Controversy In Lancashire Derby!
It was a fixture which had it all. A first minute goal, a 99th minute equaliser, a Red card, dissalowed penalty and a controversial corner! Welcome to the Lancashire Derby
Blackburn Rovers welcomed back Michel Salgado and Scott Dann, perfect timing with the injury to Samba and suspension of Jason Lowe
Salgado, Dann, Hanley, Givet
Hoillet, Pedersen, Rochina
With Owners Venkatesh and Balaji Rao watching, Blackburn Rovers got off to a dream start. A long ball by Paul Robinson found Steve Nzozi who lept highest, flicking the ball over the Wigan defence. Yakubu pounced, lobbing over Ali Al Habsi, opening the scoring just after 1 minute
Wigan coach Martinez was furious at the manner in which Wigan conceded, pushing his men forward immediately. Whilst nothing was being created at either end, Wigan could count themselves extremely unlucky not to be awarded a penalty after Gamst Pedersen brought his man down, referee Andre Marriner waving play on. However Wigan were not to be denied minutes later. Grant Hanley's half clearance found the path of Jordi Gomez, lashing home a volley from 20 yards out, leaving Paul Robinson stranded.
A slow mid section of the game gave both sets of fans the nerves, but it was the home team who took the advantage, via some very sloppy defending. A Wigan corner was sent deep into the penalty box, Caldwell unmarked, heading in from 12 yards whilst the Rovers defenders watched each other..
Adam Henley was handed a debut appearance, replacing the injured Michel Salgado at right back. David Dunn and Ruben Rochina both earned themselves yellow cards via rash challenges as Wigan started to dominate the midfield.
Half Time 2-1 Wigan.
The second half continued in the same manner, Wigan maintained possession with Blackburn failing to create any opportunities. Things got even worse for the travelling Blues, David Dunn dismissed for a second bookable offence, Rovers trailing 2-1 and down to 10 men.
Whilst replays showed Dunn might of just reached the ball, it would not prove to be the major talking point of the night. A Rovers corner appeared to be swiftly taken, Yakubu rolling the ball on and walking away, with Gamst Pedersen scooting into the box, crossing for Hoillet to tap in from 2 inches out. Andre Marriner awarded the goal, and with no protests, everything seemed fine
Hold on! Lets look at the replay. Yakubu never touched the ball! Morten Gamst Pedersen dribbled straight into the box off the corner, setting up a controversial equaliser!
Yakubu was in the thick of it 10 minutes later and he should of put Rovers 3-2 up. Ruben Rochina found space in midfield, threading in a delightful ball for the Yak. The Nigerian cut inside Al Habsi, only a last ditch tackle blocking Yakubu striking into an open net.
A superb reflex save by Paul Robinson then denied Rodallega from 6 yards as Wigan pushed on for a late winner, which they were rewarded for with only 2 minutes of normal time to go. A long ball found Rodallega, who rolled it onto Crusat. A toe poke effort from 20 yards was enough for Robinson to make a misjudgement, handing Wigan a 3-2 lead in the 88th minute.
6 minutes of stoppage time came up, and every last second was needed plus more. The last play of the game was to be a free kick from 40 yards. This however was deflected for a corner, with Robinson dashing into the box for one last attack. The corner was half cleared, bouncing in the box for Paul Robinson to make a diving header. As Robinson went to head the ball, a high foot dashed his forehead and Mr Marriner pointed to the spot.
Yakubu stepped up and ensured Rovers would take a point, burying it in the bottom left corner