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Blackburn4Wigan3

Blackburn Rovers 4-3 Wigan Athletic

Gary Bowyer
Gary Bowyer

Blackburn missed out on the play-offs, despite beating Premier League hopefuls Wigan to finish their league season unbeaten in 12 matches.

Tom Cairney gave Rovers an early lead before Ivan Ramis levelled for Wigan.

Rudy Gestede put the hosts back in front and his header extended the lead before half-time.

James McClean pulled a goal back for Wigan, before Jordan Rhodes and Nicky Maynard netted late goals.

Wigan had already sealed a place in the Championship play-offs, despite losing five of their last seven matches in all competitions. They will play QPR at home in the first leg on 9 May.

Blackburn knew reaching the play-offs was going to be a difficult task, needing and to lose, while beating Wigan and then turning around a seven-goal swing on the Royals.

By half-time, with Reading and Brighton losing, Ewood Park was full of belief the unlikely could become possible with their side 3-1 ahead and just four goals adrift of the Royals.

Blackburn got the start they needed as Cairney, voted supporters' player of the year, weaved through three Wigan defenders before slotting in the opener from just inside the penalty area.

Wigan were level soon after when Ramis bundled the ball over the line with his head after Martyn Waghorn's corner was flicked onto the bar by Rob Kiernan.

Uwe Rosler

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Post-match Wigan manager Uwe Rosler on 4-3 defeat

Parity wasn't restored for long when Gestede, who signed permanently from Cardiff in January after an initial loan, scored his fifth goal in three games, drilling low into the bottom corner, before the striker headed home Craig Conway's cross.

The second-half turned out to be an anti-climax though as an improved Wigan frustrated the hosts, before killing Rovers' hopes with McClean's close-range strike.

Gestede was denied a second hat-trick in three games by the crossbar and, with Reading drawing and Brighton winning, they finished in eighth, two points adrift of the top six, despite Rhodes' late header.

Maynard's impressive finish from the edge of the penalty area was not enough for Wigan, who will be hoping to earn an instant Premier League return.

Blackburn manager Gary Bowyer: "The objective was to win the game and we did that. I thought we played ever so well.

"From where we were last year, when we could still have gone down on the last day of the season, we can't look at this as anything but progress. We have to build on that now.

"I'm already looking forward to next season but there is going to be a lot of work ahead. This club needs another three windows before the squad is back where it should be."

Wigan manager Uwe Rosler: "It was the perfect opportunity to give players more minutes, and give others a rest.

"Blackburn Rovers are probably disappointed they are not where they should be but congratulations to the manager for a team of young players with good momentum.

"We have a decent momentum going in and I know we can compete with QPR. The game will not be lost or won in the first leg."

Line-ups

Blackburn

  • 1Robinson
  • 16Keane
  • 14Olsson
  • 29EvansSubstituted forLoweat 73'minutes
  • 5HanleyBooked at 45mins
  • 4KilgallonBooked at 86mins
  • 32Conway
  • 45Cairney
  • 11Rhodes
  • 39GestedeBooked at 68mins
  • 7KingSubstituted forFeeneyat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Lowe
  • 8Dunn
  • 13Eastwood
  • 15Varney
  • 17Williamson
  • 19Taylor
  • 22Feeney

Wigan

  • 1Carson
  • 5CaldwellSubstituted forHolgerssonat 72'minutes
  • 3CraineyBooked at 79mins
  • 4McEachran
  • 21RamisSubstituted forBarnettat 45'minutes
  • 30Kiernan
  • 18Espinoza
  • 34Collison
  • 29Maynard
  • 33WaghornSubstituted forMaloneyat 65'minutes
  • 11McCleanBooked at 45mins

Substitutes

  • 2Holgersson
  • 10Maloney
  • 15McManaman
  • 22Beausejour
  • 25Barnett
  • 26Al-Habsi
  • 32Fortuné
Referee:
Roger East
Attendance:
16,996

Match Stats

Home TeamBlackburnAway TeamWigan
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home20
Away18
Shots on Target
Home9
Away7
Corners
Home8
Away10
Fouls
Home10
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Blackburn Rovers 4, Wigan Athletic 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Blackburn Rovers 4, Wigan Athletic 3.
Attempt missed. Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Liam Feeney.
Attempt missed. James McClean (Wigan Athletic) left footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Shaun Maloney following a set piece situation.
Stephen Crainey (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Markus Olsson (Blackburn Rovers).
Corner, Wigan Athletic. Conceded by Paul Robinson.
Attempt saved. Shaun Maloney (Wigan Athletic) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by James McClean with a cross.
Joshua McEachran (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers).

Goal!

Goal! Blackburn Rovers 4, Wigan Athletic 3. Nicky Maynard (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jack Collison.

Booking

Matthew Kilgallon (Blackburn Rovers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Shaun Maloney (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Matthew Kilgallon (Blackburn Rovers).
Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Leon Barnett.

Goal!

Goal! Blackburn Rovers 4, Wigan Athletic 2. Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) header from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Craig Conway with a cross following a set piece situation.
Foul by Stephen Crainey (Wigan Athletic).
Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Attempt saved. Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Tom Cairney.
Attempt saved. Matthew Kilgallon (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Craig Conway with a cross.
goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Leicester46319640102
2Burnley46261553593
3Derby462510113285
4QPR462311121680
5Wigan462110151373
6Brighton461915121572
7Reading461914131471
8Blackburn46181612870
9Ipswich46181414668
10Bournemouth46181216166
11Nottm Forest46161713365
12Middlesbrough461616141264
13Watford461515161060
14Bolton46141715-159
15Leeds4616921-857
16Sheff Wed46131419-253
17Huddersfield46141121-753
18Charlton46131221-2051
19Millwall46111520-2848
20Blackpool46111322-2846
21Birmingham46111124-1644
22Doncaster46111124-3144
23Barnsley4691225-3339
24Yeovil4681325-3137
View full Championship table

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