Premier League: West Brom 2 Wigan 3
By Football News
Wigan Athletic came from behind twice to beat West Brom 3-2 at the Hawthorns and keep their survival hopes alive.
James McArthur, with his first touch, and Callum McManaman scored second-half goals after an Arouna Kone header had been sandwiched by efforts from Shane Long and Gareth McAuley for the home side.
West Brom made three changes from the side that beat Southampton last week with Billy Jones, Youssouf Mulumbu and Markus Rosenberg coming in for Steven Reid, James Morrison and the suspended Marc-Antoine Fortune.
For Wigan, Ronnie Stam replaced the injured Maynor Figueroa, while Ben Watson came in for James McArthur, who dropped to the bench.
The first incident of note was a Graham Dorrans free-kick from 25 yards which was easily held by Joel Robles after Watson had handled.
Wigan threatened shortly afterwards, as Arouna Kone surged forward before unleashing a low drive from distance that Ben Foster had to tip behind for a corner.
It was West Brom who took the lead just before the half-hour mark. Romelu Lukaku released Rosenberg down the right-hand side, and his first-time cross along the six-yard box was tapped home at the far post by Long.
Shaun Maloney went close to finding an equaliser for Wigan, but his free-kick from just outside the box sailed a yard wide of the left-hand upright.
Lukaku was then denied at close range by Robles, and Wigan immediately responded to level the scores.
Jean Beausejour’s deep cross from the left-hand side was headed back across goal by Kone, leaving Foster helpless as he could only stand and watch the ball drop in.
West Brom retook the lead within five minutes of the restart. Dorrans swung over a free-kick from the right, and McAuley rose highest to nod the ball into the ground and beyond the dive of Robles.
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez responded by sending on McArthur and Roman Golobart in place of Jordi Gomez and Stam, with the double change reaping immediate rewards.
The ball was worked out to Maloney on the left, and his teasing delivery was headed home by the diving McArthur at the far post.
Moments later, McAuley almost grabbed his second as once again he rose highest in the box but this time his header flew just over the crossbar.
Jones went close for West Brom, but his low drive was saved by the feet of Robles as the home side mounted a rapid counter-attack.
With 10 minutes remaining, Wigan took the lead for the first time. Once again Maloney was the creator, jinking his way to the bye-line before cutting the ball back for McManaman to slot home from six yards. Robles had to be alert twice in the final moments, first parrying a Dorrans volley before tipping a Long header over the crossbar.
West Brom almost snatched a late equaliser, but Wigan scrambled clear and held on to a precious three points which leaves them still in the relegation zone, but only two points behind Sunderland in 17th place.