Report | Swansea City 2 Wigan Athletic 2

5th November 2022
First team
Joel Piroe Wigan

Goals from Ryan Manning and Joel Piroe helped Swansea City come from 2-0 down to earn a point against Wigan Athletic in their final home match before the World Cup.

The Swans had made the worst possible start when they found themselves two goals down inside 15 minutes, with Will Keane and Tom Naylor both heading in from James McClean corners.

Despite having the majority of possession, the Swans were finding it hard to break down the well-organised Latics side, who were happy to sit deep and seek to protest their lead.

It took a sublime finish from Manning just before the break to get the Swans back into the game while they levelled with just over 10 minutes of the match remaining after Jason Kerr brought down substitute Kyle Naughton in the box. Piroe coolly converted his fifth goal of the season from the spot to earn the Swans a point.

The Swans had been without Matt Grimes for a league game for the first time under Russell Martin. The skipper was serving a one-match ban for picking up a fifth yellow card at Preston in midweek.

Grimes’ absence was one of four changes, while Joel Latibeaudiere was handed the captain's armband for the first time.

Following an impeccably-observed minute's silence ahead of Remembrance Day, the Swans found themselves behind in the eighth minute.

Charlie Wyke’s effort on the counterattack was tipped around the post by Steven Benda and the Latics leading goal scorer Keane headed in from James McClean’s resulting corner delivery.

The goal gave the visitors a boost in confidence and they doubled their lead just seven minutes later. The Swans once again failed to deal with McClean’s in-swinging corner delivery, but this time Naylor was the one to head the ball into the net at the near post.

The Swans hit back with a few half chances before the half-hour mark. Piroe tried to pick out Michael Obafemi with a smart header back across the six-yard box, but the Swans number nine wasn’t able to reach it.

Armstrong Oko-Flex - on his first start - then delivered two good balls into the box: the first was cleared by the head of Naylor, while the second was just over Cabango at the back post, before Piroe’s effort from 25 yards was misjudged by Latics ‘keeper Jamie Jones but ended up wide of the target.

With more than half-an-hour played, Ollie Cooper – who had been switched to the right - began to have a real say in proceedings.

His delivery into the box clearly struck the arm of McClean as he slid in to block the cross, but referee Craig Pawson determined it not to be a penalty and instead awarded a corner. Jones was beaten to the corner delivery by Cabango at the far post, but the ball wouldn’t quite fall for Nathan Wood who was alone in the centre of the box.

It was Cooper who then pinched the ball back off Curtis Tilt high up the pitch to put the Swans back on the front foot. Piroe was alert to the loose ball and worked it to Manning who tried to slide in Luke Cundle. Excellent defending by Max Power snuffed out the chance for the Wolverhampton Wanderers loanee.

A beautifully taken goal from Manning halved the deficit just before half-time. Oko-Flex had the ball nicked off his toes as he looked to dance his way into the Wigan box, but Manning picked up the loose ball and lifted an effort just inside the far post.

Ryan Manning cele Wigan

Piroe forced Jones into his best save of the afternoon just 22 seconds after the restart. The Dutchman’s first-time effort - after a smart lay-off by Obafemi - saw the Latics shot-stopper pull off a fingertip save at full stretch.

But that was the Swans only shot in the opening exchanges of the second half as they battled to break down the visitors. Manning did manage to pick out Cooper unmarked at the back post during this period, but the academy product opted to lay the ball back to Piroe and it was cut out by the Wigan defence.

The hour mark brought wholesale changes for the Swans with Matty Sorinola, Kyle Naughton and Olivier Ntcham introduced in place of Obafemi, Cabango and Cundle.

As the Swans continued to press the visitors grasped every opportunity to take their time with restarts – and Keane was ultimately booked for this with just over 20 minutes of the game to be played.

Jamie Paterson’s half-cross-half-shot had Jones scrambling, but the keeper ultimately made the stop while a hammered effort from Ntcham was closed down well by Keane. Cooper came closest in open play when Naughton fired the ball across the face of goal but the young midfielder couldn’t touch it past the keeper.

But Kerr’s late challenge on Naughton in the box handed the Swans a chance to draw things level from the spot.

Piroe was made to wait a long time as Kerr injured himself in the challenge and needed treatment. Substitute Josh Magennis was then booked for this part in delaying things even further, but the striker showed excellent composure to fire in.

The Swans had a couple of chances to create more late drama in SA1 in the seven minutes of injury time.

Sorinola played a really good right-footed cross which was cleverly left by Cooper for Piroe at the back post, but the Dutchman couldn't quite get on the end of it while Paterson's effort on target was blocked and Wood also saw a chance blocked, but they had to settle for a point in the end to make it five unbeaten at home.

Swansea City: Steven Benda; Joel Latibeadiere (captain), Nathan Wood, Ben Cabango (Kyle Naughton 63); Armstrong Oko-Flex (Jamie Paterson 45), Jay Fulton, Luke Cundle (Matty Sorinola 63), Ryan Manning; Ollie Cooper, Joel Piroe; Michael Obafemi (Olivier Ntcham 62).

Unused Substitutes: Andy Fisher, Harry Darling, Fin Stevens.

Wigan Athletic: Jamie Jones, Jason Kerr (Joe Bennett 85), Jack Whatmough, Curtis Tilt; Tendayi Darikwa (captain), Max Power, Tom Naylor (Graeme Shinnie 85), James McClean (Thelo Aasgaard 60); Nathan Broadhead (Callum Lang 60), Charlie Wyke (Josh Magennis 73), Will Keane.

Unused Substitutes: Jordan Cousins, Sam Tickle.

Referee: Craig Pawson

Attendance: 16,644