Slick Latics cruise to victory in first Austrian friendly
GW MICHELDORF 1
Micheldorf SV Stadium, Austria
Plenty of positives for Roberto Martinez to mull over as 'both' his sides won their respective halves impressively against their Austrian hosts.
With ten changes at half-time and another substitution during each half, twenty two outfield players were given the chance to increase their fitness in the Austrian sunshine.
Headline news would be a goal and another cleared off the line from a very fresh Mauro Boselli - (who was only on the field for 21 minutes in the first half) and a first run out in Latics colours for Fraser Fyvie.
Victor Moses also looked very threatening in the second half while others to stand out were Jean Beausejour, whose crossing really is something to behold at times, Shaun Maloney who fizzed about with tremendous energy in the first half and Callum McManaman , who crowned a great second half performance with a late goal. Keeper for the night Lee Nicholls was really only called upon to make one serious save all evening.
Mauro Boselli had already almost scored from one Beausejour cross, when another saw him chest the ball in at the far post having been on the field just over ten minutes. The move was brilliant, started with a beautiful ball from Jordan Mustoe down the left channel. Maloney's control was sublime to set up Beausejour for the pinpoint cross and Boselli finished.
The second goal came after another good move which saw Ben Watson 's effort cleared off the line, only to fall invitingly near the penalty spot for Moses to rifle it home unchallenged.
A lapse of concentration allowed the home side to notch a goal of their own a minute later but normal service was soon resumed as Latics' slick passing continued to forge chances. Albert Crusat saw one goal-bound effort blocked before a miraculous save from a late drive. Another mazy Moses run could have easily led to a goal as Latics' superior fitness opened up the home team at least four times in the final minutes.
Callum Mcmanaman added a bit of realism to the scoreline when he beat two defenders only for the keeper to get a hand to his effort. As the ball trickled over the line a desperate defensive clearance put it back in play and Moses smashed it home again - alas it only counted once!
"A great run out,' said Roberto Martinez, "with a good level of intensity against a side who were really in the mood to give us a game. It was an excellent effort from all the players in difficult conditions.
"Now we can step it up again as we prepare to face our next opponents on Thursday."
Latics Line Up:
First half: Nicholls, Alcaraz, McCarthy, Caldwell, Di Santo (Boselli 24), Maloney, Gomez, Beausejour, Stam, Dicko, Mustoe
Second Half: Nicholls, Jones (Fraser Fyvie), Crusat, Watson, Moses, McManaman, Boyce, Sammon,Lopez, Golobart, Redmond