Wigan Athletic 3 Blackburn Rovers 0
Report of match 13th December 2008
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Match report of this afternoon's home win in the clash against Blackburn RoversSteve Bruce's Wigan Athletic added to the pressure on Paul Ince as Rovers crashed to their sixth straight defeat. They never recovered after conceding two early goals at the JJB Stadium.
It means Rovers have now gone 11 games since their last win - in September - and it is looking ominous for former England star Ince after just five months in charge at Ewood Park.
It must have been a bitter-sweet afternoon for Latics chairman Dave Whelan, but the future's looking rosy for Bruce's side who now take a break until the Christmas fixtures against Newcastle and Bolton with a healthy 22 points already in the bank.
Wigan had Paul Scharner back for the injured Emmerson Boyce while Michael Brown returned in midfield for the banned Wilson Palacios.
For Rovers, there was a welcome return after a three-month absence for midfielder David Dunn, recovered from an Achilles injury.
But it was the Latics who made the dream start smashing in two goals in as many minutes and Antonio Valencia figured in both.
He shot past Stephen Warnock before slotting a great ball into the path of Emile Heskey who back-heeled the ball through the tightest of gaps between keeper and post to register his third goal of the season.
Rovers were still rocking from that blow when Wigan struck again. A clearance from Paul Robinson was headed back by Mario Melchiot and Valencia was on it in a flash, cutting inside and beating the keeper with a terrific finish, hammering a right-foot shot into the far corner.
It took Rovers 25 minutes to get a shot on target but Matt Derbyshire's effort failed to bother Chris Kirkland.
Dangerman Valencia was unlucky not to hit the target with another blockbuster after Rovers struggled to clear from a throw-in.
The woodwork then came to Rovers' rescue when Lee Cattermole raced into the box to reach Amr Zaki's ball and head over Robinson but it hit the bar and rebounded to safety.
Dunn's arrival off the bench lifted Blackburn but Howard Webb was not impressed by claims for a penalty when the midfielder went down in the Wigan area.
A great save from Kirkland prevented an own goal from a Brett Emerton free-kick and he also kept out a shot from Dunn.
But Wigan made sure of the three points when Cattermole slotted in the third - his first for the club - from a deflected Valencia cross which Taylor left to his midfield partner to provide the finish.
|Competition: Barclays Premier League Date: Saturday, 13th December 2008 Kick off: 15:00 Venue: Robin Park|
|3 - 0||Blackburn R.
|25||Mario Melchiot (Kilbane 79)|
|16||Antonio Valencia (De Ridder 87)|
|9||Emile Heskey (Camara 83)|
|8||Kevin Kilbane (Melchiot 79)|
|18||Daniel De Ridder (Valencia 87)|
|27||Henri Camara (Heskey 83)|
|12||Morten Gamst Pedersen (Dunn 46)|
|5||Kerimoglu Tugay (Roberts 61)|
|17||Keith Andrews (Treacy 78)|
|9||Roque Santa Cruz|
|24||Keith Treacy (Andrews 78)|
|8||David Dunn (Pedersen 46)|
|30||Jason Roberts (Tugay 61)|
|Wigan Ath. cards shown|
|64 mins||Michael Brown||Unsporting behaviour|
|Blackburn R. cards shown|
|81 mins||Ryan Nelsen||Unsporting behaviour|