Wigan 2 Newcastle 1
- Mark Halsey
Davide Santon scored his first Newcastle goal but the Magpies conceded in the final minute to go down 2-1 away at Wigan
By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
At the DW Stadium
Wigan Athletic 2 (Beausejour 18, Kone 90)
Newcastle United 1 (Santon 71)
Davide Santon scored his first Newcastle United goal but the Magpies conceded in the final minute to go down 2-1 away at Wigan Athletic on Sunday.
The Italian full-back struck midway through the second half, latching on to a Papiss Cisse pass to cancel out Jean Beausejour's close-range opener which had given the Latics an early advantage.
It looked as though that would be enough to earn the visitors another crucial Barclays Premier League point, but with seconds remaining, Arouna Kone stabbed home from a couple of yards to win it.
United had an opening 45 minutes to forget as, along with conceding, their terrible luck with injuries this season continued.
Manager Alan Pardew was forced to make two substitutions inside the opening half-an-hour, first losing Mathieu Debuchy to what looked like a hamstring complaint, before his replacement Massadio Haidara was stretchered off following a horror challenge from Wigan winger Callum McManaman.
The Magpies showed great fighting spirit to fight back to level terms but were hit by Kone's sucker punch right at the end.
Wigan created the first chance of the afternoon on seven minutes through midfielder Jordi Gomez.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa was pulled up for a foul on Arouna Kone 25 yards out, and Gomez curled a left-footed free-kick over the wall but also narrowly over the bar as well.
But United hit back almost immediately and Steven Taylor should have become the Magpies' first defender to score in Premier League action this term.
The centre-back rose unmarked to meet Sylvain Marveaux's right-wing corner, but could only head straight at Latics stopper Joel Robles, who gathered at the second attempt.
Newcastle were dealt a blow with just 13 minutes on the clock when right-back Debuchy limped off with what looked like a hamstring injury. The French international was replaced by fellow countryman Massadio Haidara, who went into the left-sided berth, with Davide Santon switching flanks.
And five minutes later they were behind. Some neat passing saw the ball worked out to the right touchline, where McManaman tricked his way past Haidara before delivering a cross to the far post.
In trying to cut out the delivery, Santon didn't deal with the danger and Beausejour was on hand to sidefoot home through the legs of goalkeeper Rob Elliot.
And the visitors' afternoon went from bad to worse as Haidara was stretchered off just 14 minutes after his introduction. The young French defender was on the receiving end of a high, late challenge from McMananman - for which a free-kick was not even awarded - and that spelt the end of his afternoon.
Newcastle were struggling to get a grip on the contest and Elliot came to their rescue in the 35th minute when he dived full-length to his left to turn away a curling effort from Maloney which threatened to sneak in the bottom corner.
With half-time approaching the hosts could have been two up. Beausejour slipped the ball into the path of James McCarthy, who had spotted a central gap in United's backline.
The midfielder raced through and into the area but, just as he pulled the trigger, was thwarted by a superb, last-ditch sliding challenge from Gutierrez, which diverted the ball behind for a corner.
And the Magpies almost made them pay. Deep into six minutes of first half stoppage time, Wigan couldn't clear a cross from Tiote and as Perch headed it back up in the air, Cisse prodded wildly over from six yards.
Newcastle started the second half as they finished the first - on the front foot - as Moussa Sissoko curled narrowly off target, and Cisse volleyed a Marveaux chipped pass over the top.
The chances came sandwiched either side of a McManaman effort, which Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa did brilliantly to block after the youngster was found in plenty of space in the middle of the area and had time to pick his spot.
Marveaux nodded a bouncing ball on to Cisse, who hooked into the path of Santon, and the Italian international took the ball in his stride before drilling a low strike beyond the grasp of Robles and into the far corner.
United were in the ascendency and Santon almost turned provider, putting a low cross right through the heart of the penalty area which was crying out for a touch.
At the other end, Elliot was comfortably equal to a Maloney free-kick from 25 yards, but the visitors were soon streaming forward again and Cisse prodded into the side netting from Ameobi's centre.
It looked as though the sides would be sharing the spoils, but Wigan snatched all three points as the clock ticked into injury-time. A right-wing corner was kept alive by Paul Scharner, and Kone stabbed in from a almost on the goalline.
Wigan (3-4-3): Joel Robles; Paul Scharner, Antolin Alcaraz, Maynor Figueroa; Emmerson Boyce (c), Jordi Gomez, James McCarthy, Jean Beausejour (Franco Di Santo 79); Callum McManaman (James McArthur 58), Arouna Kone, Shaun Maloney
Subs not used: Ali Al Habsi, Ronnie Stam, Roman Golobart, Gary Caldwell, Angelo Henriquez
Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Rob Elliot; Mathieu Debuchy (Massadio Haidara 13 (James Perch 27)), Steven Taylor, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Davide Santon; Cheick Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez (c); Sylvain Marveaux, Moussa Sissoko, Yoan Gouffran (Shola Ameobi 67); Papiss Cisse
Referee: Mark Halsey (Greater Manchester)
Bookings: Wigan - Scharner (45); Newcastle - Perch (50), Gutierrez (67)