ATTN Ian - It gets worse!
Marcus Bent (Marcus bloody BENT!!) scored a hat-trick to help Wigan beat Blackburn in an eight-goal thriller at the JJB Stadium.
Strikes from Denny Landzaat and Bent, and a bullet header by Paul Scharner, saw the hosts open up a 3-0 lead.
McCarthy had a penalty saved but Roque Santa Cruz, with a half-volley, tap-in
and header, grabbed a hat-trick to draw
They lost Brett Emerton to a red card before Bent completed the win with a close-range header and easy finish.
The result arrested a run of 13 games without a victory for the Latics and marked Steve Bruce's first win as manager.
Blackburn remain ninth in the league but have now won only one of their last seven games, and boss Mark Hughes will be livid with his side's defensive display.
They could have been behind within three minutes when Ryan Taylor swung a superb cross in from the left which deceived Ryan Nelsen but hit Bent in the face with only Brad Friedel to beat.
But that opportunity set the tone for the opening exchanges and
He controlled Titus Bramble's headed clearance with a truly
sublime touch, which doubled as an assist, to send Landzaat racing clear of the
Hughes's men were unusually disorganised and two minutes later Bent beat Nelsen to another header out of defence. The 29-year-old collected the ball himself, skipped round Stephen Warnock and drove his shot past Friedel.
McCarthy's abject spot-kick, albeit well saved by Chris Kirkland
low to his right, epitomised
Christopher Samba's needless foul on Heskey as the
That should have all but ended the Lancashire derby as a contest
On 39 minutes Heskey was carried off with what looked like a serious ankle injury, which meant several minutes of stoppage time were added on.
That gave Blackburn time to pull a goal back - Santa Cruz controlling the ball on his chest before lashing a fierce half-volley past Kirkland with the last kick of the half.
Steven Reid's header hit Emerson Boyce and
Hughes and his players were left fuming when Clattenburg deemed
Emerton to have fouled
But that failed to alter the run of play as
It was the first time two hat-tricks had been scored in one match since Robert Pires and Jermaine Pennant inspired Arsenal to a 6-1 thrashing of Southamton in 2003.
While Blackburn were pressing hard in a bid to take the lead,
But poor defending from Warnock allowed Antonio Valencia to square for Bent to power home.
Then, 10 minutes before the end, Bent wrapped up the points when he converted Julius Aghahowa's cross from the right.
"If they show that attitude and application and we get the rub of the green we'll give ourselves a chance.
"It's a big, important victory for us. The next few weeks will be vital and we'll give ourselves every chance."
"In the second-half we got to grips with the two lads up
"When you score three goals away from home you expect to get something out of the game but it wasn't to be."
Booked: Heskey, Taylor, Aghahowa, Brown.
Goals: Landzaat 10, Bent 12, Scharner 37, Bent 66, 81.
Blackburn: Friedel, Emerton, Samba, Nelsen, Warnock, Bentley, Reid, Savage,
Pedersen, McCarthy (Derbyshire 74),
Sent Off: Emerton (57).
Booked: Samba, Emerton, Warnock, Savage.
Ref: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).
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