Roberto Martinez's side enjoy party atmosphere as Emmerson Boyce produces two brilliant goals to condemn relegated Wolves to yet another defeatWigan 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.
Wigan Athletic brought the curtains down on another successful end to a Premier League campaign with a comfortable 2-1 victory against the side that finished bottom of the table, Wolverhampton Wanderers.
In what was a party atmosphere at the packed out DW Stadium, Wigan was largely in control of the game against a side who looked every inch a bottom of the table team.
The hosts began the match well; forcing a corner within the first 20 seconds after Jean Beausejour had his cross blocked. Wolves then had a chance of their own just minutes later when Wigan’s player of the year Maynor Figueroa caught Stephen Hunt on the edge of the box, only for the resulting free kick to be cleared with ease.
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 Franco 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 Emmerson 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 flurry of goals was met by a period of relative calm, with the Latics settling into their rhythm which allowed them to take the game to their counterparts. Meanwhile, next season’s Wolves manager Stale Solbakken watched on from the stands, presumably realising what a big job he’ll have on his hands.
Despite taking the lead early on, the relegated Wolves side was completely toothless up front. Wigan’s defense 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.
The two sides re-emerged on the field for the second half, and you’d be forgiven for thinking Wolves would want to finish their final 45 minutes of Premier League football in style.
But it was Wigan which was creating all the chances. 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 Santon.
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 defense. It searched for a late equalizer, but Wigan held out for a fully deserved three points that meant they finished the season in 15th place.
This win tops off what has been a truly remarkable last couple of months for Roberto Martinez’s die. With just nine games to go, Wigan was rock bottom of the Premier League and faced matches against Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Newcastle. Incredibly, they survived.
Not only that, but thirteen games ago Wolves were five points clear of the Latics and sat outside the bottom three. Since then, they’ve earned just four points, two of which came after relegation had already been confirmed.
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