Hugo Rodallega’s 78th minute winner at the Brittania ensured Wigan remain in the Premiership.
Blackburn had already ensured Premiership participation after scoring three quick goals against Wolves at the Molineaux. It was down to Wolves, Wigan, Blackpool, and Birmingham fighting for that last spot.
Wolves were facing an uphill task and Blackpool looked like pulling off a famous victory at Old Trafford leading 2-1. At White Hart, Birmingham were behind Spurs.
Meanwhile Wigan and Stoke were battling to a scoreless draw which would have not helped because of their adverse goal differential. Could Blackpool dodge relegation?
Ian Holloway’s side could not stop Anderson scoring a goal. It was 2-2. But as long as Wigan did not score even a draw would ensure survival.
Rodallega’s goal changed all of that. An outright win with three points pushed them to 42 points and just behind Blackburn. Wolves, Birmingham, and Blackpool were now scrambling to survive. At 2-2 it was still Blackpool’s to lose. In a familiar pattern they unable to stop a second half surge by their opponents and were down, 2-4.
Their hopes fading just as Birmingham’s were picking up on a Craig Gardner goal at White Hart which brought the Blues level.
For a few pulsating minutes Alex McLeish’s side looked like they had dodged a bullet before Wolves remembered they were at Molineaux. Jamie O’Hara and Stephen Hunt’s late goals were enough to claw back a crucial advantage on goal differential. It was now or never for Birmingham as they tried to go all out in the remaining minutes. But Spurs closed that door shut after Roman Pavlyuchenko scored their second goal.
Wigan had to see out an agonizing 6 minutes + in added time but Rodallega’s goal stood. Full credit to Roberto Martinez for steering his side through these nerve wracking last few weeks.