REPORT: LATICS 2 SWANSEA 3
After going ahead twice through a late first half volley from Roger Espinoza and a fine low finish from James McCarthy, Wigan Athletic slipped to defeat at the hands of Swansea City with Dwight Tiendalli providing the visitors' winner, with Angel Rangel and Itay Shechter both on target to equalise earlier on.
Roberto Martinez made three changes ahead of the game as opening goal scorer Espinoza was rewarded with his first start due to the injury to Jean Beausejour against West Bromwich Albion at the weekend, with club captain Gary Caldwell and James McArthur also in the starting XI for Ronnie Stam and Jordi Gomez.
In the early stages it was Callum McManaman causing all of the problems as he terrorised Ben Davies down Swansea's left side with quick feet and a quick mind but the 22-year-old couldn't quite find the perfect cross.
Nine minutes in and Arouna Kone provided Latics' first warning shot with a palm stinging effort from outside the area which Michel Vorm held onto.
Seconds later the Swansea goalkeeper had himself in a tangle when he was closed down by Shaun Maloney inside his own six yard box, however the fleet-footed Scotsman couldn't turn quick enough to turn it in as Vorm made amends and jumped on the ball.
Early Latics' pressure was almost undone when a pass back from Caldwell to keeper Joel Robles was picked up by the Spaniard, leaving Swansea with an indirect free kick eight yards from goal.
In a central position Ashley Williams' plan to hit it high was the correct one however, his aim was a little off as his shot from the lay off was blasted high into the stand.
Latics got themselves back on top after the scare and once again Ivorian hot-shot Kone was foiled by Vorm who parried another one of the forward's shots away.
McManaman continued his hard graft down the right hand side, knocking the ball between Davies' legs on one occasion but again the final ball was just missing.
The fourth official indicated one minute off added time and it took 52 seconds of that for Latics to power their way into a 1-0 lead.
A ball into the danger zone provided tricky for the visitors to deal with and a half clearance fell to the hungry Espinoza who didn't think twice before striking the ball.
His body shape was perfect and with a powerful left foot he volleyed first time into the only gap available between Swansea defenders on the goal line as it whipped into the bottom right corner of the net.
Swansea came out for the second half with much more front about them and after just five minutes Angel Rangel had drawn the Welsh side level when he beat the offside trap on the right hand side to get in behind defenders and volley home Wayne Routledge's pass over the top.
Conceding only fired Latics up and three minutes after being pulled level, McCarthy had put Latics back ahead.
Caldwell took things into his own hands to assist, as he ran out of defence down the middle and slipped the Irish international midfielder into the area where he struck first time on the fall to send the ball fizzing past Vorm.
McArthur came agonizingly close to making it three one just moments later when he turned Kone's cross from the left just beyond the back post under pressure.
Swansea levelled again just before the hour as Itay Shechter's deflected effort from the edge of the area on the turn deflected off Caldwell's leg and bobbled centremetres past Joel Robles' fingertips and nestled in for 2-2.
On 68 minutes a header from captain Caldwell looked surely to have restored Latics' lead but a cat-like save from Vorm on the line tipped away the powerful effort.
With 14 minutes to go, chaos ensued inside the penalty area and Swansea got themselves ahead for the first time in the match when a cross from the left wasn't headed clear by neither McArthur or Maloney at the back post, with Dwight Tiendalli's less than convincing effort bounced into the ground and over the legs over Caldwell who tired to clear on the line.
As Latics searched and searched for a third goal their momentum was extinguished when a clash of heads between Davies and his own keeper Vorm.
The Dutch stopper had to be stretchered off after a long period of treatment and was replaced by Gerhard Tremmel.
With that in mind, Latics were given nine minutes of added time to try and claw something back out of the game.
Latics last real chance of the game fell to Kone who worked space on the edge of the box but could only fire his shot just wide.
Robles tried to help out in the fight for an equaliser when 98th minute free kick was launched high into the area but, nobody could get on the end of his volleyed cross from the back post.
After nine minutes of added time referee Kevin Friend blew for full time at 2-3.