Date: 2nd August 2008 at 9:05pm
Written by: baskerville

Amr Zaki`s late strike showed why Steve Bruce had exercised such patience in securing his season long loan.

Bruce made several changes from the Barnsley game replacing the injured Scharner with Nash, Brown and Kapo replacing Pollitt, Palacios and Kilbane.

Latics started brightly with Kapo and De Ridder giving Latics width and stretching the Wednesday defence however Wednesday looked sharp on the break and seemed to find too much room in centre midfield and Bramble had to be particularly alert to prevent Sodje from shooting.

Heskey seemed to benefit from his summer rest and broke through on goal but as he was about to pull the trigger a good tackle from Spurr cleared the danger.

Figueroa looked comfortable once again at left back and a weaving run was blocked by him being bundled over , the referee ignoring claims for what appeared to be a justifiable penalty.

Latics took the lead a few minutes later, a De Ridder corner from the left found the head of Heskey who scored with a bullet header.

The lead was short lived however, the impressive Johnson weaved his way through the centre of midfield, beat two defenders and slotted the ball past the advancing Nash.

Nash looked particularly vulnerable especially under high balls

De Ridder once again was impressive and a free kick was heading for the top corner when it was palmed away for a corner by Grant in the Wednesday goal.

Latics second goal had a groundhog day feel about it. Another left side corner from De Ridder was bulleted headed into the goal , this time by Bramble.

Half time came without further incident and the Latics fans wondered if the second half would herald the debut of Zaki.

They were to be disappointed as the second half started with no changes for the away side. Early in the second half Figueroa bundled over Tudgay and Burton coolly slotted the resulting penalty past the stationary Nash.

The equaliser sparked a flurry of activity on the Latics bench and the fans were rewarded a few minutes later with the debut of Zaki for the industrious King along with Valencia and Palacios for De Ridder and Brown respectively.

Zaki looked sharp form his first touch and after only a couple of minutes broke down the left and fired over a superb cross that no one got on the end of. Heskey appeared to suffer an eye injury and was replaced by Camara. Zaki had a powerful shot which appeared goal bound until it was blocked almost on the line by Camara.

Camara then got in the way of another Zaki chance who lay on the floor wondering if it wasn`t going to be his day. Camara then had his own chances one into the side netting and another narrowly wide of the far post.

The wined couldn`t have been scripted better in Hollywood. In the last minute Camara put Zaki in and he coolly slotted the ball past the keeper sparking wild celebrations from the 700 travelling Wigan fans.

The final whistle brought a wave from Amr and wild adulation from the Wigan fans who it seems have a new hero.

Player Ratings

Nash?.5/10
Not a Premier League performance, looked shaky under high balls.

Melchiot?8/10
Another professional performance from Captain Fantastic

Figueroa?7.5/10
This guy is improving game by game. Another great signing.

Bramble?8.5/10
Cool, calm and collected.

Boyce?8/10
Pay him what he wants and get the contract extension signed.

De Ridder?8/10
Fast, skilful and great at set pieces

Brown?6/10
Industrious but didn`t gel well with Cattermole.

Cattermole?6/10
See Brown, limped off late on.

Kapo?7/10

Looked good in the first half, tired after the break

Heskey?8/10
Summer break seems to have refreshed him, looks fit and sharp. Seemed to pick up an eye injury.

King…6/10
Tried hard but not good enough

Valencia?8/10
A class act

Palacios?8/10
Centre midfield will be Wilson plus someone else
Trying really hard to convince Bruce he is worth an extended stay

Manager Rating
Steve Bruce 10/10. For unearthing Zaki, for persuading him to sign and for being patient waiting for his protracted transfer to be completed.