Wigan Athletic secured promotion and effectively the League One title with an emphatic 4-0 victory at crisis club Blackpool. Latics are three points ahead of second placed Burton Albion with a massively superior goal difference with only one game to play.
After a lethargic opening 45 minutes Latics clicked into gear with four second half goals. Chris McCann’s volley from the edge of the area on 60 minutes gave them the lead before winger Yanic Wildschut scored two goals in quick succession.
League One’s leading goal scorer Will Grigg completed the rout on 85 minutes when he volleyed home from McCann’s flicked header.
Latics’ players, manager Gary Caldwell, owner Dave Whelan and Chairman David Sharpe celebrated on the pitch at the end of the game in front of the 3,000 jubilant fans.
Gary Caldwell surprisingly made changes to his starting line up from the team which defeated Southend so convincingly last Saturday. Jason Pearce and Yanic Wildschut dropped to the bench and Sam Morsy and Reece Wabara came into the team.
The first half was a scrappy affair and Latics struggled to get into their stride and the Seasiders had some good opportunities to take the lead. Jussi Jaaskelainen saved superbly from Jack Redshaw and Mark Cullen should have done better when he fired wide with only the Wigan keeper to beat.
Latics were lacking a cutting edge going forward and with Sam Morsy out of sorts in midfield manager Gary Caldwell introduced winger Yanic Wildschut after only 39 minutes.
Blackpool were proving to be resilient opponents and Latics were a shade lucky going into the interval on level terms.
Wigan were much improved after the interval and Wildschut proved to be the crucial game changer. They went ahead on 60 minutes when Chris McCann smashed home a superb volley from 18 yards.
The Seasiders resistance faltered and Wildschut soon grabbed a quick double on 70 and 72 minutes.
McCann charged forward and set up the Flying Dutchman and he cut inside and slotted the ball into the far corner past Colin Doyle.
Two minutes later McCann found Will Grigg who played a clever ball to Wildschut and the winger cut inside before rifling a shot which took a slight deflection off a Pool defender and into the net.
Latics were rampant now and Wildschut was tormenting the Pool defence with a series of blistering attacks. He should probably have grabbed at least a hat trick but in the final minutes it was the League One’s leading goal scorer Will Grigg who added the fourth.
Conor McAleny’s corner was headed on by McCann and Grigg was on hand to volley home from close range for his 27th goal of the season.
The result confirmed Latics quick return to the Championship as League One Champions and Blackpool will almost certainly be playing League Two football next season.