Roberto Martinez must at times be the most frustrated manager in English football. Wigan started yesterday day just one point clear of the relegation zone – despite picking up recent wins against Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal. And not through luck either. It has been a strangely inconsistent season at the DW Stadium but it is true to say that when the clocks go forward, so do Wigan.
Yesterday they faced an in-form Newcastle side who have found themselves in the running for Champions League football next year. Silently labouring away – it has only been recently that a sense of real expectation has begun to surround St James’ Park. And that pressure seemed to get the better of them – that and a rampant Wigan sprinting towards domestic safety.
Four first half goals from Moses (2), Maloney and Di Santo all but confirmed a vital three points for the home side. The latter a thirty-yard lob from the ever-inconsistent Argentinean striker. Di Santo’s season – the perfect representation of Wigan’s campaign. The second half saw very little action, Wigan continued to dominate and Newcastle failed to find a solution.
A roar of cheers at the final whistle suggested Wigan fans now expect Premier League football next season. No doubt a giant leap towards safety, but Martinez will not be celebrating anything just yet. They travel to Blackburn in their next game for what will be a huge six pointer in the battle for league survival. Humbling Newcastle fans showed appreciation for their team’s efforts, despite a dismal display. They will no doubt be happy with the season regardless of what happens in their last three games. Champions League football maybe a leap too far, but playing in the Europa League will offer a more realistic platform for progress.
M.O.M: Victor Moses – He scored the first two goals and looked a real threat against a below average Newcastle team. His continued form will no doubt raise questions of a summer transfer, especially if Wigan fail to secure top flight football next season.
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