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Page last updated at 17:23 GMT, Sunday, 24 May 2009 18:23 UK

Wigan 1-0 Portsmouth

By John May

Hugo Rodallego receives congratulations from his Wigan team-mates
Rodallego takes the plaudits from Wigan team-mate Michael Brown

Hugo Rodallega's goal enabled Wigan to complete a Premier League double over a lacklustre Portsmouth side.

The Colombian gratefully cashed in on Sol Campbell's slip to tap in his third Premier League goal of the season.

Wigan deserved only their third win in 18 games in a tepid game featuring two sides with little to play for.

Portsmouth never severely tested Wigan keeper Richard Kingson, with John Utaka blasting their only chance high over the bar after racing clear.

Wigan defender Maynor Figueroa and Pompey's Sylvain Distin both at least maintained their records of having played every minute of the Premier League status, though the match was otherwise entirely unremarkable.

Bruce proud of Wigan season

Luis Antonio Valencia gave Wigan fans a taste of what they could be missing when the Ecuadorian - whose summer departure has been described as "almost inevitable" by manager Steve Bruce - wriggled past two defenders and pulled an inviting ball back, which Rodallega blasted over the bar from 12 yards.

It was pretty soporific stuff in the sunshine between two teams with only placings prize money but when Valencia was fouled 20 yards out by Richard Hughes, Daniel de Ridder's free-kick proved Asmir Begovic was alert as he reacted to tip the powerful drive over.

The Pompey keeper then reacted to snatch the ball off Rodallega's head as the ball bounced up following Emmerson Boyce's downward header.

606: DEBATE
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Hughes' superb last-ditch tackle denied de Ridder as Wigan opened up Pompey's defence only for a dreadful piece of defending by Campbell to hand the Latics the lead.

The former England defender completely missed Charles N'Zogbia's cross to leave Rodallega a tap-in from six yards out.

It roused Portsmouth into a half-hearted response as Utaka led a break, but as the ball eventually broke to Peter Crouch the England striker's scuffed shot bobbled through harmlessly to Kingson.

Pompey's defence looked to have their minds elsewhere as Mario Melchiot took a return pass from Rodallega, only to be denied by Begovic's plunge.

No doubt fired by a few choice words from boss Paul Hart, Pompey were much more lively at the start of the second half, and it needed a timely tackle by Melchiot to nick the ball off Crouch's toes as the England striker prepared to shoot.

Hart unhappy with final-day defeat

A long ball from Younes Kaboul then caught the Wigan defence out and found Utaka clear, but the Nigerian's lackadaisical finish summed up Pompey's afternoon.

Utaka's pace again took him clear to play in an inviting cross only to find his team-mates had lacked the appetite to take up the invitation.

Valencia had a late chance to sign off in style but blasted his shot over the bar after being set up by debutant substitute Callum McManaman.


Wigan boss Steve Bruce:

"I would love to say the Luis Antonio Valencia will stay, but I would find it difficult given the size of the clubs queuing up for him.

"At the stage of his career, he deserves to play for a big club and it would be difficult to deny him that.

"But that's the way it is. We have to keep finding the players, and then we sell them on to the big boys."

Portsmouth boss Paul Hart:

"Regarding my future, I'll get home and reflect on the last couple of months and see what happens.

"It was a very poor performance today over all. It was not very inspiring in the first half, although we improved in the second.

"We had a chunk taken out of the team, we lost four players to a virus and we showed a lot of spirit not to go under."


Wigan: Kingson, Melchiot, Boyce, Bramble, Figueroa, Valencia, Cattermole, Brown, N'Zogbia (McManaman 78), De Ridder (Routledge 90), Rodallega.
Subs Not Used: Pollitt, Edman, Cho, Watson, Kupisz.

Goals: Rodallega 26.

Portsmouth: Begovic, Kaboul (Kanu 72), Campbell, Distin, Hreidarsson, Pennant (Thomas 72), Hughes, Mullins, Traore, Utaka, Crouch.
Subs Not Used: Ashdown, Primus, Pamarot, Cranie, Basinas.

Booked: Hreidarsson, Hughes, Crouch, Thomas.

Att: 17,696

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).


BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.



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see also
Premier League as it happened
24 May 09 |  Football
Premier League photos
24 May 09 |  Premier League
Valencia rejects Real Madrid move
31 Jan 09 |  Wigan
Mokoena makes Portsmouth switch
24 May 09 |  Portsmouth


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