Wigan 1-4 Middlesbrough: Visitors move out of relegation places with convincing win
Prospective new boss Michael Carrick would have been impressed with Middlesbrough’s second-half display as they came from a goal down to claim a convincing 4-1 win at Wigan and move out of the Sky Bet Championship relegation places.
Former Manchester United midfielder Carrick has reportedly agreed terms to become Boro’s new manager, with the appointment expected to be confirmed shortly.
After a quiet first 30 minutes, the game sprung into life when Will Keane headed Wigan in front.
Isaiah Jones tapped home from close range to equalise a minute before the break, and Middlesbrough turned on the style in the second half as they scored three more through Duncan Watmore, Hayden Hackney and a Chuba Akpom penalty to pick up a first away win of the season.
It was Middlesbrough who enjoyed much of the early possession and they almost opened the scoring with the game’s first real chance. A sloppy Wigan clearance landed at the feet of Jones but his powerful close-range effort was parried by goalkeeper Ben Amos.
Tendayi Darikwa came close to breaking the deadlock in spectacular fashion after 34 minutes but his drilled effort from 20 yards was tipped onto the crossbar and out for a corner by Manchester City loanee Zack Steffen.
Latics opened the scoring from the resulting corner when James McClean found Keane at the front post and he glanced the ball home.
The away side levelled 10 minutes later when Watmore took advantage of Jack Whatmough’s heavy touch and put the ball on a plate for Jones, who steered it past Amos.
The game turned into an end-to-end thriller, this time McClean’s stooping goal-bound header being saved by Steffen.
The second half kicked off in similar style and the crossbar came to Wigan’s rescue when Watmore sent a header against the bar from inside the six-yard box.
Boro completed the turnaround in the 51st minute when Watmore took advantage of some lazy possession and found himself one-on-one with Amos before caressing a neat finish inside the far post to make it 2-1.
Wigan almost hit back immediately but Thelo Aasgard’s first-time effort inside the area from Max Power’s cross deflected behind for a corner.
Middlesbrough doubled their lead six minutes later when Watmore teed up Hackney, who unleashed a shot that proved too powerful for Amos and brought him his first senior goal for the club.
The Teessiders sealed the three points when Akpom converted from the penalty spot after Graeme Shinnie brought down Jones inside the area.