Roberto Martinez's side enjoy party atmosphere as Emmerson Boyce produces two brilliant goals to condemn relegated Wolves to yet another defeat
Wigan Athletic brought the curtains down on another successful end to a Premier League campaign with a 3-2 victory against Terry Connor‘s bottom-of-the-table Wolves.
In a frantic opening 15 minutes, Matt Jarvis put the visitors ahead, only for Franco Di Santo and Emmerson Boyce to quickly put the Latics on the front foot.
Boyce added a stunning third with 10 minutes remaining before Steven Fletcher gave his side hope four minutes from time.
Despite nothing riding on the match, both sides elected to field strong first elevens. Wigan made just the one change from their 1-0 win at Blackburn, bringing in Adrian Lopez who replaced last week’s goalscoring hero Antolin Alcaraz. Wolves, on the other hand, brought in Matt Jarvis for the injured Michael Kightly and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake for Steven Fletcher.
In what was a party atmosphere at the packed out DW Stadium, Wigan were largely in control of the game against a side who looked every inch a bottom of the table team.
It was a relatively uneventful opening five minutes, but it proved to be the calm before the storm.
The away side opened the scoring just nine minutes into the game when Matthew Jarvis found space on the edge of the box, controlling David Edward’s pass before unleashing a delightful curling finish into the top corner.
The timing couldn’t have been any more ironic - as the ball hit the net the Wigan supporters were applauding the eighth minute of the game; celebrating their sides’ eight years in the Premier League.
The Wigan supporters were soon back on their feet though, as just two minutes later the in-form ex-Chelsea striker Di Santo netted his third goal from his last five appearances after driving a well-directed shot into the bottom corner.
The match’s lively start continued as the home side scored the game’s third goal in just five minutes of action. The unlikely scorer was defender Boyce, who rose high to powerfully head home Beausejour’s left wing cross. The Chilean winger was fed the ball after the diminutive Shaun Maloney had forced a corner after a positive forward run.
The hosts were now in a buoyant mood, but missed a golden chance to extent their leader when the dangerous Beausejour latched on to a ball behind Ronald Zubar and squared for the waiting Di Santo, only for Stearman to race back and make a crucial interception.
Despite taking the lead early on, the relegated Wolves side were completely toothless up front. Wigan’s defence looked comfortable whenever the visitors came forward, and you wonder why top scorer Steven Fletcher only made the bench.
The final stages of the first half were in stark contrast to the frenzied tempo of the opening 20 minutes, as Wigan went through the motions; happy to keep the ball and enjoy the lead.
Roberto Martinez’s side picked up where they left off in the second period and Victor Moses really should have notched Wigan’s third, drilling a shot well wide from nine yards out after good interplay between the impressive Beausejour and Maloney. Then substitute goalkeeper Carl Ikeme had to be on hand to produce two smart stops to deny Beausejour and Di Santo.
Albert Crusat then missed a guilt-edged chance to grab a third when he fired into the side netting. But they weren’t made to wait for long, as spectacularly Boyce grabbed his second to extend Wigan’s lead, lashing in an unstoppable volley from Hugo Rodallega’s knock-down.
Wolves then pulled a goal back with five minutes left on the clock when Steven Fletcher tapped into an empty net following a mix-up among the Wigan defence. They searched for a late equaliser, but Wigan held out for a fully deserved three points that meant they finished the season in 15th place.
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