Wigan Athletic’s Premier League survival hopes suffered a huge blow on Tuesday after Swansea City recovered to win 3-2 with a late goal from Dwight Tiendalli that left the FA Cup finalists staring at relegation.
Wigan, who face Manchester City in the cup showpiece at Wembley on Saturday, fell apart in the second half at the DW Stadium and remain third from bottom of the standings on 35 points with two matches to play.
They had led 1-0 thanks to a Roger Espinoza goal just before the interval and 2-1 after James McCarthy’s strike early in the second half but Swansea replied with goals from Angel Rangel and Itay Shechter before Tiendalli broke the home fans’ hearts.
“If you watched the first half, you would never credit what happened in the second half,” Wigan manager Roberto Martinez told Sky Sports after his team twice lost the lead.
“The team is ready to bounce back and make sure we take opportunities in the final two (league) games.
The battle to avoid joining Queens Park Rangers and Reading in the Championship (second division) next season is set for a gripping finale with Newcastle United, Norwich City and Sunderland all on 38 points.
Southampton, on 39, and Aston Villa and Fulham with 40 are not yet assured of safety.
Manchester City moved a step closer to securing runners-up spot after a first-half Edin Dzeko goal proved enough for a 1-0 victory at home to mid-table West Bromwich Albion.
City need three more points from their last two games to guarantee finishing second behind champions Manchester United.
“It was a difficult game because we changed a lot of players but it was important for us to win the game,” said City manager Roberto Mancini.Reuters