Lessons learned from Rovers defeat? Blackburn Rovers 4 Wigan Athletic 3

Ewood park

Ewood Park

Wigan were involved in a high scoring 4-3 defeat to Blackburn on Saturday but the defeat may have provided some vital lessons for Latics imminent play-off games against Queens Park Rangers.

Tom Cairney gave Rovers an early lead before Ivan Ramis levelled for Wigan.
Rudy Gestede put the home team ahead with a header and then extended the lead before half-time.

James McClean reduced the deficit for Wigan, before Jordan Rhodes and Nicky Maynard added late goals.

Latics had already sealed a place in the Championship play-offs but Blackburn knew reaching the play-offs was going to be a difficult task, needing Reading and Brighton to lose, while beating Wigan and then turning around a seven-goal swing on Reading.

Uwe Rosler decided to field a predominantly second string line-up to give fringe players an opportunity to force themselves into the play-off starting line up.

Rovers took an early lead when a poor pass by Rob Kiernan put Jack Collison under pressure and Cairney was able to progress relatively unchallenged before slotting past Scott Carson.

Latics were soon level as Martyn Waghorn’s corner was flicked on by McClean before Maynard headed against the bar and Ramis headed home the rebound at the back post.

Almost immediately from the restart Rovers regained the lead through Gestede. Latics defence switched off and Craig Conway’s pull-back was met by the Benin international who finished low down to Carson’s right.

Wigan’s defensive line-up of Kiernan, Caldwell and Ramis looked ill at ease, particularly in the air, against a powerful Rovers front line including prolific striker Jordan Rhodes.

It was not surprising that Gestede increased Rovers advantage on 35 minutes when he was allowed far too much room in the centre of the box to head past Carson following Cairney’s cross.

In truth Latics were probably a little lucky only to go in 3-1 down at the interval. As Rovers had a succession of chances to increase their lead.

Wigan reduced the arrears on 59 minutes with McClean’s close-range strike and the chances continued at both ends.

Gestede was denied a second hat-trick in three games by the crossbar before Rhodes scored his 25th goal of the season with a header.

Maynard produced a quality finish from the edge of the penalty area to reduce the arrears but it was too late for Latics.

Few of Latics starting line up emerged from the game with much credit and it may be that only Roger Espinoza, Martyn Waghorn and Scott Carson start against QPR on Friday night in the play-offs.

Blackburn finish the season unbeaten in their last 12 matches, but it is Wigan who go into the play-offs knowing their destiny is in their own hands and that they are on the verge of a quick return to the Premier League.

About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Blackburn Rovers, Championship, Ivan Ramis, James McClean, Jordan Rhodes, Nicky Maynard, Rudy Gestede, Tom Cairney, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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