Kemar Roofe’s winner condemns Latics to first league defeat at the DW Stadium since February in final game of the Whelan era.
- Match Report: Wigan Athletic 1-2 Leeds United.
- Reece James opened the scoring for Latics with precise free-kick.
- Latics bid farewell to the Whelan family after 23 years of ownership.
WIGAN ATHLETIC 1
LEEDS UNITED 2
Attendance: 14,799 (4,856 away)
An emotional day for Wigan Athletic ended in defeat despite Reece James opening the scoring for Latics with his first professional goal inside six minutes after his precise free-kick, only for Pablo Hernandez to equalise three minutes later, ahead of the winning goal from Kemar Roofe one minute into the second half.
A minute's silence was held before kick off to pay respects to those who have served and lost their lives in the name of the country, and to show solidarity with Leicester City after the tragic events at the King Power Stadium.
A minute's applause was also held in appreciation of the 23 years of the Whelan family ownership at Wigan Athletic, as Latics aimed to bid a fitting farewell in their final game in charge.
It was a momentous day for Latics, after five promotions, one FA Cup, one European Tour and seven trophies to name just a few honours, it was the Whelan’s family last game in charge of the club after one incredible adventure.
Latics were forced into four changes coming into the game due to injuries, with Cedric Kipre, Darron Gibson, Kal Naismith and Joe Garner being named in the XI, with the latter both aiming to build on their goals last weekend. Nick Powell and Gary Roberts were absent from the squad through injury.
Second placed Leeds United were put under early pressure by Latics and their reward came in the sixth minute, Garner was fouled outside the area and right-back James stepped up to curl his precise free-kick past Bailey Peacock-Farrell, scoring his first professional goal.
Though, Latics’ lead only lasted three minutes as Pablo Hernandez tapped in for the visitors following Mateusz Klich’s cut-back.
The Polish midfielder was allowed the time in the area to pick out his team-mate after Barry Douglas’ cleverly disguised pass, only for Hernandez to tap home from as little as six-yards out.
The visitors threatened again soon after, Christian Walton’s short clearance presented itself to Klich who found Adam Forshaw in space, though the midfielder’s fierce effort was well tipped-over by the Latics goalkeeper.
It was the visitors who took the lead early in the second-half, Hernandez’ attempted ball wasn’t gathered by Walton and the loose ball was tapped home by The Whites’ top-scorer Kemar Roofe.
The introduction of Callum McManaman saw Josh Windass play as a makeshift striker with the substitute supporting him, as well as Leo Da Silva Lopes, who made his Sky Bet Championship debut, replacing Naismith.
Latics seemed to be revived and almost grabbed the equaliser in the 85th minute, substitutes Lopes found space and his ball found McManaman, with the latter turning and curling his speculative effort just over the bar from the edge of the area.
Latics: Walton, Byrne, Robinson, Gibson (Vaughan 85), Morsy (capt), Windass, James, Naismith (Da Silva Lopes 70), Kipre, Burn, Garner (McManaman 63).
Subs: Jones, MacDonald, Dunkley, Evans.
Leeds United: Peacock-Farrell, Douglas, Dallas, Cooper, Jansson, Phillips, Klich (Shackleton 90), Alioski, Hernandez, Forshaw, Roofe.
Subs: Blackman, Clarke, Harrison, Baker, Saiz, Roberts.