Wigan almost safe as Blackburn stare relegation in the face

There were slightly strange scenes at around 4 o’clock yesterday at two Premier League grounds. After Djibril Cisse had scored QPR’s winner at home to Stoke City, supporters were on the pitch celebrating their survival despite it possibly being out of their control should they lose their final fixture next weekend at Manchester City. Meanwhile Aston Villa were able to hold out for a point at home to 10-man Spurs which meant they do stay up after an awful run of recent results, but supporters didn’t celebrate at Villa Park.

Perhaps QPR will have much more to celebrate than Villa if they do extend their stay in the top flight for another season, and a dramatic late winning goal marked an opportunity for their home supporters to be carried away by the moment at the end of their last home game of the season. But it was only Villa, who have now drawn 17 of their 37 league games this campaign, who got themselves safe and head into the final weekend without further concern.

Bolton are two points behind Mark Hughes’ team, Blackburn Rovers three behind IF they beat Wigan at Ewood Park this evening. Steve Kean’s side have suffered five defeats in their last six games since they lost 2-1 at Bolton in March. A win today would need to be followed by all three points at FA Cup winners Chelsea next Sunday AND then for either Wigan or QPR to lose their final game.

So there may not be a realistic route out of the bottom three for Rovers, but Bolton could win at the Britannia Stadium and stay up, despite throwing away a 2-0 lead at home to West Brom yesterday. If Wigan, who have begun to regularly find the net at just the right stage of the season, takes anything at all at Blackburn tonight, it would not only relegate their neighbours but greatly enhance their own position. Had they managed to hold out for a point at Fulham recently and then followed it up with last week’s winning performance against Newcastle then manager Roberto Martinez could have enjoyed his Manager of the month accolade.

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