West Brom 2-3 Wigan
Callum McManaman's late winner gave Wigan Athletic a vital victory at West Bromwich Albion and kept their hopes of making another dramatic late escape from relegation alive.
Wigan - who started the day five points adrift of safety with a game in hand - trailed twice at The Hawthorns but maintained their nerve and composure to close the gap on Sunderland and Newcastle United.
Shane Long put West Brom ahead but Arouna Kone headed Wigan level before the interval. Gareth McAuley restored the Baggies' lead but Wigan were back on terms again when James McArthur headed in moments after coming on as substitute.
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez knew only three points would suffice as his side battle once more to avoid the drop into the Championship - and the decisive goal came 10 minutes from time when the outstanding Shaun Maloney set up McManaman from close range.
They survived a scare deep into five minutes of injury time when McArthur headed off the line from McAuley but it was not long before Wigan's fans were celebrating.
An injury to Jean Beausejour, who was taken off on a stretcher with the FA Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley only a week away, was the only black spot on a fine day for Martinez and his team.
They played with the poise of a team well-versed in these high pressure situations - which they are - and have increased the pressure on those around them as the season draws to its conclusion.
The Hawthorns was in celebratory mood prior to kick-off as news of fierce rivals Wolves' relegation filtered through - with a giant mocking banner drawing huge applause.
On the pitch Wigan were desperate for victory while Albion were keen to put further gloss on a very good first season for head coach Steve Clarke.
The dangerous Kone brought a low diving save from keeper Ben Foster but Albion struck first to take the lead in the 29th minute when Markus Rosenberg showed a fine turn of pace to cross for Long to apply a comfortable finish.
Despite the increasing stresses of their situation, Wigan continued to play their trademark studied passing style and worked their way back into contention before half-time.
Maloney drifted a delicate free-kick inches wide but Wigan were soon level. Referee Lee Probert played a superb advantage after Maloney had been flattened by Billy Jones - a challenge that eventually brought a booking - allowing Beausejour to cross for Kone to score with a towering header.
Kone was the villain of the piece when Wigan went behind five minutes after the break, completely losing McAuley at Graham Dorrans's free-kick, leaving the defender to head past Joel Robles.
It persuaded Wigan boss Martinez to make a double change, sending on McArthur and Roman Golobart for Ronnie Stam and Jordi Gomez. The change brought results within seconds as McArthur stretched to score with a diving far-post header from Maloney's cross.
The mood among the home fans turned sour when the unsettled Peter Odemwingie went to warm up as a substitute, with some supporters remonstrating angrily with the striker who had hoped to join QPR in the January transfer window and abusive chants were aimed in his direction.
As time ran out, Wigan pressed and were rewarded as they went ahead for the first time with 10 minutes left. Not for the first time, Maloney's creativity was the source as he jinked into the area and crossed low for McManaman to score.
Robles made a brilliant diving save from Dorrans before McArthur performed heroics at the other end to keep out McAuley's header with virtually the last action of the game - and once more Wigan have their relegation rivals looking over their shoulders.
West Brom manager Steve Clarke:
"We have conceded three goals and we have to look at that. Two of the goals came from crosses and normally our defending from crosses is very good.
"We played an attacking line-up, I chose to go with that so I have to be the one that carries the can for this.
"I'm sure for people watching it was a good game to watch and Wigan are a difficult team to play. Fortunately we are in a position where we can try different things and we scored another two goals but we were a bit exposed at the back."
- 01 Foster
- 03 Olsson
- 06 Ridgewell Booked
- 23 McAuley Booked
- 28 Jones Booked
- 05 Yacob
- 17 Dorrans
- 21 Mulumbu (Brown - 86' Booked )
- 08 Rosenberg (Morrison - 65' )
- 09 Long
- 20 Lukaku (Thomas - 65' )
- 13 Myhill
- 25 Dawson
- 30 Tamas
- 07 Morrison
- 14 Thomas
- 43 Brown
- 24 Odemwingie
- 01 Robles
- 17 Boyce
- 23 Stam (Golobart - 57' Booked )
- 04 McCarthy
- 08 Watson
- 10 Maloney Booked
- 14 Gomez (McArthur - 57' )
- 22 Beausejour (Espinoza - 74' )
- 33 Scharner Booked
- 02 Kone
- 15 McManaman
- 26 Al Habsi
- 05 Caldwell
- 25 Golobart
- 16 McArthur
- 18 Espinoza
- 09 Di Santo
- 11 Henriquez
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The final whistle goes and the game is over.90:00 +4:27
The free kick is swung in right-footed by Graham Dorrans.90:00 +4:27 Booking
Booking Paul Scharner booked.90:00 +4:07
Paul Scharner challenges Billy Jones unfairly and gives away a free kick.90:00 +3:16 Booking
Booking Isaiah Brown is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.90:00 +3:01
Isaiah Brown challenges James McCarthy unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by James McCarthy.89:10
Shot by Graham Dorrans. Save by Joel Robles. Graham Dorrans takes a inswinging corner to the near post, Shane Long takes a shot. Save by Joel Robles. Graham Dorrans takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post. Jerome Thomas decides to take a short corner.87:50
Arouna Kone concedes a free kick for a foul on Liam Ridgewell. Liam Ridgewell takes the indirect free kick.87:17
Foul by Claudio Yacob on Shaun Maloney, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Joel Robles.87:01
The ball is swung over by James Morrison, Paul Scharner makes a clearance.85:08 Substitution
Substitution Isaiah Brown comes on in place of Youssouf Mulumbu.85:08
Shot by James Morrison from outside the box goes high over the crossbar.84:15
Youssouf Mulumbu has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the goal.81:34
Ben Watson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Claudio Yacob. Youssouf Mulumbu takes the free kick.79:09
Assist by Shaun Maloney.79:09 Goal scored
Goal! - Callum McManaman - West Brom 2 - 3 Wigan Callum McManaman gets on the score sheet with a goal from close range to the bottom right corner of the goal. West Brom 2-3 Wigan.75:04
Free kick crossed by Shaun Maloney.75:04 Booking
Booking Gareth McAuley shown a yellow card.74:43
Jerome Thomas takes a shot. James McArthur gets a block in. Unfair challenge on Shaun Maloney by Gareth McAuley results in a free kick.71:57 Substitution
Substitution Roger Espinoza joins the action as a substitute, replacing Jean Beausejour.
Shot from 18 yards from Billy Jones. Save made by Joel Robles.71:01
The ball is swung over by Emmerson Boyce, Billy Jones makes a clearance.70:41
Centre by Jean Beausejour, Liam Ridgewell manages to make a clearance.68:11
The official flags Arouna Kone offside. Jonas Olsson restarts play with the free kick.66:28
Jonas Olsson takes the indirect free kick.66:28 Booking
Booking Roman Golobart is shown a yellow card.66:17
Roman Golobart concedes a free kick for a foul on Shane Long.63:50 Substitution
Substitution Markus Rosenberg leaves the field to be replaced by James Morrison.63:50 Substitution
Substitution Jerome Thomas joins the action as a substitute, replacing Romelu Lukaku.63:50
Arouna Kone produces a header from inside the area that goes over the crossbar.63:04
Unfair challenge on Arouna Kone by Graham Dorrans results in a free kick. Shaun Maloney takes the free kick.61:18
The ball is swung over by James McArthur, Ben Foster makes a save.58:54
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Graham Dorrans from the right by-line, Gareth McAuley produces a header from inside the area that goes over the bar.57:41
The assist for the goal came from Shaun Maloney.57:41 Goal scored
Goal! - James McArthur - West Brom 2 - 2 Wigan James McArthur finds the net with a headed goal from close in. West Brom 2-2 Wigan.56:05 Substitution
Substitution Ronnie Stam goes off and Roman Golobart comes on.56:05 Substitution
Substitution James McArthur joins the action as a substitute, replacing Jordi Gomez.56:05 Booking
Booking Booking for Shaun Maloney for unsporting behaviour.55:59
Unfair challenge on Shane Long by Shaun Maloney results in a free kick. Graham Dorrans restarts play with the free kick.55:17
Jean Beausejour crosses the ball.49:20
The assist for the goal came from Graham Dorrans.49:20 Goal scored
Goal! - Gareth McAuley - West Brom 2 - 1 Wigan Gareth McAuley grabs a headed goal from close in. West Brom 2-1 Wigan.48:47
Jean Beausejour concedes a free kick for a foul on Graham Dorrans. Graham Dorrans produces a cross,48:18
Free kick awarded for a foul by Paul Scharner on Shane Long. Free kick taken by Youssouf Mulumbu.45:01
The referee gets the second half started.45:00 +2:21 Half time
Half Time The first half comes to an end.45:00 +0:42
Callum McManaman takes a shot. Jonas Olsson gets a block in. Short corner taken by Shaun Maloney. Shaun Maloney takes a shot. Liam Ridgewell gets a block in. Foul by Claudio Yacob on Shaun Maloney, free kick awarded. Ben Watson restarts play with the free kick.42:39
Effort from outside the penalty area by Markus Rosenberg goes wide left of the target.39:35
Short corner taken by Callum McManaman.38:28
The assist for the goal came from Jean Beausejour.38:28 Goal scored
Goal! - Arouna Kone - West Brom 1 - 1 Wigan Arouna Kone grabs a headed goal from just inside the edge of the penalty area. West Brom 1-1 Wigan.38:12 Booking
Booking Booking for Billy Jones for unsporting behaviour.37:51
Shot by Romelu Lukaku. Joel Robles makes a save.35:50
Foul by Graham Dorrans on Shaun Maloney, free kick awarded. Shaun Maloney produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick.35:01
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Graham Dorrans from the left by-line to the near post, save made by Joel Robles.33:51
The ball is crossed by Jean Beausejour, Liam Ridgewell makes a clearance.32:37
Centre by Billy Jones.30:34
Ronnie Stam produces a cross, Gareth McAuley makes a clearance. Corner taken right-footed by Callum McManaman from the right by-line, Paul Scharner takes a shot. Save made by Ben Foster.28:25
Markus Rosenberg provided the assist for the goal.28:25 Goal scored
Goal! - Shane Long - West Brom 1 - 0 Wigan Shane Long grabs a goal from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal. West Brom 1-0 Wigan.26:41
Centre by Arouna Kone, Headed effort from deep inside the area by Callum McManaman misses to the right of the goal.21:13
The ball is swung over by Shane Long, Jean Beausejour manages to make a clearance.20:21
Centre by Ronnie Stam, Ben Foster makes a save.19:33
The ball is delivered by Jean Beausejour.19:02
Paul Scharner fouled by Shane Long, the ref awards a free kick. James McCarthy takes the free kick.18:29
Emmerson Boyce produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.17:09
Arouna Kone takes a shot. Corner taken right-footed by Shaun Maloney from the right by-line to the near post, Ben Foster makes a save. Clearance by Liam Ridgewell. Outswinging corner taken by Shaun Maloney from the right by-line played to the near post, Shane Long manages to make a clearance.15:03
Callum McManaman has a drilled shot. Save by Ben Foster.14:19
Short corner worked by Graham Dorrans.13:42
A cross is delivered by Jean Beausejour, save by Ben Foster.13:00
Ronnie Stam produces a cross, Jonas Olsson manages to make a clearance.11:12
Markus Rosenberg takes a shot. Blocked by Emmerson Boyce. Graham Dorrans produces a drilled right-footed shot from 20 yards. Ben Watson gets a block in. Graham Dorrans takes a shot. Ben Watson gets a block in.10:27
Romelu Lukaku takes a shot from just outside the penalty area which clears the crossbar.9:04
Ben Watson is penalised for a handball. Shot comes in from Graham Dorrans from the free kick, save by Joel Robles.8:10
Ben Watson takes the indirect free kick.8:10 Booking
Booking The referee cautions Liam Ridgewell for unsporting behaviour.7:58
Liam Ridgewell challenges Callum McManaman unfairly and gives away a free kick.7:21
Shane Long takes a shot.5:01
Jean Beausejour crosses the ball. The ball is sent over by Ronnie Stam, clearance by Jonas Olsson.3:46
Unfair challenge on James McCarthy by Youssouf Mulumbu results in a free kick. Ben Watson takes the indirect free kick.3:17
The ball is sent over by Markus Rosenberg, Emmerson Boyce makes a clearance. The ball is crossed by Liam Ridgewell.2:53
Shot by Shaun Maloney from outside the box goes over the net.1:48
Jean Beausejour is ruled offside. Ben Foster takes the indirect free kick. The ball is sent over by Liam Ridgewell, Emmerson Boyce manages to make a clearance. Corner taken by Graham Dorrans from the left by-line to the near post, save by Joel Robles.0:00
The game kicks-off.
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