REPORT: WIGAN ATHLETIC 4 BIRMINGHAM 0Latics built on their strong performance in last week’s win over Blackpool and secured back to back victories, with an impressively dominant performance over Birmingham City at the DW Stadium.
An excellent first half sealed the points for Latics, with Andrew Taylor’s first goal for the club sandwiched between two outstanding goals from Callum McManaman, before Martyn Waghorn added a fourth in the second half.
Latics were unchanged coming into the game, with manager Uwe Rosler opting to stick with the same side that defeated Blackpool a week earlier.
There was a buzz around the ground before the match, as French striker Andy Delort was introduced to the crowd to a good reception ahead of his proposed signing from Tours FC.
The hosts, buoyed by their win last week, started brightly, and could have taken the lead within the first 40 seconds of the game, when Andrew Taylor’s cross was volleyed narrowly into the side netting by Don Cowie.
The bright start was a sign of things to come, and Latics were soon in-front from an excellent solo goal from Callum McManaman in the ninth minute. The forward latched onto a header from Oriol Riera and beat two defenders, before turning stylishly in the box and finishing into the bottom corner.
The goal put Wigan in charge of the game, and the hosts controlled the possession particularly well in the middle of the park, with James McArthur catching the eye with some excellent passing.
Latics were almost gifted a second on the half hour mark, when Oriol Riera latched on to a short back pass from Grant Hall, but goalkeeper Darren Randolph was able to scramble the ball away and save his blushes.
The hosts soon doubled their advantage however, with a cracking drive from Andrew Taylor. The left back met McArthur’s through ball on the left hand side and cannoned the ball onto the post and into the opposite corner from the edge of the area.
Wigan wrapped up the points before half time with another fabulous individual effort from the outstanding McManaman. The forward was given the ball by Emyr Huws and broke into the box on the left hand side, before turning away from defender David Edgar and curing the ball eloquently into the bottom corner.
Latics came out for the second half with an identical attitude to the first and controlled the play from the beginning.
The visitors showed more intent however and created their first serious chance of the game in the 57th minute, when Clayton Donaldson headed straight at Scott Carson from a corner.
Birmingham’s chances were few and far between however, and Wigan pressed to extend their advantage, with Callum McManaman causing continuous problems for the opposition defenders with his breathtaking skill.
The fourth goal soon arrived through substitute Martyn Waghorn, who latched onto fellow substitute Shaun Maloney’s cross from the left and stabbed the ball home from close range to complete the scoring.
Birmingham attempted to grab a consolation, and were denied late on by an excellent double save from goalkeeper Scott Carson. The keeper alertly palmed away Paul Caddis’ long range effort, before denying Donaldson from close range.
Latics were soon back in control however and were able to seal a clean sheet in a dominant performance.