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14:19 16th April 2011


Masterclass from Latics at Bloomfield Rd lifts club out of bottom three

Campbell 84

Rodallega 3
N'Zogbia 45+1
Diame 66

Report by Paul Chialton

One of the finest performances under Roberto Martinez just when we needed it most, outclassing Blackpool to move out of the relegation zone with five games remaining.

Goals from Hugo Rodallega, Charles N'Zogbia and Mohamed Diame sealed the win, with DJ Campbell grabbing a consolation for the home side late on, it was more than they deserved.

Latics started on a high, getting on the ball early on, dictating the tempo and it wasn't long before they found the breakthrough.

N'Zogbia fed Rodallega down the right and, after a slip by Ian Evatt, the Colombian found himself one-on-one with Matt Gilks.

But the pressure did not show, sliding it under the 'keeper's legs and into the bottom corner to open the scoring and notch his 21st Premier League goal, a new club record and arguably the most important he's scored.

The dominance continued. Ben Watson was irresistible in the middle as Latics' anchorman, winning back the ball on countless occasions and controlling the midfield. Every pass found its man, every tackle clean and decisive - his contribution was telling at Bloomfield Road.

Try as they might Blackpool could not respond, forced into playing it long thanks to a high pressing line and blunt around the penalty area - it was the quietest afternoon Ali Al Habsi has had in a Wigan Athletic shirt.

Then came the hammer-blow, on the stroke of half-time: Charlie Adam failed to control in the middle of the park, allowing N'Zogbia to steal in and attack.

After dancing round two defenders the Frenchman calmly placed the ball into the bottom right corner, Gilks had no chance and neither did Blackpool from there onwards.

The home side will have been fired up at the break but it didn't show. Latics were in possession early and picked up their dominance where they left off in the first-half.

N'Zogbia tested Gilks again before the third came, this time from Diame.

The Senegalese international twisted and turned on the edge of the area before shooting low left-footed, a deflection off Adam wrong-footed Gilks and the travelling fans erupted as the ball rolled over the line, game over.

The late goal was a disappointment, but it mattered not to the Latics fans, who were awesome from start to finish, outshining their counter-parts, filling the ground with noise and thoroughly enjoying their day by the seaside!

They left Blackpool out of the bottom three, already planning their trip to Sunderland next weekend.

So it's one down, five to go for Latics as their bid for Premier League survival got the shot in the arm it needed and deserved.

Al Habsi; Boyce, G. Caldwell, Alcaraz, Gohouri; Watson, Diame (Gomez, 80), McCarthy; N'Zogbia (Sammon, 77), Cleverley, Rodallega

Subs: Pollitt, Di Santo, Moses, Stam, Lopez

Blackpool: Gilks; Crainey, Southern, Eardley, Evatt; Taylor-Fletcher (Beattie, 58), Grandin (Phillips, 58), Varney (Puncheon, 58), Cathcart, Adam; Campbell

Subs: Kingson, Ormerod, Baptiste, Sylvestre

    Data provided by Press Association