Rodallega Brace Seals Wigan Win
Turf Moor Burnley
A brace from Hugo Rodallega capped off a superb all round performance from the Colombian superstar and allowed Wigan to secure a win against a spirited but limited Burnley side.
Much of the debate around the pubs and clubs of Wigan during the week has been on whether Scharner and Kirkland would be fit to start and Martinez opted to gamble of their fitnesses despite neither of them having trained all week. The gamble paid off as both played key roles in ensuring the Latics secured their second away win of the season.
Latics have been criticised recently for conceding early in the second half, however this week they were once again caught cold but early in the first half, one time Latics target Robbie Blake seemed to have nowhere to go when stuck by the corner flag with Melchiot in close attendance but he left Mario standing and whipped in a cross which was watched by a static Boyce leaving Fletcher with an easy tap in.
Latics were behind in four minutes and with fans ever mindful of the fact that we have only come from behind to win five times in the last five seasons it seemed we would struggle.
Help however, come from an unusual source, a lofted cross from Melchiot caught in the wind and sailed over Mears` head, Rodallega on the left raced towards the ball and Jensen the bulky Burnley keeper came off his line to intercept the cross. Jenson never made it, slipping on the wet grass, injuring himself in the process, allowing Hugo a simple tap in.
The rest of the first half was a full blooded Lancashire derby with both sides going in hard in the tackle. Referee Lee Mason in probably the best display of referring I have seen for a while , used the advantage rule well and applied some common sense only booking one player.
For Wigan Diame and Thomas covered every blade of grass closing down the home sides midfield and with the unpredictable Scharner pushing forward at every opportunity Wigan looked dangerous every time they attacked.
Wigan didn`t have it all their own way however and Burnley had several half chances largely due to Wigan not concentrating at set pieces.
Latics` stable back four was disrupted when Figueroa who had been down for several minutes with a knee injury was forced to go off causing a re-shuffle. Most of the fans expected Scharner to drop back in at centre half with Boyce moving to left back , however Martinez is nothing if not innovative and opted to move N`Zogbia to left back and placing Gomez on the left wing giving Wigan probably the most skilful attacking left back in the Premier League.
N`Zogbia has played their before for Newcastle but isn`t over happy with this role and constantly attacked up the left but struggled to track back leaving Boyce over exposed.
The second half started in the same vein with Latics` pushing forward, Scotland put in a tremendous hard working performance without ever troubling the replacement keeper.
It was a Scotland break that gave Latics the lead, Scotland broke down the left and with no one in the penalty area he saw Hugo racing up in the inside left position, a cool pass to the Colombian saw a beautifully struck shot hit the far post and nestle in the corner of the net.
Latics didn`t sit back on their laurels however and a corner from Rodallega, saw Scharner put his body on the line, the flick on arriving at Boyce who bundled the ball over the line. Scharner`s bravery saw him substituted with a nasty head wound but earned him rapturous applause from the noisy travelling support.
Burnley didn`t go down without a fight and a header hit the cross bar and was cleared by Melchiot.
The full time whistle brought adulation from the Wigan faithful and Hugo`s hero status was further cemented when he threw his shirt into the crowd
Lets hope we can hang on to him for a few more seasons
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