Latics in dreamland
Wigan took a huge step towards Premier League survival after a blistering first-half performance in a 4-0 win over Newcastle.
Last Updated: 28/04/12 6:16pm
Wigan took a huge step towards Premier League survival after a blistering first-half performance secured a remarkable 4-0 win over Newcastle at the DW Stadium.
Roberto Martinez's perennial escape artists were considered doomed at Easter when looking ahead at a daunting fixture list.
But wins over Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and now Newcastle have moved Wigan onto 37 points and level with 15th-placed Aston Villa.
For Alan Pardew's visitors, who arrived with plans of finishing third and securing a place in the UEFA Champions League, it was a sickening afternoon.
Newcastle were chasing shadows against Wigan's principled pass-and-move style and were made to pay with two goals from Victor Moses and strikes from Shaun Maloney and Franco Di Santo in a stunning first half.
The recalled Maloney spread panic with a free-kick in the second minute and Moses had already brought a save out of Tim Krul before the striker opened the scoring by rising above a static Danny Simpson to nod home an Emmerson Boyce cross.
And less than two minutes later, the Latics extended their lead when Fabricio Coloccini made a mess of an attempted clearance from a Jean Beausejour cross, and Moses pounced again to drill a low shot past Krul.
In response, Hatem Ben Arfa drilled a dangerous-looking free-kick just over the Wigan bar and Papiss Cisse poked a poor effort at Ali Al Habsi from the edge of the box in what was the home goalkeeper's first sight of the ball in the opening 23 minutes.
But Newcastle's uncharacteristic defensive clumsiness almost cost them again in the 34th minute when Simpson and Davide Santon hesitated over a harmless-looking cross from Moses, and Beausejour almost took advantage from close range.
Incredibly, Wigan extended their lead in the 36th minute when Di Santo fed Maloney on the left and the recalled midfielder fended off Simpson as he cut into the box to slide a low shot across Krul and into the bottom corner.
Demba Ba bobbled Newcastle's best chance wide four minutes from the break then, in first-half injury-time, Wigan made it 4-0 when Di Santo directed a magnificent lob over Krul and into the top corner from 25 yards.
Wigan continued to press early in the second half, and when Maynor Figueroa sent in a low cross from the left in the 52nd minute only Coloccini's excellent interception denied Moses the chance to complete his hat-trick.
Moses screwed a rising shot just wide of Krul's left hand and with the home side continuing to hunt for more goals, only a brilliant fingertip save from Krul denied the striker in a mighty penalty box melee on the hour.
Belatedly the visitors began to press, with Al Habsi producing a brilliant save to deny Cisse from 10 yards in the 63rd minute, and moments the later the same player firing a shot from the left side of the box which hit the bar.
Ben Arfa drilled a low shot just wide before Martinez made clear his intention to keep pushing for more goals, replacing the tiring Di Santo with another out-and-out striker in Conor Sammon in the 69th minute.
Cisse hit the woodwork for the second time in the 72nd minute when he slammed Al Habsi's left post with a header from a Ben Arfa cross, but with time running down the massed ranks of visiting fans behind Al Habsi's goal became resigned to a heavy defeat.Sammon almost rewarded Martinez's bravery with a fifth for Wigan three minutes from time, with the striker beating the advancing Krul but seeing his dribble towards goal ended by a last-ditch interception from Coloccini.
|Wigan Athletic||Team Statistics||Newcastle United|
|4||1st Half Goals||0|
|6||Shots on Target||2|
|2||Shots off Target||8|
|52.7||1st Half Poss.||47.3|
|60||2nd Half Poss.||40|