Goals from Gary Roberts, James Vaughan and Callum McManaman seal superb Latics win in North West derby at the DW Stadium.
- Report: Wigan Athletic 3 – 1 Blackburn Rovers
- Goals from Gary Roberts, James Vaughan and Callum McManaman seal fine victory for Paul Cook’s side
- Latics up to 15th in the Sky Bet Championship ahead of Saturday’s trip to Bolton Wanderers
WIGAN ATHLETIC 3
Vaughan (pen) 54
BLACKBURN ROVERS 1
Burn (OG) 82
Attendance: 10,777 (2,148 away)
Latics produced a dominant display to defeat North-West rivals Blackburn Rovers 3-1 in the Sky Bet Championship on Wednesday night.
Gary Roberts gave Latics a first-half lead with a fine long-range strike before a James Vaughan penalty and Callum McManaman finish – either side of an unfortunate Dan Burn own goal – earned Paul Cook’s side all three points.
Vaughan and Lee Evans returned to the starting XI for Latics, in place of Darron Gibson and Josh Windass, albeit the latter was into the action early, replacing Nick Powell who went off injured.
After a tense start to the game, Latics asserted control after the half hour and thought they may have gone ahead but for some rotten luck as Vaughan saw an effort cleared off the line, Burn hit the crossbar and Cedric Kipre headed wide – all in the same move.
It took just a further four minutes for Latics to get in front, though, as Roberts collected the ball 30 yards from goal, drove forwards and beat David Raya with a fine curling effort, which clattered in off the inside of the post.
Substitute Windass almost got a second as he forced Raya into a smart save just before half-time after being played in behind by Nathan Byrne.
Cook’s side started the second-half in a similarly bright fashion as Windass broke down the right and played in Vaughan, who connected cleanly with his first-time effort but Raya was on hand to save.
Adam Armstrong was denied a leveller by Christian Walton in the penalty area before Latics’ second came at a crucial time. It was a long ball by Walton which freed Windass in behind and he was brought down by Rodwell as he looked to pull the trigger in the area. Vaughan confidently stepped up and fired home the goal
Burn headed wide from a Kal Naismith cross as Latics searched for a third with both Evans and Vaughan also firing off target when well-placed.
Latics were in for a nervy finish when Burn unfortunately diverted the ball into his own net eight minutes from time after a Blackburn set-piece but a fine team third sealed the points soon after.
It came from a brilliant piece of skill and composure from Windass, who crossed for McManaman to finish at the back post.
Latics: Walton, Byrne, Morsy (Capt), Vaughan (McManaman 78), James, Roberts (Connolly 78), Naismith, Kipre, Powell (Windass 21), Burn, Evans
Subs: Jones, Gibson, Grigg, Garner
Blackburn Rovers: Raya, Nyambe (Conway 78), Reed, Rodwell, Smallwood (Brereton 61), Armstrong, Graham (Williams 45), Mulgrew (Capt), Bell, Dack, Evans
Subs: Leutwiler, Rothwell, Downing, Palmer