Select a Team

Barclays Premier League

DW Stadium (ATT 16,489) 15th December 2007 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: M Clattenburg

Wigan Wigan Athletic vs Blackburn Rovers Blackburn

Wigan win thriller

Hat-tricks from Bent and Santa Cruz

Last Updated: 15/12/07 5:31pm

  • Share:
Bent: Hat-Trick

Bent: Hat-Trick

Wigan ran out 5-3 winners to record their first league victory since August in this amazing game from the JJB Stadium.

The home side raced to a three goal lead with efforts from Denny Landzaat, Marcus Bent and Paul Scharner.

But Blackburn drew level thanks to a fantastic Roque Santa Cruz hat-trick either side of half-time.

Bent then added two more goals to get his own hat-trick and secure three vital points for Wigan in their battle against the drop.

Blackburn's Brett Emerton was unlucky to be sent-off for two bookable offences.

The omens were not good for the Latics, who had never beaten Blackburn, losing seven of their eight meetings - yet it was the home side who made a flying start, Ryan Taylor testing Brad Friedel with a well-struck free-kick after three minutes.

The game was being played at a frantic pace and Santa Cruz fired David Bentley's cross over at the other end.

Early lead

But Wigan deservedly went ahead in the 10th minute when a static Rovers defence allowed Landzaat to race through unchallenged onto Emile Heskey's flick before beating Friedel low to his left for his second goal in a week.

Two minutes later and more shocking defending saw Bent completely out-muscle Ryan Nelsen, leaving him on the deck before firing across Friedel and into the net.

Rovers were then handed a lifeline by a controversial penalty decision after 22

minutes. From a corner, referee Mark Clattenburg decided Heskey had manhandled Chris Samba and pointed to the spot.

However, Benni McCarthy saw his effort brilliantly turned behind by Chris

Kirkland, diving low to his right.

Heskey was giving Samba a torrid time and earned the free-kick through which Wigan scored their third.

Taylor curled it in from the left edge of the box and Scharner ran in unchallenged to power home a header.

Santa Cruz then pulled a goal back in first-half stoppage-time when his stunning volley from the edge of the box flew into the net.

His first-half strike became even more crucial five minutes into the second period when the Paraguayan made it 3-2. Wigan failed to deal with Emerton's right-wing cross, which cannoned off Steven Reid and eventually fell for Santa Cruz to volley home from point-blank range.

Ten-men

Wigan's task became easier in the 57th minute when Emerton was shown his second yellow card of the game for scything down Taylor. Only frantic Rovers defending saw the home side fail to turn in the resulting free-kick.

Completing the comeback now looked an impossible task for the visitors but

Santa Cruz had other ideas. Given the freedom of the penalty area just past the hour mark, he completed his first Rovers' hat-trick by nodding in Stephen Warnock's left-wing cross.

There was no let-up, Bent putting the home side back in front in the 66th minute when he stole in to head home Antonio Valencia's cross.

Santa Cruz was nearly the hero again when he headed over a corner from six yards.

But with less than 10 minutes remaining, Bent completed his own treble to surely end Rovers' resistance. Valencia's ball caught out the visiting defence once again and Aghahowa raced clear before squaring for his partner to tap into an empty net.

Santa Cruz refused to yield and almost made it 5-4 in a goalmouth scramble, but Wigan held on for the win.

width="100%">

Wigan AthleticTeam StatisticsBlackburn Rovers
5Goals3
31st Half Goals1
6Shots on Target6
3Shots off Target4
2Blocked Shots0
6Corners4
20Fouls24
6Offsides1
4Yellow Cards3
0Red Cards1
59.2Passing Success59.4
20Tackles24
90Tackles Success70.8
46.1Possession53.9
57.4Territorial Advantage42.6

  • Share:

Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 18 45
2 Manchester City 18 42
3 Manchester United 18 35
4 Southampton 18 32
5 West Ham United 18 31
6 Arsenal 18 30
7 Tottenham Hotspur 18 30
8 Swansea City 18 28
9 Liverpool 18 25
10 Newcastle United 18 23
11 Stoke City 18 22
12 Everton 18 21
13 Aston Villa 18 20
14 Sunderland 18 19
15 West Bromwich Albion 18 17
16 Queens Park Rangers 18 17
17 Hull City 18 16
18 Crystal Palace 18 15
19 Burnley 18 15
20 Leicester City 18 10

Related