Ipswich Town have begun the 2020/21 season with a 2-0 victory over Wigan Athletic in the final match of the opening weekend of the EFL League One Goals from Teddy Bishop and Gwion Edwards either side of halftime gave the Tractor Boys all three points.
Wigan were playing their first game under new manager John Sheridan, who was appointed two days ago amid the ongoing financial crisis that saw them deducted 12 points at the end of last season and placed into administration.
Story of the game
Emeka Obi had the first chance of the match inside of seven minutes as he met an inswinging corner, but he scuffed his header wide of the post. Four minutes later, Ipswich were in front with a well-worked sequence.
Stephen Ward caught the Wigan defense napping as he sent in a ball for Freddie Sears who clipped in a cross that was only half-cleared, Bishop doing well to finish his header on the run, giving the hosts a 1-0 lead.
Obi again had a chance for the Latics, getting on the end of Dan Gardner's cross on the right, but he put his header wide after being in acres of space.
Ipswich nearly doubled their lead after Wigan failed to clear a corner as Bishop crossed for Aaron Drinan, who could only glance his header over. The two were involved in the next move with Drinan setting up Bishop, but he swept his shot against the post.
Wigan were nearly level when Gary Roberts played a ball in from the left that Aristotle Nsiala cleared only as far as Joe Garner. With his back to goal, he sent in an acrobatic effort that clanked off of the crossbar.
Five minutes from halftime, the Tractor Boys play a well-worked sequence as Alan Dozzell played in Alan Judge whose clever back heel found Sears and his angled shot was kept out by Jamie Jones at the near post.
Two minutes after halftime, Sears and Ward linked up again down the left as the latter delivered a neat ball to Judge, whose near post header just clambered over.
The chances kept coming for the hosts and they should have been two in front on 57 minutes. After clearing a corner, Ward, Bishop and Dozzell all combined to set up James Wilson, who somehow dragged his shot wide from a prime position.
Wilson was the architect of the next Ipswich chance as he headed Roberts' free kick away that Alex Perry chested down and his volley was a whisker away from doubling the hosts' lead.
Finally, ten minutes from time, Ipswich did grab a second as Jon Nolan played in Judge down the left and he picked out James Norwood with a cross, who spun in a crowded area and the ball fell for Edwards, who converted from close range.
The Tractor Boys nearly had a third as Norwood showed excellent control to hold up the ball and find Edwards, who cut inside, beat his defender and whistled one that stung the fingers of Jones. It wouldn't be needed as Ipswich claimed all three points in routine fashion.
Man of the Match: Freddie Sears
Although he didn't score, he was involved in a number of outstanding sequences that saw him link up with several of his teammates, produce outstanding service and provide a real threat especially down the left-hand side, where Ipswich were their strongest.
Ipswich will hope to replicate today's performance, especially in attack
While Paul Lambert will need to fix the defensive issues shown on set pieces, he'll be incredibly pleased with the attacking nature of his side. The Tractor Boys were lively, energetic, a danger in the Wigan half and they kept up the pressure once they took the lead. Teams will have deal with how strong Ipswich were down the left as the season unfolds.
Wigan are in deep, deep trouble
The Latics' struggles have been well-documented and Sheridan needs time to get familiar with the squad as well as implement his ideas, but with the club forced to sell off a number of key players due to the ongoing financial mess they are in, victories may be hard to come by this season.