence and nullifying any threat that the visitors posed, then with just a matter of minutes remaining in the game Blackpool sub Nile Ranger found himself unmarked at the far post with the goal at his mercy, he somehow contrived to hit the ball over the bar and the points stayed with the Latics.
A much better performance all round and some real positives to be taken from the game.
Latics – Carson, Taylor, Ramis, Riera (Fortune 70), Huws (Tavernier 78), McManaman (Waghorn 70), McArthur, Boyce (Capt), Cowie, Perch, Kiernan
Unused subs – Al Habsi, Barnett, Espinoza, Caldwell
Blackpool – Lewis, Daniels, J.Oriol, Perkins,Clarke, Zoko (Cywka 90+2), Delfouneso, Zenjov (Ranger 66), Lundstram, Rentmeister (Miller 46), McMahon (Capt)
Unused subs – Parish, MacKenzie, Dielna, E.Oriol