Blackburn relegated after Wigan defeat

Rovers had to win to have a chance of keeping their survival bid going to Sunday’s final day of the season, when they travel to Chelsea.

But it was north-west rivals Wigan who ensured their Premier League status when Antolin Alcaraz headed in the only goal of the game three minutes from time to remove the threat of relegation hanging over Roberto Martinez’s side.

Rovers went into the match six points from safety but they were always on the back foot against a Wigan side that confirmed their place when Paraguayan defender Alcaraz’s late header earned a sixth win in eight matches.

Consecutive victories in March took Blackburn, who only avoided relegation on the final day of last season, as high as 16th in the table.

However, a run of six defeats in seven put them back into trouble and relegation brings to an end a miserable campaign for the club, who were Premier League champions in 1995.

Survival hopes

Despite the knowledge that a win would keep their survival hopes alive, the match was dominated by supporter protests against Rovers manager Steve Kean and unpopular owners Venky’s, an Indian poultry firm, who arrived in November 2010 promising big signings such as Ronaldinho and David Beckham.

Even before kick-off there were chants for Kean to be sacked and they continued throughout the game.

A chicken, dressed in Blackburn colours, was thrown onto the pitch in the early stages and just after half-time a supporter sprinted across the pitch and threw his season ticket in the air when he reached the dug-outs.

After a surprise run of results, which included victories over Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool, Wigan only needed a point to confirm their Premier League status.

But instead it was the visitors who began like the team that needed a win at a rain swept Ewood Park, with Victor Moses hitting a shot off-target and Franco di Santo breaking through only to be denied by Rovers keeper Paul Robinson.

In control of possession

Wigan were always in control of possession and after Moses broke away from Scott Dann his shot was turned wide by Robinson.

Morten Gamst Pedersen fired a free-kick well over the bar for the hosts and Shaun Maloney also dragged wide after Blackburn failed to clear the Scot’s free-kick.

Wigan, whose owner Dave Whelan is a former Blackburn player, should have taken the lead when di Santo was sent into space down the right and sent over a cross to the far post that Moses headed wide from six yards.

After the interval, Wigan’s Chilean winger Jean Beausejour had a drive deflected wide and Gary Caldwell pulled off a fine block from Yakubu after Dann headed down Junior Hoilett’s corner at the other end.

Yakubu just failed to get a touch on Pedersen’s free-kick as the hosts finally generated some pressure.

Free-kick deflected

After di Santo dragged wide, Maloney also had a free-kick deflected over the bar before Anthony Modeste shot straight at Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi from 20 yards.

Moses was shown a yellow card after he went down under Pedersen’s challenge in the area as Wigan looked for a breakthrough.

Al Habsi produced a scrambling save from Hoilett’s scuffed shot and Robinson pulled off a fine double save from Moses and James McCarthy at the other end.

Maloney also wasted a fine chance when he lifted a header over the bar from Emmerson Boyce’s cross.

But three minutes before the end a Beausejour corner was met with enough power by Alcaraz’s header to beat Robinson’s despairing dive.

Angry Blackburn supporters invaded the pitch at the final whistle after Rovers’ relegation was confirmed. — Sapa-AFP

Advertisting

Inquest into Neil Aggett’s death begins

The trade unionist was found hanged in his cell at the John Vorster Square police station in 1982

SANDF colonel accused of swindling colleagues in UN business scam

A senior soldier who is part of South Africa’s peacekeeping missions is accused by her colleagues of swindling them out of of hundreds of thousands of rands in a nonexistent business deal

Mass store and job cuts at Massmart

Changed market conditions and an appalling economy has hit low end cash-and-carry outlets

Courts to guide land expropriation

Two bits of law need to be approved before a court can decide if land owners will be compensated
Advertising

Press Releases

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Is your tertiary institution is accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Is your tertiary institution accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

VUT chancellor, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, dies

The university conferred the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa on Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi for his outstanding leadership contributions to maths and science education development.

Innovate4AMR now in second year

SA's Team pill-Alert aims to tackle antimicrobial resistance by implementing their strategic intervention that ensures patients comply with treatment.

Medical students present solution in Geneva

Kapil Narain and Mohamed Hoosen Suleman were selected to present their strategic intervention to tackle antimicrobial resistance to an international panel of experts.