Wigan won 3-1 at Blackpool to move out of the relegation places in English soccer’s Premier League and place their opposition in the drop zone.
First-half goals from Hugo Rodallega and Charles N’Zogbia at Bloomfield Road helped Wigan jump from last in the 20-team league up to 17th place, but the defeat places Blackpool in 18th. The three teams at the bottom of the standings drop to the second division at the end of the season.
“The performance from the players was very, very good,” Wigan manager Roberto Martinez told Sky Sports. “I couldn’t be prouder of the players.”
Aston Villa won 2-1 at West Ham, Birmingham beat Sunderland 2-0 to improve their chances of staying in the top flight, Chelsea came from behind to win 3-1 at West Brom and Everton beat Blackburn 2-0.
Wigan won for just the third time in 16 away matches to climb off the bottom of the standings and drop Blackpool, promoted at the end of last season, into the relegation zone.
Rodallega scored after three minutes with a shot through the legs of goalkeeper Matt Gilks and N’Zogbia added a goal in first-half stoppage time. Wigan’s lead increased to 3-0 on an own goal from Neil Eardley in the second half before D.J. Campbell scored for Blackpool, which is winless in six games.
Wigan now has 34 points, one more than Blackpool. West Ham and Wolverhampton have 32 points, with Wolves last because of a worse goal difference than the Hammers.
Gabriel Agbonlahor’s goal in second-half stoppage time gave Villa the win at West Ham and lifted it five spots to ninth place, seven points clear of relegation. Darren Bent also scored for Villa while Robbie Keane netted for West Ham.
Sebastian Larsson and Craig Gardner scored as Birmingham extended Sunderland’s winless run to nine games. The Blues move up two spots to 14th place above Sunderland on goal difference, with both teams on 38 points.
Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou and Frank Lampard scored as Chelsea beat West Brom for the 12th straight time. Peter Odemwingie scored his 12th Premier League goal of the season to set a West Brom club record. It was West Brom’s first loss in seven matches since manager Roy Hodgson took over in February.
Chelsea are now within a point of second-place Arsenal, which hosts Liverpool tomorrow.
Leon Osman and Leighton Baines scored second-half goals in Everton’s win. Blackburn is winless in nine games and stays two points above the relegation zone.
To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at email@example.com