Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Wigan's Late Goal Puts Rovers Down

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Wigan's Late Goal Puts Rovers Down

Article excerpt

Blackburn Rovers 0 Wigan Athletic 1 ANTOLIN Alcaraz's late goal relegated Blackburn from the Barclays Premier League and ensured Wigan's safety in a nervy game at Ewood Park.

Only a win would have saved Steve Kean's side from relegation, but Alcaraz's 87th-minute header condemned them to npower Championship football next season.

Blackburn had earlier seen a penalty chance turned down by referee Mark Clattenburg when Junior Hoilett was brought down by Emmerson Boyce in an error-strewn performance by both sides.

Knowing exactly what was at stake, both sides started with real intent - but it was Wigan's Victor Moses who fired in a speculative shot over the bar in the fourth minute to set pulses racing amongst the home fans.

Play was briefly halted in the seventh minute when a chicken - wearing in a Blackburn Rovers flag - wandered on to the pitch, only to be rescued by the combined efforts of Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi and Blackburn striker Ayegbeni Yakubu. Franco Di Santo had the first shot on target for Wigan when play resumed but his effort was easily saved by Blackburn's Paul Robinson.

Modeste, who is on loan at Rovers from Ligue One side Bordeaux, then linked up well with Yakubu at the other end - only to blaze over as both sides looked to take a grasp of the match.

Moses forced another save from Robinson in the 24th minute after he outpaced Scott Dann and fired in a shot from the left of the box from a tight angle.

The errors began to creep in for underpressure Blackburn, with Morten Gamst Pedersen blasting a poorly-taken free-kick over Al Habsi's net, much to the frustration of Yakubu.

Wigan then wasted the chance to take the lead from Shaun Maloney's free-kick as Blackburn scrambled the ball clear.

The visitors tore Blackburn apart on the counter-attack with 10 minutes left on the clock in the first half, with Di Santo's cross picking out Moses in the box, only for the midfielder to nod his close-range header directly at Robinson.

The second half was slightly delayed following unconfirmed reports paramedics were called to attend to Blackburn defender Gael Givet.

The former France international was replaced at half-time by Radosav Petrovic. …

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