Wigan 0 West Ham 3

  • By: Ian Parkes, PA Sport
  • Last Updated: October 9 2012, 10:14 BST

Luis Boa Morte, Yossi Benayoun and Marlon Harewood maintained West Ham's bid for survival on a day when man-of-the-moment Carlos Tevez sparkled.

Yossi Benayoun celebrates his goal.

Although this was the Hammers' fifth win in seven matches, they remain in the bottom three, but the impetus is firmly with Alan Curbishley's side.

In contrast, it is now seven games without a win for Wigan, who appeared clueless and the team more likely to be playing Coca-Cola Championship football next season.

There is no doubt that coming into this game the belief was with West Ham after escaping with a fine - albeit a hefty one - with regard to the transfer furore surrounding Tevez and Javier Mascherano.

Latics chairman Dave Whelan had called for a points deduction, understandable given the relegation circumstances of both clubs.

Instead, an independent Premier League panel opted against such a punishment, and instead clobbered the Hammers in the pocket to the tune of a record £5.5million.

Relief all round at Upton Park as docked points potentially could have made this showdown meaningless as the club started the game three points adrift of safety.

Instead, the Hammers and 5,100 fans - the majority afforded free travel thanks to Magnusson and the players who had personally dipped into their pockets - arrived in Lancashire still hopeful of securing a great escape.

Despite expressing his disappointment at the Premier League's decision - insisting they had now set a precedent - Whelan still afforded Magnusson a cordial handshake before kick-off.

His feelings now are anybody's guess, in particular after watching his team succumb to the pressure of the relegation battle as they were primarily second-best throughout.

Appreciably, with nerves on show, the opening half-hour was fast-paced and scrappy, with barely a chance created worthy of the name.

Crucially for Wigan, skipper Arjan de Zeeuw - who had typically thrown himself into every tackle - succumbed to another injury and was replaced by fellow veteran David Unsworth in the 25th minute.

However, even if he had been on the pitch, there was nothing he could have done to have prevented West Ham's opening goal on the half hour.

Lucas Neill's raking pass out of defence was nothing more than hopeful for Boa Morte to chase in a race with Emmerson Boyce.

Goalkeeper John Filan, though, made a critical error of judgment as he sprinted off his line in an attempt to beat both to the ball.

However, he was caught out as Boa Morte flicked out his left leg, looping the ball over the stranded Australian from 22 yards.

It then took one bounce into the net to leave the Portuguese celebrating his first goal for the club on his 14th appearance following his £5million move from Fulham in January.

That gave the Hammers further heart as they then controlled the remainder of the half, to such an extent one statistic showed they dominated possession by 78% to 22%.

With Wigan's defence stretched, Leighton Baines first threw his body in front of a Bobby Zamora drive, before the lively Tevez curled a right-foot shot from inside the area narrowly wide.

Shortly after, Benayoun and a neat backheel from Zamora again set up Tevez, but his first-time shot was blocked by a combination of Boyce and then Jackson, forcing Filan to change direction with his dive to prevent the ball from crossing the line.

In contrast, Wigan's one chance came shortly before the Hammers struck, with Emile Heskey planting a downward header narrowly wide in rising to meet a Boyce right-wing cross.

Latics boss Paul Jewell then gambled, throwing on Paul Scharner at the break, and then Julius Aghahowa early in the second half.

But they counted for nothing as the visitors made it 2-0 before the hour, conjuring a stunning counter-attack as Wigan were starkly exposed at the back.

Tevez, George McCartney and Zamora were all involved in the sweeping move that culminated in an unmarked Benayoun beating Filan from 10 yards for his third club goal of the season.

It should have been 3-0 in the 65th minute as the Latics defence were again all at sea, mainly due to Tevez, who strode into the area and brushed aside Jackson before striking the post with a left-foot drive.

Reo-Coker latched onto the rebound, only for Leighton Baines to clear his effort off the line.

But eight minutes from time the points were duly sealed courtesy of another incisive counter, with Tevez initially intercepting a poor pass from Lee McCulloch just outside the area.

Reo-Coker and Boa Morte were also involved, with the final pass finding substitute Marlon Harewood to stroke the ball home.

Teams:

Wigan Filan, Boyce, De Zeeuw (Unsworth 24), Jackson, Baines,McCulloch, Landzaat (Scharner 46), Skoko,Kilbane (Aghahowa 54), Heskey, Camara.

Subs Not Used: Pollitt, Taylor.

Booked: Camara.

West Ham Green, Neill, Ferdinand, Collins, McCartney,Benayoun, Reo-Coker (Mullins 85), Noble, Boa Morte,Zamora (Harewood 68), Tevez (Spector 83).

Subs Not Used: Cole, Davenport.

Booked: McCartney, Reo-Coker.

Goals: Boa Morte 30, Benayoun 57, Harewood 82.

Att: 24,726

Ref: G Poll (Hertfordshire).