Blackburn Rovers 3 Wigan Athletic 0

Sam Morsy
Sam Morsy

Wigan Athletic sunk deeper into the relegation mire with a 3-0 spanking at hopelessly out-of-form neighbours Blackburn - who could and should have won by even more.


While the 3-2 defeat at Reading on Saturday at least contained a few positives, this one contained only negatives - great big massive ones - that will pile the pressure on boss Paul Cook and his players with only nine games to go.

Rovers held a one-goal advantage after a first half almost entirely devoid of excitement or quality, with Danny Graham converting a penalty after Reece James had fouled Harrison Reed.

Nick Powell hit the outside of the post in the opening skirmishes of the second half, from substitute Callum McManaman's first touch.

But that was as good as it got for Latics, who fell further behind nine minutes after the restart with Graham scoring his second goal in route one fashion.

And Wigan's night was summed up four minutes from time, when a total mix-up between Jonas Olsson and Jamie Jones resulted in both men watching on in horror as Bradley Dack - remember him - slotted home the easiest goal of his career.

It could have been even worse, with relegation rivals Reading and Bolton both losing elsewhere.

But with Millwall and Rotherham both in action on Wednesday night, Latics' position could look even worse before it gets any better.

Despite coming into the game on the back of their own horror run, Blackburn - without a win or a clean sheet since January - started the brighter and Dack looked like he had an early shooting chance.

Thankfully for Latics, Jones was off his line in a flash to make a great block.

Great battling from Sam Morsy saw him win the ball and release Michael Jacobs, who sent the ball straight on to Joe Garner in a decent position.

Unfortunately the flag went up just as Garner attempted his shot.

Blackburn were forced into a significant change after just 27 minutes when left wing-back Amari'i Bell limped off.

Without a defender on the bench, Rovers sent on midfielder Craig Conway, which would have given Latics something of a boost.

But as half-time approached, Rovers won a penalty when James was adjudged to have fouled Reed in the box.

James had no idea what was behind him as he tried to hook away a loose ball, and succeeded only in felling his opponent for a pretty clear spot-kick.

Graham placed the ball and sent it past Jones for the opening goal on 39 minutes - bringing to an end a 325-minute wait for a Rovers goal at home.

Latics had half a shout for their own penalty seconds later, Gavin Massey going to ground, but referee Christopher Kavanagh waved play on.

Olsson and Chey Dunkley were suitably unimpressed that they were cautioned for their feedback.

Latics made a change at the break, with McManaman replacing Massey, who had been playing quite well.

The new man was quickly into the game, however, sending a lovely cross that was headed against the outside of the post by Powell.

But before Latics could engineer another opportunity to get back on level terms, the task facing them had doubled in difficulty.

It was route one all the way, but Dunkley couldn't deal with a long ball and Graham was again in the right place at the right time to find the net.

Lee Evans fired wide for Latics before Josh Windass was introduced for Jacobs with half an hour still to go.

Garner volleyed wide from another McManaman cross, before Rovers wasted the chance to go three up when Derrick Williams pulled his effort badly wide from 18 yards.

The ball did find its way into the Blackburn net but the whistle already gone against Lee Evans for a clear push.

But from then on it was almost total domination from Rovers, who and should have won by even more.

Dack fired badly over and then headed weakly at Jones, who then fumbled another effort from the Blackburn striker, but recovered just before it was slotted hoe by one of two onrushing attackers.

Wigan's final change was Leon Clarke for Powell, who'd just been on the receiving end of a crunching - but fair - challenge from Williams.

And salt was rubbed into the wounds with four minutes remaining when Rovers added a third goal in comedy fashion.

There appeared little danger as Olsson tried to shield the ball back to Jones.

But as his goalkeeper decided to come off his line, Olssdson elected to play it back to him, resulting in the simplest of tap-ins for a disbelieving Dack.