Blackburn 4 Wigan 3 match report: Rudy Gestede double not enough to edge Rovers into play-offs as Wigan prepare for QPR showdown

Blackburn needed both Reading and Brighton to slip-up in order to secure a top-six finish but seven-goal thriller provides an entertaining end to an encouraging season

Ewood Park

Two goals from Rudy Gestede helped Blackburn edge past Wigan 4-3, but it was not enough to give them the final play-off place.

Rovers needed fellow promotion hopefuls Brighton and Reading to lose as well as a huge swing in goal difference to gatecrash the top six and although none of the unlikely scenarios came to pass, Blackburn fans will be encouraged for next season.

In an enthralling encounter, Tom Cairney celebrated being awarded the club's player of the year award with a fine solo goal and though Ivan Ramis equalised, Rovers struck twice more before half-time thanks to Gestede's precise finish and header

The Latics rallied and Nicky Maynard saw a shot cleared off the line before James McClean seemingly ended Blackburn hopes with an emphatic second-half finish.

Rovers had chances to stretch the lead as Gestede rattled the woodwork and Cairney forced a fine save from Scott Carson, and they got the fourth that their play deserved through a Jordan Rhodes header. Maynard struck late from 25 yards but Rovers deservedly held on to sign off 12 unbeaten.

Rhodes should have put Rovers ahead after 10 minutes when Josh King's low cross found him at the back post but his close range shot was blocked by Ramis.

It didn't matter because Cairney's sensational individual strike opened the scoring after 13 minutes, going past three players before slotting his sixth of the season off the post.

The lead lasted four minutes as Maynard's header hit the bar but Ramis nodded in the rebound from a yard out but Rovers quickly hit back as Conway's low cross was slotted into the bottom left corner by Gestede.

Rhodes had a header disallowed and Carson then tipped another header over from the striker, but Rovers struck again 10 minutes before the break when Conway again crossed and Gestede's towering header found the bottom right corner for his 13th of the season.

McClean flashed a shot wide and Maynard's hooked effort was cleared off the line by Grant Hanley before the end of a pulsating first half.

The second half started in a less frantic fashion but Wigan hit back when Josh McEachran's cross wasn't dealt with and McClean smashed home from close range.

Gestede was agonisingly close to a second Blackburn hat-trick after 64 minutes but his header rattled the woodwork and Rhodes hooked over.

Carson produced two more magnificent saves, first tipping a Cairney piledriver wide and then getting a strong hand to a low Rhodes shot.

But he was beaten again as Rhodes headed home Conway's free kick for his 25th of another prolific season six minutes from time.

Maynard's 25 yard effort arrowed into the bottom corner late on as Wigan hit back but Rovers deservedly edged it.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Louis van Gaal
football
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jay Z has placed a bet on streaming being the future for music and videos
music
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own