Rodallega on mark as Wigan take revenge

Blackpool 1 Wigan Athletic 3: Blackpool heading in the wrong direction while Martinez's strugglers clamber out of bottom three
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The Independent Online

They have recorded the double over Liverpool, defeated a Tottenham Hotspur side fresh from winning at San Siro and given Manchester United the fright of their lives. But, five weeks from the end of the season, Blackpool's Premier League adventure has turned sour, a 12th defeat in 16 games sending them into the bottom three for the first time while lifting Wigan Athletic out of the relegation zone for the first time in 10 weeks.

Wigan had started the day two points adrift of safety at the bottom of the table with the worst scoring record in the top tier. But a goal by Hugo Rodallega, now the club's record scorer in the Premier League, one for Charles N'Zogbia and an own-goal by Neal Eardley breathed new life into Wigan's battle to avoid relegation, leaving Ian Holloway, the Blackpool manager, livid after a terrible performance by his players. "We are probably the worst team in the Premier League now because they were bottom of the table before the game and gave us a whopping," said Holloway, whose side are without a win in six. "When you get in a run like this it is really difficult to stop it. We are where we don't want to be, but we've got to take it on the chin and get on with it."

Blackpool attempted to lift their supporters before kick-off by showing highlights on Bloomfield Road's big screen of their 4-0 victory at DW Stadium on the opening day of the season.

But the atmosphere went from upbeat to downbeat within three minutes of the start as Rodallega collecteda pass by the hard-working N'Zogbia before cutting inside the area and firing beyond Matt Gilks, the Blackpool goalkeeper, who was making his first start since fracturing his kneecap last November. It was to get much, much worse for Gilks and Blackpool.

The hosts posed little threat going forward unlike Wigan, who doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time after N'Zogbia tip-toed round a couple of challenges before slotting into the corner of the net after Charlie Adam had been dispossessed by Mohamed Diamé. Blackpool have gained an army of admirers yet they gave their own fans little to cheer on their worst day in the top flight.

Their miserable day was complete in the 67th minute when Diamé's speculative drive took a huge deflection off Eardley and went past Gilks to seal only Roberto Martinez's 16th win in 71 League games in charge of Wigan.

DJ Campbell did manage to score an 83rd-minute consolation from close range but this was Wigan's day, although Martinez was keeping both feet firmly on the ground afterwards.

"I am extremely proud of the tactical awareness my team showed but nothing changes," said the Wigan manager. "We are still far away from the 40 or 41 points I believe we need to stay up. We still have five huge games to play."

Attendance: 16,030

Referee: Peter Walton

Man of the match: N'Zogbia