London: Wigan have gone a step closer to securing Premier League football for another year after a fantastic 4-0 win over Newcastle United at the DW Stadium on Saturday. In terms of starting line-up changes, there weren't many to talk about as Wigan made just the one replacement with Jordi Gomez dropping to the bench and Shaun Maloney coming in for him, while the visitors side was exactly the same to the one that beat Stoke 3-0 last weekend.
Victor Moses gave the hosts the lead with a well-placed header, soon doubling the score with a confident finish inside the box, but they were far from finished. Through the excellent Shaun Maloney they got themselves a third, and then Franco Di Santo topped it off with a brilliant finish just before halftime, with Newcastle looking shell-shocked.
Wigan started as the side in the ascendancy and Emmerson Boyce almost had a chance to open scoring after Franco Di Santo headed Maloney's free-kick back across the goal, but the defender stumbled at the crucial moment, with the move coming to nothing.
Newcastle started getting a little bit more of the possession, but it was Wigan who went closest again moments later. Good combination play between Maloney and Jean Beausejour saw the Chilean deliver a cross from the left, but the clearance was poor, allowing Victor Moses to shoot, however it was easy for Tim Krul.
The visitors came into the game with huge confidence, but with not even 20 minutes gone, that belief had been shaken to its foundations as the hosts took a commanding lead. Maloney, who had been causing problems, did brilliantly to spread play to the right, and Boyce then beat Davide Santon before crossing, left-footed straight onto the head of Moses who directed it past Krul.
Newcastle were visibly annoyed, but seconds later it got even worse as Maloney linked up well once again with Beausejour, but even though the former Club America man's cross wasnt brilliant, it ricocheted into the path of Moses who expertly stroked it into the bottom right corner. The Magpies managed to keep the score down for the next 20 minutes or so, but the fact they weren't creating anything soon came back to haunt them as Wigan got their third of the half.
James McCarthy played the ball into Di Santo's feet and the Argentine moved it on straight away, playing the ball in behind Danny Simpson for Maloney to run onto and the former Aston Villa man held his nerve as he placed the ball to Krul's left and into the goal. Newcastle were insistent on attacking and Hatem Ben Arfa was trying to make things happen as he went on a mazy run, dribbling past three players, but the Frenchman was halted by Maynor Figueroa, who until then had been a brick wall personified.
If things were already looking a bit peculiar from a Wigan perspective, it was about to get even better. Wigan were stroking the ball around the edge of the Newcastle area, and after being given space Di Santo opts to let fly and he picked out the top corner expertly, giving Krul no chance and the hosts went into the break 4-0 up.
After the break Newcastle were certainly giving it a bit more than in the first-half, but luck appeared to have deserted them. Papiss Cisse was looking dangerous as he first tested Ali Al-Habsi from the edge of the box, only for the effort to be saved, but he soon went even closer.
The striker latched onto a ball over the Wigan defence, but after bending his run back round, his curled shot came back off the crossbar with Al-Habsi beaten. It was the first period of serious pressure Newcastle had had, but they weren't getting much out of it. Wigan went close themselves around the same time as Di Santo forced his way into the area, but after receiving a pass back from Moses his shot is saved by Krul.
Next to try his luck for the visitors was Ben Arfa, who was looking increasingly frustrated. The French winger twisted and turned on the edge of the area before firing narrowly wide, while seconds later Cisse couldnt get himself on the end of Yohan Cabayes deep cross from the left.
With 20 minutes to go, Wigan had been sitting back for a considerable amount of time, inviting pressure onto themselves, but their defensive performance until then had been so good they had no reason to be worried. Still the Newcastle attack broke up on the Wigan defence like waves do on rocks and Wigan were making everything look easy.
There was still time for Connor Sammon to almost grab a fifth for Wigan as the striker poked the ball past Krul after a poor block from Mike Williamson, but Fabricio Coloccini got back to clear and Newcastle were able to hold on for a 4-0 defeat, ending an embarrassing afternoon.