Wigan Athletic produced a record victory at the DW Stadium tonight with an 8-0 demolition of relegation rivals Hull City.
Latics were at their free-flowing best as they sought to overcome the EFL’s proposed 12 point penalty. The Tigers on the other hand were toothless and look like a team who have decided they will be dropping into League One.
The onslaught commenced from the kick off as the hosts surged forwards and went ahead after only one minute when Kieran Dowell superbly evaded two defenders before chipping the ball to the back post for Kal Naismith to head home.
Kieffer Moore added a second on 27 minutes after good work by Jamal Lowe before Dowell added the third on 32 minutes firing past George Long from the edge of the area.
Lowe scored the fourth at the near post and Moore produced a diving header for the fifth before Dowell added his second and Latics’ sixth. Joe Williams rounded off the first half rout with the seventh goal which was his first for the club.
The second half was a much less frenetic affair as Latics took their foot off the pedal but Dowell was able to complete his hat-trick with a great volleyed finish from Nathan Byrne’s cross.
Even with the proposed EFL 12 point deduction Latics are now above the Tigers because of their much superior goal difference.
Paul Cook made one change to the starting line up with Leon Balogun slotting into defence to replace the suspended Danny Fox.
Right from the kick off Latics drove forward with Williams forcing a full-length save from Long. From the resulting corner the hosts maintained the pressure and Dowell showed great skill to beat two defenders before chipping the ball to the back post for Naismith to head home at close range.
Naismith then curled an effort narrowly wide of the post before Lowe missed a glorious chance after Robinson had set him up with a surging run forward.
Lowe was the provider on 27 minutes when he set up Moore inside the six yard box and the big striker made it 2-0 at the near post.
Naismith nearly added a third soon afterwards after being set up by a slide rule pass from Dowell but the in-form utility player’s vicious 20-yard strike crashed against the post.
Dowell did make it 3-0 on 32 minutes with a powerful volley from the edge of the box. Lowe quickly added a fourth at the near post as Hull visibly crumbled under the constant barrage of Latics’ attacks.
Dowell made it six on 42 minutes with a low drive past the hapless Long.
Williams rounded off the first half blitz with a superb strike from 25 yards for his first goal for the club just before the half time interval.
A simply stunning first half display by Latics which will be remembered by the fans for years to come.
The second half was somewhat less eventful as the hosts were generally content to maintain possession and made substitutions which slightly disrupted their momentum.
They were however able to score their eighth, which was Dowell’s hat-trick and it proved to be the best goal of the game.
The Everton loanee produced a first-time volley into the top right-hand corner of Long’s goal from Byrne’s cross.
Late on referee Tony Harrington bizarrely awarded Hull a penalty for an innocuous challenge by Byrne but then changed his mind to make matters worse for the demoralised visitors.
This had been a scintillating performance by Latics which will have given the players a huge confidence boost going into the final two games.
Despite the club going into administration and the break in the season due to Covid 19 Cook and the players have been magnificent. They’ve been on an amazing run of form with ten clean sheets in the last eleven games.
Even with the EFL’s proposed 12 point deduction it is looking as though they can escape the drop. If they pull this one off it will surely be the greatest of great escapes.