Wigan Athletic came away from The Hawthorns with all three points despite falling behind twice in an exciting 3-2 win over West Bromwich Albion.

Albion went 1-0 up through Shane Long and then 2-1 up through Gareth McAuley after Arouna Kone had pegged them back with a 39th minute strike.

Goals from James McArthur and Callum McManaman turned it around for Wigan again and gave them a precious victory in their fight to stay in the Premier League.

Shaun Maloney celebrates his part in two of Wigan’s second half goals.

It was the away side who had the first shot of malice. Arouna Kone was given enough time to unleash a powerful low shot from 30 yards, but Ben Foster did well to dive low to his left and push the ball away.

Unfortunately for the relegation strugglers, it was Albion who grabbed the opening goal in the 29th minute. Romelu Lukaku unleashed rare starter Marcus Rosenberg on the right and he squared across the box for the incoming Long to tap in his 11th goal of the season from four yards out.

It was a blow for Roberto Martinez’s side but they were desperately close to pulling level eight minutes later. Shaun Maloney stepped up to take a free-kick from 25 yards and curled it inches wide of Foster’s post, with the goalkeeper stranded and beaten. It was very unlucky, but Wigan kept coming and did equalise with six minutes to go until half-time.

Izzy Brown, Albion’s Academy Player of the Year, came off the bench to make his first team debut late on.

Jean Beasejour got forward from left-back and swung in a deep cross to the back post when Kone was challenging for it. The Ivorian powered his header back across goal into the far, fiving Foster no chance and pulling Wigan level.

Wigan failed to build on the momentum in the second half as Albion retook the lead in the 50th minute. Graham Dorrans’ free-kick was headed in by the unmarked McAuley, who had lost the defensive attentions of Kone. It was a good goal from Albion’s point of view but Wigan could have avoided it by simply marking better.

The spirit of the Wigan side shone through again as they pulled level for a second time eight minutes later. It was Maloney who swung in a delightful cross from the left and it was met by a diving header from McArthur, who scored minutes after coming on as a substitute.

McManaman rifles in Wigan’s winner in the 80th minute.

It got better for the Latics as they grabbed the lead in the 80th minute. Maloney, an ex-Aston Villa midfielder, drove past Billy Jones on the left wing and drilled the ball low across the box where McManaman pounced to tap in from two yards. It was an important goal for Wigan and they completed the unlikely comeback.

Albion nearly nicked a late equaliser in the closing stages, but Youssef Mulumbu curled wide from 18 yards while Joel made a good save to keep Dorrans’ rasping drive out. The win for Wigan keeps the pressure on their relegation rivals and builds up momentum ahead of the FA Cup final against Manchester City at the end of the month.

Match Report by Kyle Dixon (@kyledixon95)


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