LONDON, England, May 07 – Wigan Athletic face an uphill battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League after twice relinquishing the lead in an agonising 3-2 loss at home to Swansea City on Tuesday.
At the same time, Carlos Tevez advanced a compelling case for a place in Manchester City’s FA Cup final team with an effervescent display in his side’s 1-0 win at home to West Bromwich Albion.
The Argentine was one of eight players drafted into the team by manager Roberto Mancini and he created the game’s only goal in the 35th minute with a cross that was dispatched by Edin Dzeko.
Tevez will now hope to get the nod on Saturday when City tackle Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium.
Victory took City seven points clear of Chelsea in second place, 10 points below champions Manchester United, while West Brom, who have not won in seven games, remain eighth.
Wigan, who tackle Manchester City in the FA Cup final on Saturday, could have moved out of the bottom three with victory, but instead they find themselves three points from safety with only two games to play.
After the Wembley clash with City, who warmed up with a 1-0 win at home to West Bromwich Albion, Roberto Martinez’s side visit fourth-place Arsenal before hosting Aston Villa on the season’s final day.
Wigan have pulled off several improbable escapes from relegation in recent seasons and manager Martinez vowed that his players would not give up.
“It’s a missed opportunity. Obviously, we were playing at home,” he told Sky Sports.
“The injuries we’ve picked up recently have been very costly, but we’ve got incredible character and we’re determined to fight for every point that is left.”
Wigan began the game in purposeful fashion at the DW Stadium and made the breakthrough in first-half injury time.
Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm did not get enough distance on a punch and from the edge of the box, Roger Espinoza arrowed a left-foot volley into the bottom-left corner for his first Wigan goal.
Martinez celebrated jubilantly, but Angel Rangel brought Wigan down to earth early in the second half when he met Wayne Routledge’s cross with a crisp volley that found the net via the left-hand upright.
The hosts re-established their lead within three minutes, James McCarthy bursting through and beating Vorm with a low shot, and James McArthur then failed to make telling contact with an inviting cross from Arouna Kone.