- Wigan Athletic slumped to their first defeat of the season when they were emphatically defeated 5-1 by Burnley.
- The Clarets went ahead after 17 minutes when Jay Rodriguez finished from close range and they increased their lead when Josh Brownhill fired home on 27 minutes.
- Latics reduced the deficit before the interval with Will Keane scoring from the spot after Callum Lang had been brought down by goalkeeper Arijanet Muric.
- Southampton loanee Nathan Tella restored Burnley’s two goal advantage after half-time and in a crazy last five minutes of the game Brownbill and Samuel Bastien added further goals.
- Latics drop to 20th in the table and Burnley move up to sixth.
Leam Richardson made two changes from the victory at Birmingham City, with Curtis Tilt and Graeme Shinnie replacing Joe Bennett and Josh Magennis in the starting XI.
Burnley created the first opportunity of the match when the Brazilian Vitinho fired a dangerous ball across Latics’ six-yard box.
The visitors opened the scoring in the 17th minute. Vitinho crossed from the left-hand side and Johann Berg Gudmundsson kept the ball alive and after a scramble, the loose ball fell to Jay Rodriguez who reacted quickest to fire into the net.
Latics looked to respond quickly and two minutes later James McClean crossed into the six-yard box and Jason Kerr powered his header over Muric’s crossbar.
Keane and Max Power both threatened from range in the 25th minute. Keane saw his initial effort blocked into the path of Power whose drive flew over the crossbar.
But it was the visitors who added to their lead on 27 minutes. Vintinho found Brownhill arriving late into the box and he fired high into the net.
Latics gained a foothold in the game in the 41st minute. Lang chased down a long ball and Muric came flying off his line and clattered into the striker and referee James Bell awarded a penalty.
Keane dispatched his spot kick centrally and via Muric into the net.
2-1 to the visitors at half-time.
Latics created an early opportunity in the second half. McClean burst down the left and played the ball into the path of Shinnie whose blocked effort rebounded to Keane but unfortunately he lifted his strike over the bar.
The miss proved crucial as soon afterwards Latics were punished. Brownhill picked up a loose ball in midfield and played through Tella, who may have been marginally offside, but he curled his strike into the bottom right corner.
Latics continued to try to find a way back into the game. In the 65th minute Shinnie played in Lang down the left, but a block from a Clarets defender saw his strike deflect to Keane in an offside position.
Latics captain Tendayi Darikwa suffered a shoulder injury after a collision in the 69th minute and had to be replaced by substitute Ryan Nyambe.
In an attempt to get back in the game Richardson made a triple change introducing Nathan Broadhead, Josh Magennis and Thelo Aasgaard in place of Shinnie, Tilt and Keane in the 72nd minute.
Moment’s later Magennis drew an excellent save from Muric. Lang found space on the right and crossed to Magennis at the far post whose powerful header was pushed over the bar by Muric.
As the game moved towards the final whistle Latics continued to press but they were caught out by two quickfire counterattacks.
The Clarets added a fourth goal in the 86th minute when Brownhill turned Kerr inside the box, before firing past Jones at his near post.
Only a minute later Bastien added a fifth, when he fired across goal and into the bottom right-hand corner.
It was a convincing performance by Vincent Kompany’s team who are one of the favourites for automatic promotion.
Latics’ undefeated start had come to an end in brutal fashion.
Step up in quality
Burnley’s finishing had been clinical. They had had only eight shots on target and scored five goals. Latics had 18 shots and had only scored one from the penalty spot.
The step up in quality had been noticeable but it was perhaps inevitable given the two teams had been in the Premier League and League One last season.
The Championship is a fiercely competitive division and Latics will need to learn quickly from their mistakes as the challenges come quickly with West Brom at the DW on Tuesday night.
The transfer window closes on Thursday and I’m expecting some reinforcements before the deadline.
Another goalkeeper, defender and midfielder should be on Richardson’s wish list as the club looks to establish themselves in the Championship.
Post match comments
Speaking afterwards Richardson said,
“The scoreline is tough. Within the reflection of the game, I don’t think we started the game particularly well. We probably weren’t ourselves for long enough in the game. I thought we finished the first half really strong, and in the main, probably shaded the first half in terms of chances created.
Coming out after half-time, I thought we started really well and missed a really big chance. They went up the other end and scored an offside goal which hurt us a little bit.
Collectively, we will take our defeat together. I will take the responsibility for the last couple of goals because with where we’ve been and the momentum we’ve got, we thought we would chase it and make it uncomfortable.
There were two divisions between us not so long ago, but it’s something that we will reflect on and something we won’t get too high on or too low. Within 72 hours, we’ve got another big challenge, and it’s important we meet that head-on.
Whether the scoreline reflects the game, we’ve taken a loss today. We will take it on the chin, be respectful and congratulate Burnley.
It’s up to us to be better in adversity. You learn a lot about yourself as we certainly know but moving forward, we will continue to make small steps and continue to be the best versions of ourselves. We will certainly learn from today.
Around the corner is a really good challenge, and we will look forward to it. We will approach it in the best way possible. We’ve got to hold our heads up and get our chests out because it’s never an easy one to take when you lose.”