Sensational Latics smash in four goals to keep up 100% start
- Wigan Athletic beat Bury 4-1 in Sky Bet League One.
- Latics maintain 100% record to make it three from three in 2017-18.
- Michael Jacobs with his first of the season after 13 minutes.
- Lee Evans with superb long range first goal for the club in injury time.
- Nick Powell with two goals in the second half.
- Fit-again Reece James makes first league appearance for 20 months.
- Former Latics man Alex Bruce with equaliser in first half.
Powell, 52, 64 (pen)
L Evans, 90+2
A double from Nick Powell, one from Michael Jacobs and a superb long-range strike from Lee Evans on his home debut in injury time maintained Latics’ 100% start to the season in great style in a thoroughly deserved win over North-West rivals Bury.
Former Latics man Alex Bruce equalised shortly after Jacobs’ early opener, and for a time they threatened to add to their tally, but Paul Cook’s men soon regained control, Powell’s brace after the break put them in the driving seat and Evans’ late goal was simply sensational.
This was a great team performance and will give Latics real confidence after victory in their opening fixture at MK Dons last weekend and again in the Carabao Cup against Blackpool in midweek made it.
Cook brought in Reece James at left back in place of the suspended Callum Elder – his first league game since January 2016 following an injury nightmare for the former Manchester United man.
The sides went in level at the break but it was an entertaining half where both teams had clear chances.
Powell was the first to have an attempt, firing wide after two minutes after the referee played advantage following a shirt-pull on the edge of the box.
A delicious move after nine moves involving Powell and Michael Jacobs saw James tease in a cross which Joe Murphy smothered well at the near post and it was Powell and Jacobs who combined for the opener after 13 minutes.
Ivan Toney flicked a ball on to Powell on the left, his perfect pass set up the chance for Jacobs who slotted past Murphy from eight yards.
The visitors were level two minutes later, following a Zeli Ismail corner, Bruce diving in a crowded box to head home.
Bury threatened again shortly afterwards, twice through Harry Bunn, then Tom Aldred wasn’t able to control Chris Maguire’s corner from close range.
Dangerous moments, but Latics soon found their rhythm again, James rampaging down the left after 23 minutes, his deep cross found Powell at the far post but he just wasn’t able to control the header, which was a foot over.
James was involved again on 31 minutes, receiving the ball from Toney in the box, he checked onto his right foot to shoot, but wasn’t able to curl it in at the far post. Jacobs then forced a desperate clearance from Aldred in the box to give away a corner, which Jacobs took. Powell reached it at the far post but Murphy smothered it low.
Still Latics pressed, Aldred having to clear a dangerous low cross from Gavin Massey right in front of Murphy after 40 minutes. Three minutes later and Murphy had to come to Bury’s rescue again, this time at the feet of Chey Dunkley, bravely parrying a shot from point blank range after Lee Evans’ corner wasn’t cleared.
Latics had a chance within a minute of the second half, Massey stretching at the far post to reach a teasing free-kick from the wide left area by Evans, after Aldred was booked for bringing down Powell.
Massey again went close on 50 minutes, inches away from connecting with Toney’s powerful cross from the right side.
Latics did double their advantage three minutes later, Powell rising to meet Evans’ curling cross from the right and powering in a header from six yards.
Evans’ set pieces were causing Bury real problems and after Jacobs forced a corner on 57 minutes, Murphy had to ip away the Welshman’s corner as Powell was ready to strike again.
Latics continued to dominate and in the 63rd minute, when Aldred wrestled Toney to the ground in the box, the referee had no choice but to award the spot kick, despatched straight down the middle by Powell for his second of the afternoon.
Cook made a double substitution in the 74th minute, replacing Powell, on a yellow card, and Massey with Ryan Colclough and Alex Gilbey, who immediately tested Murphy from long-range.
Will Grigg replaced Toney in the 84th minute as Cook made his final change of the afternoon and he almost added a 4th goal in the 87th minute, finding space to shoot from an angle at the far post. Gilbey then forced Murphy into a great save a minute later, tipping his shot around the post from distance.
Latics left the best till last, Evans scoring his first goal the club two minutes into injury time with a sensational long-range shot which nestled into the top corner. Brilliant stuff and the DW Stadium greeted the goal, and the final whistle, with a huge roar.
Latics: Walton, N. Byrne, Dunkley, Morgan, James, Morsy, L. Evans, Massey (Gilbey 74), Jacobs, Powell (Colclough 74), Toney (Grigg 84).
Subs not used: Evans, Thomas, Perkins, Hunt.
Bury: Murphy, Jones, Thompson, Aldred, Leigh, Bruce (Humphrey 74), Reilly, Maguire (Tsun Dai 74), Bunn, Ismail (Ajose 66) Beckford.
Subs not used: Fasan, Whitmore, Styles, Lowe.