Wigan’s hopes of pulling off another great escape act in preserving its Premier League status suffered a huge blow on Tuesday as it lost 3-2 at home to League Cup winner Swansea.
Wigan — which plays Manchester City in the FA Cup final on Saturday — only had itself to blame as it twice let Swansea equalise and handed the visitors, who were winning their first game in nine, their third on a plate.
Defeat leaves Wigan — whose manager Roberto Martinez made his name managing Swansea — third from bottom, three points adrift of Newcastle, Sunderland and Norwich with two games remaining.
Wigan’s Scottish star Shaun Maloney found the target in the 41st minute with a trademark free-kick but unfortunately for him it was straight into the arms of Vorm.
However, Vorm could do nothing right on half-time as Honduran Roger Espinoza — who had come into the side for the injured Jean Beausejour — produced a superb volley for his first goal for the club.
Swansea came out with a bit more ambition in the second-half and mounted some early pressure and it paid off in the 50th minute.
Wayne Routledge put a superb ball into the area finding Angel Rangel and the Spanish player, one of the few remaining players at Swansea from the Martinez days, volleyed it home brilliantly, although he kept his celebrations muted out of respect for his former boss.
It took just three minutes for Wigan to regain the lead with a delightful goal, Caldwell striding forward and producing a superb pass for the onrushing James McCarthy, who shot from the edge of the area beating the diving Vorm.
It should have been 3-1 three minutes later as Kone played a superb ball into the penalty area but James McArthur, from only yards out, failed to connect.
That looked more costly as Caldwell passed sloppily to Routledge and the ball eventually fell to Itay Schechter whose shot took a deflection off Emerson Boyce and flew past Robles for his first goal for the club.
Even with seven players in the box Wigan failed to clear the ball and the farcical situation was summed up when McArthur and Maloney went for the same ball and Maloney’s weak chest down fell to Dwight Tiendali.
The former Dutch Under-21 international’s tame shot bounced before entering the net and with it probably went Wigan’s Premier League status.
Manchester City 1 (Dzeko 35) bt West Bromwich Albion 0, Wigan Athletic 2 (Espinoza 45+1, McCarthy 53) lost to Swansea City 3 (Rangel 50, Shechter 59, Tiendalli 76). — AFP