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Aug 23, 2014

Wigan Athletic 1-0 Blackpool

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Oriol Riera's first goal in English football gave Wigan Athletic their first Sky Bet Championship victory of the season, beating Blackpool 1-0.

The scoreline was hugely flattering to the Seasiders, who were on the back foot for virtually the whole game and offered very little going forward.

But Wigan could not take advantage of a number of carefully-crafted chances - and another inspired display from Callum McManaman - and were rather hanging on at the death.

The winning goal was a worthy one, Riera taking his time before finding the bottom corner with his left foot.

But Wigan were nearly punished for their profligacy in the second half when Blackpool substitute Nile Ranger fluffed his lines with the goal gaping.

Blackpool were nearly ahead inside two minutes, when a dangerous free-kick came in from the right and Donervon Daniels headed wide from close range.

Wigan were quickly into their stride, though, and feeding McManaman as much as possible down the right.

David Perkins picked up an early yellow card for hauling down the young forward, and Wigan nearly took the lead moments later.

James Perch's cross from the right found Riera, who headed over from a good position.

An Emyr Huws cross then found skipper Emmerson Boyce, who volleyed over from 10 yards.

The home side squandered a gilt-edged opportunity on the 20-minute mark when Riera did extremely well down the right and crossed into the corridor of uncertainty.

Wigan would not have wanted the chance to fall to anyway but the in-form McManaman, but this time he sliced his effort from eight yards well wide of the mark.

McManaman was lucky to escape in one piece when Peter Clarke went flying in on him on the near touchline and was perhaps fortunate to be given only a yellow card.

But Wigan were not to be denied and they took the lead 11 minutes before the break.

Another cross from the right caused all the damage, and Andrew Taylor teed up Riera who found the bottom corner with his left foot.

Riera was almost in again moments later but, after some clever footwork, his shot was blocked.

Wigan came close to doubling their advantage just before half-time, and again McManaman was heavily involved.

Perch's cross from the right looked inch-perfect for McManaman to tap in, only for Daniels to somehow get in between his opponent and the goal to clear off the line.

There was still time for McManaman to fire inches past the far post, before Wigan were given a huge warning on the stroke of half-time when John Lundstram had a shot that was deflected just past the post.

The second half started in much the same vein, with McManaman causing all sorts of trouble down the right and Blackpool desperately trying to get to grips with him.

He beat three men on one run before firing straight at the goalkeeper - before Blackpool almost levelled completely against the run of play.

The cross from the left was inviting but substitute Ranger poked over from inside the six-yard box.

After being totally dominant for the entire game, Wigan then dropped further and further back to protect what they had, which saw the visitors encouraged to think there might still be something in it for them.

But Blackpool could not find the quality necessary to take advantage of Wigan nerves and remain pointless in the table.

ends

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