A fantastic display of attacking football saw the Latics run out 4-0 winners over Birmingham at the DW Stadium, recording back to back victories for the first time since the middle of March, a Callum McManaman double and a goal apiece from Andrew Taylor and Martyn Waghorn emphasised the dominance of Rösler’s men over their rivals.
Rösler named an unchanged side from the one that beat a forlorn Blackpool last time out, James McArthur taking his place in the heart of the Latics midfield following the collapse of his proposed big money move to Premier League Leicester City, the disappointment that the Scotland international surely must have felt was nowhere to be seen has he had a barnstorming game.
Latics were in the ascendancy from the kick-off and almost took the lead inside the first minute, Don Cowie firing into the side netting at the near post. Callum McManaman was once again terrorising the opposition defence and his skill and trickery put his team one up on 9 minutes.
Winning a challenge midway into the Birmingham half, McManaman skipped his way into the penalty area on the left, he cut back onto his right, then back onto his left, wrong footing his marker before firing past keeper Randolph to put the Latics in the lead, 1-0.
Despite their dominance it took until the 39th minute before the lead was double, James McArthur played a great through ball to the wing, wing back Andrew Taylor took the ball in his stride, one touch into the area then a sweet left footed strike from the angle of the box into the far bottom corner of the net, lovely goal, 2-0.
The third goal came right on the stroke of half time, James Perch made a marauding run down the Latics right, played the ball inside to Emyr Huws, who in turn found McManaman 12 yards out, the Latics leading scorer cut back onto his right foot and curled a delightful effort in off the far post with Randolph grasping at thin air, 3-0.
Ivan Ramis didn’t make it back following the half time cuppa, a slight hamstring strain for the Spaniard gave Leon Barnett his first appearance of the season. Latics dominance continued and they controlled the game as Birmingham were at times left chasing shadows, Rösler made a couple more changes with Shaun Maloney and Martyn Waghorn replacing McManaman and Riera and it was the two subs that combined to wrap the scoring up.
With 78 minutes gone Shaun Maloney had the ball on Latics left, he burst into the penalty box down near the bye-line, picked out Waghorn with a great ball along the six yard box and the Latics number 33 made no mistake has he sidefooted home, 4-0.
Late on Scott Carson made a great double save to preserve the clean sheet and keep the gloss on the result. A great team performance, with everyone playing their part, McManaman was simply outstanding and the sooner the transfer window shuts with him still in situ at the DW Stadium the better, McArthur looked desperate to score and there were occasions when it appeared that his team mates were trying to tee him up for a goodbye goal, if he does leave then it will be with everyone’s best wishes, he is a model pro and been a great servant to the club, hopefully he’ll stay as he is the real beating heart in the engine room of the team.
Latics – Carson, Taylor, Ramis (Barnett 46), Riera (Waghorn 69), Huws, McManaman (Maloney 76), McArthur, Boyce, Cowie, Perch, Kiernan
Unused subs – Al Habsi, Tavernier, Espinoza, Fortune
Birmingham – Randolph, Robinson, Edgar, Gleeson (Duffy 46), Donaldson, Cotterill (Gray 69), Novak (Thomas 46), Hall, Spector, Davis, Caddis
Unused subs Doyle, Grounds, Johnstone, Reilly