Championship
BlackburnBlackburn Rovers4WiganWigan Athletic3

Blackburn Rovers 4-3 Wigan Athletic

By Andy Cryer BBC Sport at Ewood Park
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.

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

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Blackburn Rovers 4, Wigan Athletic 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Blackburn Rovers 4, Wigan Athletic 3.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Liam Feeney.

  4. Post update

    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.

  5. Post update

    Stephen Crainey (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Markus Olsson (Blackburn Rovers).

  7. Post update

    Corner, Wigan Athletic. Conceded by Paul Robinson.

  8. Post update

    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.

  9. Post update

    Joshua McEachran (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers).

  11. 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.

  12. Booking

    Matthew Kilgallon (Blackburn Rovers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  13. Post update

    Shaun Maloney (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Matthew Kilgallon (Blackburn Rovers).

  15. Post update

    Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Leon Barnett.

  16. 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.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Stephen Crainey (Wigan Athletic).

  18. Post update

    Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  19. Post update

    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.

  20. Post update

    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.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leicester463196834340102
2Burnley462615572373593
3Derby4625101184523285
4QPR4623111260441680
5Wigan4621101561481373
6Brighton4619151255401572
7Reading4619141370561471
8Blackburn461816127062870
9Ipswich461814146054668
10Bournemouth461812166766166
11Nottm Forest461617136764365
12Middlesbrough4616161462501264
13Watford4615151674641060
14Bolton461417155960-159
15Leeds46169215967-857
16Sheff Wed461314196365-253
17Huddersfield461411215865-753
18Charlton461312214161-2051
19Millwall461115204674-2848
20Blackpool461113223866-2846
21Birmingham461111245874-1644
22Doncaster461111243970-3144
23Barnsley46912254477-3339
24Yeovil46813254475-3137
View full Championship table

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