Stoke 0-3 Wigan: Latics thump sorry Potters
Will Grigg scores twice either side of Gavin Massey as Wigan thrash 10-man Stoke.
Last Updated: 22/08/18 11:19pm
Will Grigg scored twice to inspire Wigan to a dominant 3-0 win away at struggling 10-man Stoke.
Grigg opened the scoring for the Latics three minutes before the half hour, converting Gavin Massey's pinpoint cross.
Massey got on the scoresheet himself shortly after, showing excellent determination to burst down the right and double the visitors' advantage.
Grigg notched his second from 12 yards on 57 minutes to complete a memorable away performance after referee John Brooks awarded a penalty following Joe Allen's foul on Nick Powell.
Late into the fixture, centre-back Ashley Williams was sent off for a second yellow card for bringing down substitute Josh Windass, compounding the misery which was felt around most of the bet365 Stadium.
For Stoke, the defeat continues their poor start to the Championship season, with Gary Rowett's side yet to register a win since returning to the second-tier after relegation from the Premier League last term.
Early openings fell for both teams, with Powell's free-kick safely held by Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland.
Having seen Benik Afobe's goal disallowed for offside, the hosts went close when Tom Ince drove his shot over Christian Walton's crossbar.
Afobe's header went wide and former Wigan midfielder James McClean saw his free-kick deflected wide as they upped the tempo in front of an expectant home support.
After soaking up Stoke pressure, Wigan led on 27 minutes when Massey delivered a low ball from the right for Grigg to sweep home right-footed into the bottom left-corner beyond Butland.
It soon got better for Paul Cook's men after 33 minutes played, when Massey's endeavour down the right saw him evade challenges of the Potters' defenders after playing a neat one-two with Powell and slamming right-footed across Butland.
Stoke pushed for a way back into the contest but they soon found themselves 3-0 from the penalty spot 12 minutes after half-time.
A sweeping move which was engineered by Antonee Robinson down the left concluded in the Everton loanee drilling a low ball into the area, with Powell tripped by Wales international Allen.
Up stepped Grigg who smashed home his third goal in two games, giving Butland no chance from the penalty spot, emphatically planting his right-footed kick past the England international.
Wigan were rampant and were agonisingly close to extending their advantage further when Reece James galloped into space before putting in a teasing delivery for Powell, who could only steer his effort over the crossbar.
Brooks later dismissed Williams on 77 minutes for a rash tackle on Windass, prompting taunts from the stands towards under-fire boss Rowett on the touchline.
Gary Rowett: "I'm not going to try and justify any of that. We got the reaction that we absolutely deserved, I'm not going to absolve myself from that, we deserve to be booed, we deserve the stadium being half empty as we haven't been good enough.
"I've got to say to them (fans) that I can completely understand their frustrations. I'm not sure whether you can say it was far worse than lots of games last season, it wasn't a good game and I don't think there have been many good performances for a long time. For 25 minutes we were excellent. It was fast and attacking, we had opportunities and a goal disallowed that was offside."
Paul Cook: "It was the perfect performance from us, everything has gone our way on the night. I thought Stoke started the game excellent, they put us under pressure and may feel like they could have scored a goal in their spell of pressure. We always felt we would have moments in the game and obviously tonight the key moments have gone our way.
"The goals were scored at a good time for us and it ends up being one of those performances where you say 'yeah it looks good on paper, but I feel we won in a fortunate way'. Stoke not scoring early in the game was massive. We've conceded two very late goals and people have questioned our defending, but today we could deal with Stoke well."