Kone helps Wigan climb clear

Arouna Kone notched a late winner as Wigan beat Norwich 1-0 to
climb out of the Premier League relegation zone.

Wigan were lacklustre for an hour but the threat on the Norwich
goal grew and grew and, after Antolin Alcaraz had seen a header
cleared off the line, it was Kone who fired home nine minutes from
time from the edge of the box after he was picked out by Jordi
Gomez.

The win sees Roberto Martinez’s side climb above Aston Villa on
goal difference with 30 points, four behind Norwich.

Last season a point at Carrow Road in March provided the impetus
for the Latics to win seven of their last 10 games and engineer a
great escape and Martinez will be hoping for more of the same with
three league wins now out of their last four matches.

The visitors are also not clear of the relegation scrap and they
began well, with striker Kei Kamara looking a threat, but they did
not trouble Joel Robles in the home goal.

The hosts were also struggling to make an impact but they did
put together a fine move in the 27th minute as Shaun Maloney turned
and found Emmerson Boyce who set up Kone for a shot just wide.

Alcaraz had been a doubt for the match, with Martinez keen not
to overplay him after he missed six months of the season with a
groin tear, and the Paraguayan’s calmness in defence has been much
missed.

This was shown when he saved his team after a misunderstanding
allowed Kamara to run free only for Alcaraz to nick the ball quite
brilliantly.

Wigan went down the other end and again it was Kone with the
shot, which was parried away by Camp, although it may have been
going wide anyway.

In the second period, Maloney worked himself into a great
position from a corner but fired a long way over the bar while, at
the other end, Bradley Johnson was much closer with a shot just
past Robles’ post.

Alcaraz then rose highest to meet Jean Beausejour’s corner but
his header was cleared from near the line by Jonny Howson.

The Wigan goal was coming and, after James McCarthy’s shot went
just wide, it arrived in the 81st minute after Wes Hoolahan lost
the ball in midfield.

Gomez did well to pick out Kone, who smashed home from the edge
of the box to seal a massive three points for the Latics.