Preston North End 1-4 Wigan Athletic
Charles N’Zogbia turned Preston inside out in a 45 minute masterclass at Deepdale, as Wigan ran riot.
Wigan passed the home side to death in a one-sided affair and former Newcastle winger N’Zogbia was everywhere in a commanding first half display capped by a fine individual goal.
Rodallega hit the side netting after a minute but it was Preston who found the net first. Wallace’s left wing free-kick was touched home by Stephen Elliott but was scrubbed out for offside. Just prior N’Zogbia had collected a delightful cross field ball from the industrious Cattermole and seen a piledriver blocked.
Elliott wastefully lifted over Kirkland’s bar after Wigan indecision and it seemed to be the catalyst for a sustained period of Wigan possession. Darren Carter looked out of his depthin midfield with Cattermole, interesting former boss Steve Bruce at Sunderland, running the show.
It was another fine Cattermole ball that was cut back by N’Zogbia in the 36th minute and Rodallega headed low past Wayne Henderson. Two minutes later N’Zogbia himself doubled the lead.
He received on the right and skipped inside Eddie Nolan before striking the ball low, just inside Henderson’s left-hand post from around 12 yards.
Jordi Gomez had a few efforts without succeeding but his industry and work rate kept the home side busy and created space for his colleagues to prosper.
In the second period, even after wholesale changes by Roberto Martinez, Wigan dominated and it took half-time replacement Michael Brown just three minutes to get the third. He received from fellow sub Jason Scotland, after neat interplay including Gomez, and drove low past Andy Lonergan who replaced Henderson.
Sedgewick hit a 25-yard volley that dipped narrowly over, then Scotland fed Gomez who blasted just wide. Cattermole went close from 25-yards and from a Wigan corner Preston’s Chilvers headed against his own post.
North End failed to clear convincingly and Brown’s shot was parried by Lonergan into Scotland’s path and the ex-Swansea man casually swept the ball home for number four.
The crowd of 3,645 were now being treated to a masterclass in possession football and Brown combined with Scotland again but the former’s shot was well held by Lonergan.
There was time for Neil Mellor to crash Sedgewick’s cross high into Kirkland’s net but it was purely for pride in a game Preston never looked like winning.
Preston: Mellor (86);
Wigan: Rodallega (37); N’Zogbia (39); Brown (48); Scotland (69).