Wigan’s inexorable rise up the Championship table under Uwe Rosler continued with a 2-1 victory at promotion rivals Brighton. The result moves Latics to within one point of the top six with a game in hand over sixth place Reading.
Rosler’s impact since taking over has been very impressive. They have now won five of their last six games and have only lost two in the last seventeen in all competitions.
Two quality finishes by James McArthur and Chris McCann sealed the points despite Leonardo Ulloa’s reply for the Seagulls.
Brighton created numerous chances throughout the game but it was the Latics who were the more clinical in front of goal.
Brighton were on top in the early stages and David Rodriguez should have hit the target and Ali Al Habsi did well to block a goalbound effort from Ulloa.
Wigan then had another lucky escape when Stephens rose unmarked and put a firm header over from Stephen Ward’s cross.
A mistake by Matthew Upson led to Wigan going ahead on 21 minutes through McArthur, who burst through before beating Tomasz Kuszczak with a superb left foot curled finish.
Brighton might have equalised immediately when Dale Stephens crashed a fierce shot against the crossbar.
Wigan weathered the Brighton attempts to draw level and went into the break 1-0 up.
Early in the second half Latics were two ahead. McCann producing a well placed header to beat the Brighton keeper following Waghorn’s corner.
Brighton piled forward with Orlandi shooting into the side-netting, before Rodriguez sent a glancing header wide.
Ulloa made it 2-1 when Upson headed back Orlandi’s corner and the home side almost snatched a draw but Ali Al-Habsi was once again at is best to deny substitute Obika.
This was a significant win for Wigan against a team who are capable of achieving a play- off spot.
A delighted Rosler said afterwards,
“This was a big win for us and it is dedicated to Ben Watson, who broke his leg in midweek.
He had his operation on Friday and the reaction of the players to his injury was first class.
They showed will power to get that win and not to get beaten”.