Wigan Athletic 0 Birmingham City 3

Wigan Athletic saw their wretched recent run extend to only one win in 10 matches after a convincing home defeat at the hands of Birmingham City.

Saturday, 22nd December 2018, 4:14 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th January 2019, 4:58 pm
Josh Windass

Despite making a relatively positive start, Latics fell behind just before the midway point in the first half when Che Adams took a return pass from Lukas Jutkiewicz before slotting beyond Christian Walton.

The visitors doubled their lead on the stroke of time when skipper Michael Morrison found himself in acres of space at the far post to finish off a corner that had been flicked on at the near post.

And Latics were put out of their misery just after the hour mark when Jutkiewicz headed goalwards and Jacques Maghoma bundled it home from close range.

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The home side may have enjoyed the lion’s share of the possession, and got themselves into good areas, especially in the opening quarter.

But they mustered only one effort on goal in the entire 90 minutes, and have scored only one goal - a Will Grigg penalty at Bolton - in their last four matches.

Birmingham themselves only registered three shots on target, but the fact they converted all three underlined the gulf in cutting edge.

Had Latics shown similar qualities during an impressive opening spell, things might have been so different.

A lively start saw the home side asking plenty of questions down the left-hand side.

Gary Roberts and Kal Naismith were getting great joy, and a couple of crosses almost made their way through to Josh Windass and James Vaughan.

But the hosts were rocked when Birmingham took the lead with virtually their first attack.

Adams did well to ride a challenge and fed Jutkiewicz, picking up the return pass and slotting past Walton for the opener.

Latics were screaming for penalty shortly after when Cedric Kipre appeared to be tripped inside the area, only for referee Ross Joyce to wave play on.

And salt was rubbed into Wigan wounds when Birmingham doubled their lead seconds before the interval.

Latics had already dodged a bullet when a total mix-up between Reece James and Dan Burn almost let in Adams, only for Sam Morsy to come across and concede a corner.

But the warning wasn’t heeded and, from the set-piece, Morrison escaped the clutches of Burn and stabbed home unmarked at the far post.

The referee’s half-time whistle was accompanied by booing from a section of the home support, which certainly wouldn’t have done much to lift the Latics players as they trudged off.

Cook’s men were forced into a reshuffle just two minutes after the restart when Vaughan - who’d required lengthy treatment in the first half - limped off, to be replaced by Grigg.

But the visitors were gaining more and more of a stranglehold on the game, as Latics looked devoid of much in the way of attacking ideas.

Crosses into the box looked to be Wigan’s best source of joy and, from one, Burn thought he had a tap-in only for Morrison to produce a superb clearance.

There was nothing the visiting defence could do moments later when Windass wriggled free in the box.

But he somehow headed well wide from James’ free-kick - to the disbelief of most inside the stadium.

And any chance Latics had of grabbing a lifeline disappeared on the hour mark when Jutkiewicz headed goalwards for Maghoma to help it past Burn and Walton for 3-0.

There wasn’t even a consolation to be had for Latics, with Kipre heading against the bar late on from a James free-kick, with more booing greeting the final whistle from those who had stayed until the end.