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18:02 19th November 2011


Another derby classic but it's heartache for Latics after final second equaliser

Gomez 8
Caldwell 31
Crusat 88

Yakubu 2, 90+7 (pen)
Hoilett 60

Report by Nick Taylor

On a day which saw Wigan Athletic produce arguably the best performance of their season, there was still no way past Blackburn Rovers despite Latics taking the lead twice against the ten-men.

Latics looked like they would take the three points only for Rovers' keeper Paul Robinson to be fouled in the Latics box and Rovers be awarded a penalty that Yakubu slotted home heart-breakingly.

The drama started early and after just one minute when the Nigerian forward lobbed Ali Al Habsi putting Rovers 1-0 up.

It came from a defensive mishap as Gary Caldwell missed his clearance leaving the striker through on goal and despite a touch by the keeper the ball nestled into the bottom corner.

Minutes later there was even more drama as Victor Moses broke free in the Blackburn box and his run was halted with him being knocked to the ground by Grant Hanley but, the referee gave nothing.

The game had hardly even re-started when Conor Sammon look clean through on goal and was seemingly brought down by Scott Dann but no card and not even a free kick as the Latics were knocking at the door for an equaliser.

Jordi Gomez soon provided Latics' fans with the lift they needed as Ronnie Stam broke free down the right only for his cross to be cleared into the Spaniard's path. Gomez volleyed his shot from 20 yards into the bottom left hand corner of the goal on seven minutes

There were then calls for another red card from the fans as Ruben Rochina seemingly lunged in on Moses but only a yellow card was given by the referee.

As the game heated up even more, David Dunn then received a yellow card for a trip on James McCarthy on the half way line.

Latics continued to up the pressure on Blackburn's defence; piling men forward with Moses and Jones working wonders down the left hand side.

Their link up play eventually won a corner and after 30 minutes Latics were 2-1 up. Gary Caldwell lost his marker in the area and David Jones' well delivered cross was powered into the bottom corner by the captain.

Latics should have been comfortable at half time as they piled forward in numbers but couldn't quite find the opening to make it 3-1. Gomez came closest with a 35 yard drive that curled away from Robinson's left hand post.

After half time the story was no different as Latics continued to put pressure on the Rovers' defence and on 48 minutes the pressure was all too much for David Dunn as he tripped Mohamed Diame in the middle of the pitch and saw a second yellow card for his sins.

It was only eleven minutes later when Blackburn drew back level with a controversial goal.

The ball was placed for a corner only for Morten Gamst Pedersen to dribble the ball without anybody touching it, clipping it across the goal behind Al Habsi for David Hoilett to bundle over the line at the back post for the equaliser - a goal that should never have stood.

The game continued to go back and forth as both sides were searching for a winner.

The intent to win the game could be seen as a flurry of yellow cards were given, first to Steven Nzonzi for an elbow on Steve Gohouri and then for Stam who went in late on Hoilett.

Latics began to struggle to break down Rovers as they had every man behind the ball to defend but, on 88 minutes a long cross field ball by Caldwell was met by substitute Hugo Rodallega who nodded the ball down into the path of Albert Crusat who drilled his shot low into the bottom corner of the goal to make it 3-2.

It was obvious that late drama would incur after what was a frantic 90 minutes and when six added minutes were announced the atmosphere went through the roof.

Latics failed to clear their lines and a corner was given on 96 minutes. Enter Paul Robinson, the keeper made his way up for what looked like would be the last kick of the game only to see the boot of David Jones hit him in the face, the referee had no choice but to give the penalty.

Despite Latics' fans attempt to put off Yakubu, there was nothing that could be done as his penalty was whipped into the bottom right hand corner of the goal sending Al Habsi the wrong way.

This one was almost a carbon copy of the game at the DW Stadium back in February and six goals between both sides offered great entertainment but, there will be talk about the controversial and late penalty for a long time.

The draw leaves both teams in the bottom two with Latics on six points and Rovers on seven.

Al Habsi, Stam (McArthur, 90), Figueroa, Gohouri, Caldwell, Diame, Jones, McCarthy, Moses, Gomez (Crusat, 68), Sammon (Rodallega, 68)

Unused Subs: Pollitt, Watson, Maloney, Lopez

Blackburn: Robinson, Salgado (Henley, 45), Givet (Roberts, 90), Dann, Hanley, Dunn, Nzonzi, Pedersen, Hoilett, Rochina (Formica, 84), Yakubu

Unused Subs: Bunn, Petrovic, Blackman, Goodwillie

    Data provided by Press Association