Defensive Lapses Cost Latics Dear
Ewood Park, Blackburn
Anyone expecting a blood and thunder local derby would have been disappointed as two Premier League teams served up a poor game which neither side deserved to win but Latics just about deserved to lose.
Martinez made several changes to the side that scraped a draw at Notts County restoring Melchiot, Thomas, N'Zogbia,Caldwell and Scharner to his starting line up but any hope that this would produce a cohesive team performance from eight of the players who have been virtually ever constant this season, were quickly dispelled as the away side once again settled into a pattern of play that was negative and lacked commitment.
All too often players would pass backwards, sometimes because there was no options going forwards and other times simply bcause they didnt look.
Time and again passes went astray and the very long suffering travelling support got increasingly restless as the game went on.
Rovers played like an away side , soaking up Wigan's pressure and counter attacking. Every time they did the Latics defence looked shaky with Figueroa having a nightmare game. Rovers almost took the lead when Stojkovic came off his line and with him and the defence beaten, the shot from Kalanic hit the post and was scrambled clear.
Latics looked to push forward but once again only N'Zogbia looked dangerous and Rodallega looked a lonely figure up front as he was starved of any quality ball on the ground and easily muscled out of any aerial balls by an over aggressive Rover's defence.
Kalanic almost got through again as he appeared to beat the offside trap but as he shaped to shoot, the linesman spared the Latics blushes by raising his flag for a questionable offside.
Rovers did take the lead soon after. A moment of madness by Stojkovic when he raced of his line in an attemopt to punch a ball clear when there were three Latics defenders in position, fell to Pedersen whose shot deflected into the empty net with the Serbian keeper stranded.
Latics looked to reply but for all their possesion in the latter stages of the first half rarely troubled Paul Robinson. The best chance was a Rodallega free kick which Scharner stretched for but was just unable to meet it.
Once again Wigan trooped off to a chorus of boos from the increasingly embittered travelling faithful.
Latics started the second half with more purpose but too often passes went astray allowing a limited but organised Rovers defence the opportunity to clear their penalty area.
N'Zogbia looked the most likely to create something and when he won a corner, his cross was met unchallenged by a bullet header from Caldwell for his first Latics goal.
This should have been the catalyst for Wigan to push on but for all their possesion , Robinson didn't have another save to make and Rodallega was forced to shoot from outside the area and was becoming visibly dejected.
Rovers looked the most likely to snatch a winner and Klasnic sealed the three points when he rose unchallenged with four Latics defenders around him to head a corner home.
Still Wigan looked unable to work as a team and with substitute Boyce having a torrid time at right back a Rovers header beat Stojkovic but bounced off the crossbar to safety.
Full time brought more boos and can have left Martinez and his team with no illusions about the task that they face if they are to stay in the Premeir League