Blackburn Rovers 3-1 Wigan Athletic
Roque Santa Cruz took his tally to 14 league goals this season as Blackburn Rovers emerged comfortable 3-1 winners over Wigan Athletic in spite of spending almost an hour of the game at a numerical disadvantage against their opponents.
Santa Cruz put Blackburn in the lead by breaking the deadlock in the 12th minute but the hosts received a set back four minutes later when defender Christopher Samba was sent off for fouling Emile Heskey and Marlon King equalized from the resultant penalty. However Jason Roberts restored the lead on the stroke of half time and Santa Cruz completed the proceedings by scoring his second in the 63rd minute.
Wigan keeper Chris Kirkland suffered an injury early in the game, landing heavily after collecting a cross and looked shaky throughout the game as he struggled to complete regulation saves. David Bentley took full advantage of the situation and his long range effort was parried into Santa Cruz's path who headed home from close range.
The visitors were given a golden opportunity to get back in the game when Samba was shown a straight red card after he tugged Heskey inside the penalty area and King made no mistake from the spot to pull his side back on level terms.
However Wigan failed to take advantage of their numerical superiority and Blackburn were back in the lead on the stroke of half time when Roberts latched on to Santa Cruz's flick on before slotting it past Kirkland.
Santa Cruz put the result beyond Wigan's reach when he headed Bentley's superb cross from the left flank to score his second for the night. Steve Bruce tried to switch to a more attacking formation but the visitors themselves were reduced to 10 men when Wilson Palacios was shown a second yellow card in the 69th minute.
Tags: Roque Santa Cruz, Blackburn, Wigan, David Bentley, Steve Bruce