Roberto Martinez admits mixed feelings as Shaun Maloney snatches last-grasp draw against ten-man QPR

By Aimee Howarth

Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez admitted he was relieved yet frustrated to see his side snatch a late equaliser against ten-man Premier League relegation rivals Queens Park Rangers.

The Latics failed to capitalise after Bobby Zamora was dismissed for a high tackle within 20 minutes before Loic Remy’s strike with five minutes left looked to have sealed the host’s victory.

But Shaun Maloney curled in an injury-time free-kick to snatch a valuable point and keep his side six points ahead of QPR in the league’s bottom three, leaving Martinez both thankful but rueful.

“It is mixed feelings – relief but frustration as well because that was an incredible chance for us to win away from home but we couldn’t get it,” he told BBC Sport.

“We couldn’t take advantage of the man advantage and that is frustrating. We are a better side than that – we were cagey.

“We didn’t use our advantage well enough. We allowed QPR to be very effective with their defending.”

Remy almost gave the home side the lead after nine minutes when his first-time shot from the edge of the box from Andros Townsend’s cross cannoned back off the post.

After Zamora saw red for a high tackle on Jordi Gomez, Remy looked to have sealed an unlikely win as he broke away following a Wigan free kick and fired home across Joel Robles. 

But after Mbia fouled Maloney on the edge of the area in stoppage time, the midfielder stepped up and curled his free-kick through the wall to share the spoils. 

The result sees Wigan move level on points with Sunderland in 17th with a game in hand but they stay in the relegation zone on goal difference as they fight for survival.

And with seven games remaining to secure their top flight status, Martinez was encouraged by his side’s fighting spirit to rescue a point after falling a goal behind late on.

“From a free-kick we got outside the box we concede a wonder goal and it would have been all too easy to accept defeat,” he admitted.

“It is disappointing to concede a goal in open play in the manner the game was going.

“But the free-kick from Shaun Maloney is as good as you will see and gave us an incredible result.”

Image courtesy of BBC Sport, via YouTube, with thanks

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