Luck deserts Latics

Roberto Martinez
Roberto Martinez

ROBERTO Martinez was once again left to bemoan the breaks going against his Wigan Athletic side as their wretched recent run continued.

Latics crashed 4-1 at Stamford Bridge to remain in the bottom three, but the scoreline only tells half of the story. After Shaun Maloney’s goal on the hour mark had reduced the arrears to 2-1, Latics were asking serious questions of the European champions.

And they were claiming a penalty when Ronnie Stam’s goalbound shot clearly struck the arm of England defender Ashley Cole inside the box.

Referee Mike Dean, however, waved play on, and the Blues wrapped up the points with two further goals in the closing stages.

Martinez reckons officials should be given further guidance for such incidents. “The referees need a bit of clarity,” Martinez said. “I tell my defenders not to put themselves in a position where it could be a penalty.

“The defender should have had his arm ‘attached’ to his body. Clearly the arm wasn’t. But it’s down to the interpretation of the referee. It’s a difficult call. It came at a pivotal point in the game – a penalty and the chance of an equaliser would have changed the dynamics of the game.

“Sometimes you get those decisions going your way, other times you don’t, and perhaps this was one of those games when luck wasn’t on our side.”

Latics now have a fortnight’s break before their next Premier League clash at Reading, with the FA Cup fifth-round tie at either Leicester or Huddersfield occupying their mind in the meantime.

Martinez reported no fresh injury worries from the weekend, with Gary Caldwell showing no after-effects to his hip injury and Arouna Kone making a second-half substitute appearance on his return from the African Nations Cup.