Premier League - Robinson the hero as Blackburn nick draw
Paul Robinson became the unlikeliest of Blackburn heroes as he won his 10-man team a penalty in the final seconds of the sixth minute of injury time to salvage a 3-3 draw against Wigan in a pulsating Premier League clash at the DW Stadium.
Many pundits predicted a dour draw between the sides at the foot of the table scrapping for their Premier League lives. They would have been right about the result, but not the manner of it, and the drama that unfolded at the DW Stadium will live long in the memory.
Behind 3-2 and down to 10 men in the final seconds of the sixth added-on minute, up came Robinson for a final, surely hopeless fling of the dice. And as the former England number one launched himself at the ball for a header, David Jones also went for the ball with his foot and studded the goalkeeper on the head. The resultant penalty was calmly dispatched by Ayegbeni Yakubu to the delight of the remaining away fans that had not left the stadium.
It was a fitting end to an astonishing game that saw a hugely controversial goal for Blackburn on the hour mark - Morten Gamst Pedersen appeared to dribbled infield direct from a corner before his cross was turned in by Junior Hoilett.
The result will have done neither team any great favours as the shared point leaves them both at the foot of the table. But what a game of football they produced.
Although Wigan dominated the first half, Blackburn actually looked the livelier side early on and took a shock lead just two minutes in as Yakubu latched onto a cute Nzonzi flick header to lift the ball past Al Habsi and into the corner of the net.
From then on, it was pretty much one-way Wigan traffic with Conor Sammon and Victor Moses terrorising the visiting defence. And they got their reward when Jordi Gomez lashed a left-footed drive into the corner from the edge of the box although Robinson may well have been unsighted by Sammon. Replays suggested the Wigan man also could have been in an offside position.
With Blackburn struggling for parity, David Dunn was then booked for a bad tackle on James McCarthy but the visitors nearly nicked one back as Pedersen's thunderous free-kick cannoned off the post. Shortly afterwards, Wigan deservedly took the lead when Caldwell rose unmarked to nod in Jones' corner. It was no more than the home side deserved and they could have had at least one more before the break as Moses first blazed over from six yards out then headed over when it looked easier to score.
Blackburn were much the happier to see the half-time whistle but if they thought they had their work cut out in the first half, things were about to get worse early in the second as a clumsy challenge from behind from Dunn resulted in a second yellow.
Far from wilting under the pressure, the visitors rolled their sleeves up and were rewarded with a controversial equaliser in the 59th minute. Yakubu 'dummied' the corner and left it to Pedersen, who played the ball to himself and rolled it across the box for Hoilett to bundle home.
Yakubu then squandered a great one-on-one chance before Robinson kept his side in it with a cracking save to keep out substitute Hugo Rodallega's point blank effort. But memories of the save were soon forgotten as the dangerous Albert Crusat, on as a substitute, poked home from Rodallega's header and beneath Robinson's sluggish dive with only two minutes of normal time remaining.
So the points were surely Wigan's and the blushes all Robinson's but for a late, dramatic intervention.