Wigan Athletic 2-0 Blackburn Rovers: Latics' late double sees off Blackburn in Lancashire derby
Wigan Athletic v Blackburn Rovers - Sky Bet Championship
WIGAN, ENGLAND - JUNE 27: Wigan Athletic's Michael Jacobs celebrates scoring his sides 2nd goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Wigan Athletic and Blackburn Rovers at DW Stadium on June 27, 2020 in Wigan, England. (Photo by Dave Howarth - CameraSport via Getty Images)

A late double courtesy of former Wolverhampton Wanderer's duo Lee Evans and Michael Jacobs was enough for Wigan Athletic to see off Blackburn Rovers in a tightly fought Lancashire derby. 

Wigan manager Paul Cook will take confidence from his team's compact performance at the DW Stadium as they creep further away from the relegation zone in the Championship

As for Blackburn, despite playing an attractive brand of football at times, their lack of conviction in the final third left a lot to be desired, as an outsider for the play-offs, the defeat will mean they cannot afford many further slip-ups in the remaining seven games.

  • Story of the Match

Wigan, who have not lost in the Championship in their past eight games, looked to pick up where they left off with a flurry of early chances after defeating Huddersfield Town 2-0 last Saturday. Wales international striker Kiefer Moore unleashed a fierce effort that flew just past the Blackburn goal before spurning a brilliant opportunity from a corner a minute later. 

Blackburn began to settle into the game, a lot of the attacking play for both sides was starting with the full backs, Nathan Byrne and Antonee Robinson  were a constant threat down the flanks for the Latics whilst Ryan Nyambe was frequent feature on the right side of the by-line. 

Although Blackburn were seeing a lot more of the ball, apart from a few deft touches from Lewis Holtby, Wigan were effective in frustrating Blackburn.

In the opening period, the host's main criticism was the concession of too many cheap free kicks in dangerous positions where on a different day Joe Rothwell and Stewart Downing's fine efforts could have easily found the back of the net. 

As the second half commenced, Blackburn hung up a number of dangerous crosses to the back post where the vertical mismatch between Sam Gallagher and Robinson threatened to lead to an opener, fortunately for the latter, Gallagher's headers were frequently wayward. 

Going into the final quarter, marked by the second-half drinks break, Wigan rediscovered their attacking edge as the Blackburn substitutions except for Adam Armstrong appeared to hamper their ball retention in the middle of the park. 

Efforts from Adam Pilkington and substitute Jacobs were not too far off, however it was a cross from Robinson that caused a collision between Blackburn goalkeeper Christian Walton and defender Tosin Adarabioyo which left Evans with an open net which he could not miss. 

Blackburn almost replied instantaneously through Dominic Samuel but Wigan goalkeeper David Marshall tipped his header over the bar.

The Latics saw out the last few minutes with the confidence they have accumulated from their unbeaten run and the icing on the cake was delivered in stoppage time as Jacob's danced around Downing before firing past Walton from inside area to seal the victory. 

  • Takeaway's from the match

Sam Gallagher doesn't offer enough aerially to stay wide

Rover's manager Tony Mowbray has made plenty of good calls during his tenure, one that has come under fire has been his deployment of ex-Southampton striker Gallagher as wide target man. 

Former Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri used to select Mario Mandžukić in this role as he would be able to comfortably defeat the full back in every aerial dual and bring more players into play, the issue with Gallagher was that he would neither isolate Robinson regularly nor hold up the ball effectively to create space around him.

As Blackburn opted to vary their attacks, Gallagher's speed or lack of it thereof meant that Blackburn's only attacks in open play came from Armstrong or Nyambe down the flanks. 

If Mowbray decides to persist with Gallagher, he may consider deploying him into a more central position that would suit his physical and technical attributes. 

Man of the Match

Sam Morsy - in a game where few players really stood out, Morsy was effective in recycling Wigan's attacks and breaking up Blackburn's passing play.

 

 

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