Everton's last-gasp escape
WIGAN 2 EVERTON 2
Everton manager David Moyes singled out Leighton Baines for special praise after the left-back's nerveless 88th-minute penalty handed the Toffees a share of the points in an entertaining draw.
Moyes's men had been frustrated in their bid to force their way back into the match after first-half goals from Arouna Kone and Franco di Santo sandwiched a Nikica Jelavic effort to give the Latics the lead at the break. But Baines slammed the late spot-kick high past Ali Al Habsi, following Maynor Figueroa's foul on Kevin Mirallas, to give the visitors a point that boss Moyes insisted was the least they deserved.
"Leighton's penalty was fantastic and his performance was up there as good as anything," said Moyes. "We needed it and he drove us on, and we showed great character because we weren't getting a lot of decisions going for us."
Moyes was particularly critical of Kone's early opener, which he claimed was offside, and said Jelavic should also have had a late penalty when he scuffed his shot under a stretching challenge from Figueroa.
"Their first goal was definitely half a yard offside and the linesman was nowhere in line with the ball," he said. "And Jelavic is definitely a penalty, so I think we've had a really rough day -- what we got today, we earned. We thoroughly deserved the point, no doubt about that. They did what I asked in the second half to make sure we got something out of the game."
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez said the manner of Everton's late leveller was "hard to take", but the Spaniard had no complaints with either the penalty decision or the earlier booking of Marouane Fellaini for an apparent elbow on Figueroa.
"These calls are difficult for referees and from where I was it looked like he came across with his arm," he said. "If the referee was not certain then I think a yellow card was the right call because you can't gamble on a red card."
Martinez paid tribute to both sides for an absorbing encounter, but admitted that defensive sloppiness had cost his side the victory.
"We started better in the first half and Everton came back and had a strong second half as you would expect," he said. "But we're the home side and I'd say we should have defended better to get the three points."
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