Wigan 2-3 Swansea
Wigan's hopes of staying in the Premier League were left hanging in the balance as Swansea twice came from behind to win a thriller at the DW Stadium.
Roger Espinoza's volley gave the hosts the lead on the stroke of half-time, but Angel Rangel hit back for Swansea.
James McCarthy restored Wigan's lead but goals from Itay Shechter and Dwight Tiendalli gave the visitors victory.
Defeat leaves Roberto Martinez's side three points from safety with just two matches of the season remaining.
They are one victory away from drawing level on points with Newcastle, Norwich and Sunderland, with the Black Cats having a far superior goal difference.
This is Wigan's fourth season battling against relegation from the top flight but there was a subdued mood inside the DW Stadium at the final whistle after the team lost their game in hand on their relegation rivals when victory would have lifted them out of the bottom three.
Victories in their final two matches of the season, against Arsenal and Aston Villa, may no longer be enough but for now the club has an FA Cup final to look forward to on Saturday.
There was precious little cause for Wigan optimism on the night, but at least news of Manchester City's victory over West Brom brought with it the certainty that the club which Dave Whelan built will be playing in the Europa League next season.
Swansea had failed to win in any of their previous seven league matches but their second-half performance, coupled with the obvious tension that affected Wigan, meant the visitors preserved their unbeaten run against Wigan in the Premier League.
The opening 45 minutes were high on tension but low on technique. On both sides, the football was physical and full-blooded but devoid of the necessary finesse. Passes went astray, shots and crosses flew high and wide and it seemed individualism might prove the best means of producing a breakthrough. And so it proved.
With what was his side's second meaningful shot on goal, Espinoza shattered the mediocrity with the half's single moment of brilliance.
Into time added on at the end of the first half the Honduran gathered Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm's half-hearted punch on the edge of the penalty area, composed himself, and unleashed a fierce left-footed volley that flew into the net from 16 yards.
The visitors emerged from the interval with more intent, their forays grew in focus and one movement, more coordinated than anything they managed in the first period, produced an immediate equaliser.
Wayne Routledge's delightful raking cross found Rangel in the space between Paul Scharner and Espinoza, the Spaniard connecting with a deft first-time finish that found its way into the net via a flick off the post to stun the DW Stadium.
But the equaliser roused Wigan, who were level just three minutes later.
Gary Caldwell strode through the centre of the Swansea midfield, picked out a charging McCarthy with a pin-point low pass and the Wigan midfielder held off a flagging Ashley Williams and drove a low shot beyond Vorm to regain the lead.
Swansea took full advantage of the obvious tension that was affecting Wigan - Pablo Hernandez seized on Caldwell's loose clearance, found Shechter and the young striker fired his shot at goal which found the net thanks to a fortunate deflection. Wigan came again, but they were inhibited now, struggling for fluency.
The visitors had no such burden and continued to find openings. Hernandez found space wide on the left flank and his cross caused confusion between James McArthur and Shaun Maloney, neither cleared and the bouncing ball fell to Tiendalli, whose weak finish was enough to beat Wigan goalkeeper Joel Robles.
A nasty injury to Vorm saw him stretchered off in the final 10 minutes as Wigan peppered the Swansea goal, with Caldwell, Arouna Kone and Maloney all going close. But Swansea stood firm to leave Wigan's Premier League status in doubt before the FA Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley on Saturday.
- 01 Robles
- 05 Caldwell
- 17 Boyce (Stam - 86' )
- 04 McCarthy
- 08 Watson Booked (Gomez - 86' Booked )
- 10 Maloney
- 16 McArthur
- 18 Espinoza
- 33 Scharner
- 02 Kone
- 15 McManaman (Di Santo - 64' )
- 26 Al Habsi
- 23 Stam
- 25 Golobart
- 06 Jones
- 14 Gomez
- 09 Di Santo
- 11 Henriquez
- 01 Vorm (Tremmel - 85' )
- 06 Williams
- 16 Monk
- 21 Tiendalli
- 22 Rangel
- 33 Davies
- 07 Britton
- 11 Pablo (Agustien - 77' )
- 15 Routledge
- 20 De Guzman Booked
- 17 Shechter Booked (Dyer - 69' )
- 25 Tremmel
- 02 Bartley
- 03 Taylor
- 12 Dyer
- 26 Agustien
- 19 Moore
- 41 Donnelly
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee blows for the end of the match.90:00 +9:15
Centre by James McArthur.90:00 +8:58
Franco Di Santo takes a shot. Garry Monk gets a block in.90:00 +8:29
Joel Robles produces a cross, Arouna Kone takes a shot. Save by Gerhard Tremmel.90:00 +8:03
James McCarthy takes the direct free kick.90:00 +8:03 Booking
Booking The referee shows Jonathan de Guzman a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.90:00 +7:20
A cross is delivered by Angel Rangel, Nathan Dyer takes a shot. Save made by Joel Robles. Free kick awarded for a foul by Jonathan de Guzman on James McCarthy.90:00 +6:47
Arouna Kone takes a shot. Save by Gerhard Tremmel.90:00 +5:04
Roger Espinoza sends in a cross.90:00 +3:47
Ashley Williams concedes a free kick for a foul on Arouna Kone. The ball is swung over by Shaun Maloney, Arouna Kone takes a shot. Save made by Gerhard Tremmel.90:00 +2:33
Angel Rangel fouled by Roger Espinoza, the ref awards a free kick. Gerhard Tremmel takes the free kick.90:00 +1:30
Free kick taken by Gerhard Tremmel.90:00 +1:30 Booking
Booking Jordi Gomez goes into the referee's book.90:00 +1:07
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ben Davies by Jordi Gomez.89:03
Shot from just outside the area by Arouna Kone misses to the right of the target.86:27
Short corner worked by Wayne Routledge.86:14
A cross is delivered by Jonathan de Guzman, clearance by Paul Scharner.85:06 Substitution
Substitution Ronnie Stam is brought on as a substitute for Emmerson Boyce.85:06 Substitution
Substitution Jordi Gomez on for Ben Watson.84:48 Substitution
Substitution Michel Vorm leaves the field to be replaced by Gerhard Tremmel.
Unfair challenge on Ben Watson by Nathan Dyer results in a free kick. Ben Watson restarts play with the free kick.77:26
Jonathan de Guzman has a direct shot on goal from the free kick.77:26 Booking
Booking Booking for Ben Watson for unsporting behaviour.77:20
Free kick awarded for a foul by Ben Watson on Nathan Dyer.76:54 Substitution
Substitution Kemy Agustien comes on in place of Pablo Hernandez.75:10
Pablo Hernandez provided the assist for the goal.75:10 Goal scored
Goal! - Dwight Tiendalli - Wigan 2 - 3 Swansea Dwight Tiendalli scores a goal from inside the six-yard box to the top left corner of the goal. Wigan 2-3 Swansea.74:58
Centre by Ben Davies, Roger Espinoza makes a clearance.70:47
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gary Caldwell by Nathan Dyer. Gary Caldwell takes the free kick.69:39
The ball is swung over by Roger Espinoza, Michel Vorm makes a save.66:51 Substitution
Substitution Nathan Dyer comes on in place of Itay Shechter.66:51
Corner taken by Shaun Maloney, Gary Caldwell takes a shot. Michel Vorm makes a save. Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Shaun Maloney from the right by-line.65:03
The ball is delivered by Roger Espinoza, Ashley Williams manages to make a clearance.63:12
Paul Scharner takes the free kick.63:12 Substitution
Substitution Franco Di Santo joins the action as a substitute, replacing Callum McManaman.63:12
Dwight Tiendalli gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Roger Espinoza.59:52
Unfair challenge on Garry Monk by Arouna Kone results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Garry Monk.58:26
Assist by Pablo Hernandez.58:26 Goal scored
Goal! - Itay Shechter - Wigan 2 - 2 Swansea Goal scored by Itay Shechter from just inside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Wigan 2-2 Swansea.57:08
Foul by Leon Britton on James McCarthy, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.56:36
Foul by James McCarthy on Ben Davies, free kick awarded. Wayne Routledge restarts play with the free kick.55:34
A cross is delivered by Arouna Kone, Shot from inside the six-yard box by James McArthur goes wide right of the target.54:34
Roger Espinoza gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Angel Rangel. Free kick taken by Dwight Tiendalli.53:57
Wayne Routledge crosses the ball, James McArthur makes a clearance.52:22
The assist for the goal came from Gary Caldwell.52:22 Goal scored
Goal! - James McCarthy - Wigan 2 - 1 Swansea James McCarthy finds the net with a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Wigan 2-1 Swansea.51:15
Foul by Itay Shechter on James McArthur, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Ben Watson.49:23
Assist by Wayne Routledge.49:23 Goal scored
Goal! - Angel Rangel - Wigan 1 - 1 Swansea Angel Rangel finds the net with a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Wigan 1-1 Swansea.48:11
Free kick awarded for a foul by Arouna Kone on Garry Monk. Free kick taken by Garry Monk.46:49
Jonathan de Guzman takes a short corner. Leon Britton takes a shot. Gary Caldwell gets a block in. Jonathan de Guzman decides to take the corner short. Shot from just outside the area by Dwight Tiendalli goes over the bar.45:01
The referee gets the second half underway.45:00 +2:39 Half time
Half Time The match has reached half-time.45:00 +0:52
The assist for the goal came from Ben Watson.45:00 +0:52 Goal scored
Goal! - Roger Espinoza - Wigan 1 - 0 Swansea Goal scored by Roger Espinoza from the edge of the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Wigan 1-0 Swansea.45:00 +0:48
Ben Watson crosses the ball, save by Michel Vorm.43:56
Joel Robles takes the free kick.43:56 Booking
Booking Itay Shechter goes into the referee's book.43:30
Itay Shechter takes a shot. Paul Scharner gets a block in. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Roger Espinoza by Itay Shechter.42:32
Paul Scharner concedes a free kick for a foul on Wayne Routledge. Direct free kick taken by Jonathan de Guzman.39:21
Angel Rangel concedes a free kick for a foul on Shaun Maloney. Shaun Maloney has an effort direct from the free kick, comfortable save by Michel Vorm.38:51
Ben Davies produces a cross.37:43
Shaun Maloney fouled by Dwight Tiendalli, the ref awards a free kick. Ben Watson takes the direct free kick.37:06
Emmerson Boyce produces a cross.36:43
Callum McManaman sends in a cross, Ashley Williams makes a clearance.35:52
The ball is delivered by Callum McManaman, blocked by Ben Davies. Corner taken by Ben Watson from the right by-line.34:12
Roger Espinoza concedes a free kick for a foul on Dwight Tiendalli. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Jonathan de Guzman from right wing.30:44
Itay Shechter is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Joel Robles.29:57
Unfair challenge on Wayne Routledge by Ben Watson results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Wayne Routledge.28:37
The ball is crossed by Roger Espinoza.28:09
Callum McManaman is caught offside. Indirect free kick taken by Ashley Williams.27:40
Ben Watson fouled by Itay Shechter, the ref awards a free kick. Joel Robles restarts play with the free kick.26:40
Unfair challenge on Angel Rangel by Shaun Maloney results in a free kick. Michel Vorm takes the direct free kick.26:00
Garry Monk concedes a free kick for a foul on Shaun Maloney. Free kick taken by James McArthur.24:54
Arouna Kone takes a shot. Michel Vorm gets a block in.23:58
Callum McManaman sends in a cross.23:35
Foul by Jonathan de Guzman on James McCarthy, free kick awarded. James McCarthy restarts play with the free kick.22:32
A cross is delivered by Arouna Kone, Jonathan de Guzman manages to make a clearance.21:38
James McCarthy takes a shot. Ashley Williams gets a block in. Shaun Maloney takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post.19:07
Ben Watson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Pablo Hernandez. Jonathan de Guzman takes the free kick.16:39
Wayne Routledge takes the free kick. Effort from deep inside the area by Ashley Williams clears the bar.14:37
The ball is crossed by Roger Espinoza, Michel Vorm makes a comfortable save.13:17
Dwight Tiendalli produces a cross.11:18
Shaun Maloney has an effort at goal from the edge of the area that misses to the right of the target.9:20
Free kick awarded for a foul by Shaun Maloney on Michel Vorm. Michel Vorm takes the direct free kick.8:08
Arouna Kone takes a shot. Comfortable save by Michel Vorm.2:15
Wayne Routledge takes a shot. Save by Joel Robles. Outswinging corner taken by Jonathan de Guzman from the right by-line played to the near post.0:34
Ashley Williams fouled by James McCarthy, the ref awards a free kick. Ashley Williams takes the direct free kick.0:00
The match gets underway.
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