Latics get vital first win – Wigan Athletic 1 Blackpool 0

Oriel Riera

Oriel Riera on target for Latics

A first goal for new signing Oriel Riera was enough for Latics to secure their first three points of the season against struggling Blackpool at the DW Stadium.

Wigan should’ve been out of sight by half time after creating a stream of good goal scoring opportunities. But they were unable to produce the killer second goal to make the game comfortable.

Blackpool huffed and puffed but in truth they look a team destined for relegation. The Seasiders fans spent most of the game demanding the resignation of the unpopular Oyston family and will feel relieved that they only lost by a narrow margin.

In bright sunlight Latics attacked from the off with Callum McManaman posing a major threat down the right hand side.

The Seasiders David Perkins picked up an early yellow card for clattering into McManaman and Wigan might have gone ahead when James Perch’s cross found Riera, the Spanish striker heading just over from a good position.

Manchester City loanee Emyr Huws’ cross then found skipper Emmerson Boyce, who volleyed over from inside the box.

Wigan’s best opportunity came after 20 minutes when Riera produced an excellent low cross for McManaman who with the goal at his mercy sliced his effort wide of the target.

McManaman was then lucky to survive a reckless challenge from Peter Clarke. The Blackpool player might have been dismissed but on this occasion only received a yellow card.

Wigan continued to dominate and on 35 minutes they got their reward when Riera produced a controlled finish in the area following a cross by Andrew Taylor.

Latics looked likely to add to their lead when Perch’s cross from the right looked perfect for McManaman but Daniels somehow managed to clear off the line.

McManaman was in the thick of everything and nearly doubled Latics lead before the interval when his shot went just past the far post.

However, as the half drew to a close the visitors could have been level when John Lundstram’s shot was deflected past the post.

Wigan continued their dominance at the beginning of the second half, with McManaman once again prominent. The Liverpudlian beat three defenders but his final shot unfortunately went straight at the goalkeeper.

Wigan did look vulnerable on the counter-attack and Blackpool almost levelled when substitute Nile Ranger fired over from inside the six-yard box.

As the game moved towards the final whistle Wigan dropped back and became increasingly concerned about protecting their lead and securing the vital first three points of the season.

A last-minute free-kick on the edge of the Wigan area caused a few hearts to flutter but fortunately the opportunity came to nothing.

The struggling Seasiders haven’t managed a point from their opening four fixtures and their prospects for the rest of the season look dire.

For Latics this was a much improved performance. After a wobbly start to the campaign they move up the table to 18th and will be hoping to build on their progress with another home fixture against Birmingham City next Saturday.

About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Blackpool, Championship, Oriel Riera, Uncategorized, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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