Leeds United 1 Wigan Athletic 2

Wigan Athletic produced one of the most incredible battling displays in recent memory to recover from going a goal down - and being reduced 10 men - to win at promotion-chasing Leeds and take a huge step towards safety.

Friday, 19th April 2019, 5:37 pm
Updated Friday, 19th April 2019, 6:44 pm
Wigan Athletic took a huge step towards safety with victory over Leeds United

It looked like a long afternoon was in store when Cedric Kipre was red-carded on 14 minutes after being adjudged to have handled a shot on the line.

But Pablo Hernandez hit the woodwork with the spot-kick to allow Latics to dodge a bullet.

Patrikc Bamford did put Leeds ahead three minutes later, and it looked like the floodgates may well have been opened.

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But Latics dug deep and equalised through Gavin Massey a minutes before the break.

Amazing, Massey put Latics 2-1 up on 62 minutes from close range.

And Reece James even hit the woodwork in the final quarter as the visitors more than held their own against an expectant Leeds outfit.

With Rotherham losing at Swansea, Latics now have a five-point advantage over the drop-zone, with only three games to play.

And with two of those three matches at the DW Stadium, Latics will fancy their chances of finishing the job - and consolidating in the second tier.

Latics had been forced into a big change prior to kick-off, with Danny Fox missing out and Kipre coming in.

But the visitors started with plenty of optimism, with Antonee Robinson's cross being headed just wide by Leon Clarke.

All that positivity was pretty much extinguished with only 14 minutes on the clock, however, as Kipre's afternoon was curtailed in controversial fashion.

The big defender was adjudged to have handled a Leeds shot right on the line, although he was adamant it hit only his chest.

And salt was rubbed into the wounds by the brandishing of a red card to go with the penalty award.

Latics will feel justice was done from the spot-kick, with Hernandez's effort hitting Christian Walton's left-hand post and coming back out.

If Latics were energised by the let-off, they were quickly pulled back down to earth within three minutes when Leeds did take the lead.

The ball was played in to Bamford through the right channel, and the striker's finish across Walton was hard and low and flew straight in.

Walton then did well to parry out an effort by Kalvin Phillips, with Kal Naismith throwing himself into the way of a goalbound rocket by Tyler Roberts.

And Wigan's backs-to-the-wall bravery was rewarded a minute before the break when they found the equaliser.

Naismith and Lee Evans did well in the build-up, and Massey was on hand to find the back of the net with a cool finish.

A double change for Leeds suggested all was not well in the home camp, but they almost regained the lead through Kemar Roofe and Mateusz Klich in the opening exchanges of the second period.

Credit Latics, though, they weren't content to sit back and hold on for the draw.

And they shocked the vast majority of those inside Elland Road by taking the lead on 62 minutes.

Nathan Byrne's cross was nodded back by Clarke, and Massey was in the right place at the right time to steer home.

That was Clarke's last involvement, with Jonas Olsson taking over to provide an extra body at centre-back.

Walton saved well from Hernandez shot, but Latics immediately came within inches of going 3-1 in front.

A superb free-kick from James curled over the wall, only to flick the bar on the way over.

Straight up the other end, Bamford shot forced a brilliant save Walton, with the ball hacked clear by Robinson.

Massey gave way to Nick Powell, but the visitors still pushed forwards and appeared to be denied a blatant penalty when James led a two-on-one break.

After ignoring the supporting Powell, James had his feet taken away by former Latic Adam Forshaw, only for the official to wave play on.

Leeds were becoming increasingly desperate by this point, but one fine effort by Hernandez shot needed a great save from Walton to keep Latics ahead.

Joe Garner replaced James as the game entered five added minutes, but Latics managed to dig in and hold to pick up the most precious - and unexpected - three points of the season.