Premier League - Brilliant Blackpool thrash Wigan
Eurosport - Mon, 16 Aug 00:08:00 2010
Blackpool were superb as they thrashed a hapless Wigan 4-0 at the DW Stadium on their Premier League debut.
The visitors dominated proceedings from kick-off, with Gary Taylor-Fletcher slotting home from inside the six-yard box on 16 minutes.
Alex Baptiste completed the romp in the 75th minute, his mis-hit cross looping home.
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez named four new signings in his starting line-up, including the centre-back pairing of Antolin Alcaraz and Steve Gohouri. His counterpart Ian Holloway named three recent arrivals in his XI as he led Blackpool into top-flight action for the first time since 1971.
Also making a return to Premier League football was referee Mark Halsey, who had been out of the game for a year following a battle with throat cancer.
Wigan 0 Blackpool 4
Blackpool could have been in front as early as the third minute when Brett Ormerod somehow twice failed to convert from inside the six-yard box. The first miss was from a Charlie Adam cross, the second an unwitting deflection of Elliot Grandin's return cross which diverted the ball away from the goal.
Ten minutes afterwards Taylor-Fletcher put the Tangerines one up. Harewood broke down the right wing and fizzed a beautiful ball into the corridor of uncertainty to leave the striker the easy task of converting from three yards.
Taylor-Fletcher again had the ball in the back of the net three minutes later, only for the linesman's flag to rule it out; replays confirmed that he was yards onside and that the flag had been raised for Ormerod who was not interfering with play in the middle.
Ormerod could have added a second when his instinctive effort following a Harewood one-on-one seemed headed for goal before hitting his strike partner on the arm.
Harewood doubled the advantage 10 minutes on. With his back to goal, he turned Alcaraz with ease and - with no other defenders closing him down - hit a low, dipping drive that changed flight and trajectory as it flew through the air.
However Kirkland should have got a firm hand on the ball, and prevented the goal, rather than just his fingertips.
Kirkland was again forced to pick the ball out of his net four minutes later, Harewood following up Grandin's left-footed drive which had forced a save from the former England keeper. He got a hand to the rebound, but could not stop it rolling home.
There were boos for the Wigan players at half-time and Martinez brought an end to Emmerson Boyce's torrid afternoon.
His replacement, Dutch full-back Ronnie Stam - signed from FC Twente - was at the centre of most of the home team's positive play in the second period.
Two minutes after the break the Latics had the ball in the back of the net through Gohouri, who flicked in Ben Watson's free-kick. It was incorrectly ruled out for offside.
Rodallega had a side-footed effort saved by Matthew Gilks and new Argentine signing Mauro Boselli hit the bar in an improved second-half performance.
However, Kirkland's afternoon was to get worse as he palmed Baptiste's mis-hit cross into the back of his net to make it 4-0.
Wigan had the worst goal difference in the league last season, conceding the second highest number of goals. It looks as though those defensive problems are persisting.Dan Rumens / Eurosport