Latics win in style at the Banks's Stadium to keep Sky Bet League One promotion push on track.
- Match Report: Walsall 0 – 3 Wigan Athletic
- Goals from Michael Jacobs, Jay Fulton and Chey Dunkley earn Latics three points at the Banks’s Stadium
- Latics now two points behind leaders Blackburn Rovers in Sky Bet League One, with two games in hand
WIGAN ATHLETIC 3
Attendance: 4,477 (556 away)
An incisive first-half display from Latics secured back-to-back Sky Bet League One away wins as Walsall were hammered 3-0 at the Banks’s Stadium.
Goals from Michael Jacobs, Jay Fulton and Chey Dunkley earned Latics all three points and extended our league unbeaten run to five games.
Paul Cook made four changes from Sunday’s Emirates FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Southampton, with Fulton replacing Samy Morsy – who is on international duty – and Nick Powell, James Vaughan and Ryan Colclough replacing Gary Roberts, Will Grigg and Gavin Massey respectively.
Latics started brightly, winning an early corner which Max Power delivered well to the near post to Dunkley, who couldn’t quite get his effort on target after beating his man at the near post.
Cook’s side continued to pose problems from set-pieces as another Power delivery on ten minutes fell to Colclough at the back post, with his return ball finding Powell, who headed just over on his 100th Latics appearance.
Walsall’s first true attack came on the break through Erhun Oztumer, who drove forwards on the counter and fired towards goal, only to be denied by Dunkley who blocked well on the edge before Walton claimed.
From then on it was utter domination from Latics, who were incisive and brutally clinical in the final third.
First Jacobs grabbed his half century of career goals with a fine finish at the back post, albeit the winger will no doubt credit his 10th goal of the season to Powell, who played a sublime ball across the area to find him.
Four minutes later, Fulton’s first Latics goal put Cook’s side in control, the Swansea loanee firing home with a superb drive after the Saddlers failed to clear a set-piece delivery.
Latics then further emphasised their dominance five minutes before the break as Dunkley smashed a loose ball home in the area following another Power corner.
Walsall came out of the blocks quickest in the second-half and Kieron Morris was twice denied by saves from Christian Walton.
Jacobs then had a chance to double his tally for the night after a brilliant cross-field ball from Colclough, but the former Wolves and Derby County man couldn’t apply the finish on his left foot.
Another brave Walton save, this time from Amadou Bakayoko, preserved Latics’ clean sheet before Colclough forced a save from Liam Roberts after breaking from the left.
Walsall: L. Roberts; Leahy, Dobson (Cuvelier 69), Guthrie, Devlin, Oztumer, Morris, Bakayoko, Fitzwater, Kouhyar, Chambers (Capt)
Subs: Gillespie, Shaibu, Flanagan, K.Roberts, Hayles-Docherty, Candlin
Wigan Athletic: Walton; Byrne, Dunkley, Burn (Capt), Elder; Power, Fulton (Roberts 81); Colclough, Powell, Jacobs (Cole 89); Vaughan (Grigg 70)
Subs: Jones, Perkins, Bruce, Massey.