Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Last-Minute Handball Sends Wigan Athletic Past Newcastle

Illustration for article titled Last-Minute Handball Sends Wigan Athletic Past Newcastle

The Premier League is ridiculous this time of year. In addition to the giants fight for European qualification at the top of the table, you have really, really bad teams fighting to avoid relegation at the bottom.


Today's most exciting matchup was between 13th-place Newcastle and Wigan, who are in 18th place out of 20 Premier League teams. Every year, it seems like Wigan's a sure bet to be relegated to the doldrums of England's lower leagues, but every year, their players and maybe God do just enough to keep them up. Today's miracle victory over Newcastle came by way of a blatant handball off a 90th-minute corner kick that then pinballed between Newcastle and Wigan players before forward Arouna Kone pounced and scored from inside the six-yard box.

Absolutely gross. The goal, like the match itself, was ugly and scrappy and overall a disaster, and it's safe to say there's no love lost between the teams after today. There was a halftime dustup after Newcastle assistant John Carver approached Wigan player Callum McManaman following a disgusting tackle on a Newcastle player midway through the first half.

Basically, the referee took the day off because McManaman escaped without even being carded, and later the referee missed the handball that led to Wigan's winning goal. A second look at this tackle shows McManaman probably deserved to be banned a few matches for the tackle.