Burnley's home rule shattered by Rodallega

Burnley 1 Wigan Athletic 3
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The Independent Football

After three successive victories against established Premier League opposition since their promotion, Burnley's hopes of remaining a member of football's elite remains reliant on continuing their impressive record at Turf Moor. Unbeaten in their first four home matches in the top flight, a two-goal display from the dreadlocked Wigan striker Hugo Rodallega provided a telling reminder of the tough battle ahead.

The Colombian striker struck twice and provided the corner which led to Wigan's third goal after Burnley had forged ahead with a fourth-minute opener from Steven Fletcher to provoke optimism they could add another home victory to those they have already claimed against Manchester United, Everton and Sunderland.

"Hugo's work-rate was exceptional, but he is also a clinical finisher," said the Wigan manager, Roberto Martinez. "Sometimes a striker can work hard for the team, but not get his reward so it was good to see Hugo getting two goals."

Fletcher's early strike, escaping attention in the area to finish Robbie Blake's left-wing cross had given Burnley early encouragement following last weekend's 3-2 defeat to arch-rivals Blackburn. For a side who have conceded only two goals at home this season, however, the events which led to Wigan's equaliser set the standards for Burnley's sub-standard defending.

There seemed little danger when Mario Melchiot floated a hopeful pass over the top of Burnley's defence and goalkeeper Brian Jensen advanced towards it with no Wigan player in close proximity. Instead of safely collecting the cross, Jensen stumbled and allowed Rodallega to roll the ball into an empty net.

To compound Jensen's embarrassment, he failed to get up from his stumble and limped out of the action to allow Peruvian substitute Diego Penny his first Premier League appearance. Wigan also suffered their own injury problems with full-back Maynor Figueroa picking up a knee injury which ruled him out midway through the first half.

It was the visitors who adapted better to the setback, however, with Rodallega providing Wigan with an attacking threat which struggled to replicate, combining intelligently with the industrious Jason Scotland at the edge of the box shortly after half-time to show his eye for goal with a low drive which bounced into the far corner off the post.

Just to complete his outstanding display, Rodallega was instrumental in Wigan's third goal, his accurate corner flicked on at the near post by Paul Scharner and Emmerson Boyce forced his way through to tap in from close range and inflict Burnley's first home defeat since February.

"We always said this was going to be a difficult ride for us and it's up to us to learn from our mistakes," said the Burnley manager, Owen Coyle. "I don't think the scoreline reflected the chances we had."

Attendance: 19,430

Referee: Lee Mason

Man of the match:

Rodallega

Match rating: 5/10

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