Wigan Athletic scored seven first-half goals to stun relegation-threatened Hull City before equalling the biggest victory in Championship history.
The result matched Bournemouth’s 8-0 thrashing of Birmingham City in 2014 and set a new record league win for the Latics.
In an extraordinary first 45 minutes at the DW Stadium, Kal Naismith, Jamal Lowe and Joe Williams all got on the scoresheet for the hosts, while Kieffer Moore and Kieran Dowell netted twice.
Dowell completed his hat-trick after the break but that was where the scoring ended as Wigan also kept a 10th clean sheet in 11 games.
While the final scoreline was staggering, the result was crucial for both sides.
The Latics, who have a 12-point deduction for going into administration looming, are now 12 points above the relegation zone with two games to play.
Hull’s woeful run of form in 2020 continues, however, with this low point leaving them in the bottom three by one point. Grant McCann’s side have won just once in their past 18 games, losing 14 of them.
The Tigers face fellow strugglers Luton and play-off chasing Cardiff in their final two games, but there was little from this performance to inspire confidence in their survival.
The match milestones
- Wigan’s biggest ever league win – surpassing their 7-0 victory against Oxford United in 2017
- Hull conceded eight goals in a league match for the first time since November 1911 (0-8 against Wolves)
- Wigan were the first team to score eight goals at home in the English second tier since Manchester City beat Huddersfield 10-1 in 1987
- Equalled the biggest victory in the second tier since it was rebranded as the Championship in 2004 (Birmingham 0-8 Bournemouth in 2014)
‘I’m so, so sorry’
Former Northern Ireland midfielder McCann apologised to the supporters but indicated that he expected to be in charge for Hull’s final two games.
“It has hurt us, and all I can do is apologise to the fans on behalf of everyone in that dressing room because it’s nowhere good enough, and I’m so, so sorry for that,” the 40-year-old said.
“We didn’t get going at all. We concede in the first-odd minute, giving ourselves a mountain to climb, and then we seemed to concede every time Wigan went forward. We’re stood there at the sideline thinking ‘Is this ever going to stop?’
“We just didn’t get to grips with it at all. We just didn’t turn up. We all felt embarrassed. We’re all hurting. We have worked so hard this season, and to get done like we did today is unacceptable, from everyone.”
An incredible 45 minutes
Paul Cook’s Wigan had been the second-lowest scorers in the league prior to Tuesday’s game, but the huge victory has taken their goal difference into positive territory which could be a key factor in their survival quest.
Naismith opened the scoring for the Latics inside the opening minute after he nodded home Dowell’s short corner, while Moore finished well in the box after some good work from Lowe to gift him the ball.
Lowe registered another assist for Dowell to score Wigan’s third before getting on the scoresheet himself soon after with a cool finish.
Moore headed home from a Nathan Byrne cross to pile on the misery for Hull while Dowell added a second moments before Williams scored Wigan’s seventh of the half just before the half-time whistle.
What does this victory mean for Wigan?
Despite their fine form either side of football’s suspension amid the coronavirus crisis, Wigan’s hopes of survival hang on them maintaining their impressive run after they entered administration.
Should they finish outside the bottom three this season, their 12-point deduction will be implemented straight away, meaning they need to stay at least 12 points clear of the relegation zone.
The Latics began the game with a better goal difference of 11 compared to Hull, which was already a slight advantage should their deduction come into play this season, but their seven-goal haul in the first half alone extended that to 25 goals.
With the shadow of staff redundancies, wage cuts and fans funding transport for players to get to games, this remarkable victory could be the tonic the club need to maintain their Championship status.
“The players deserve so much credit but there is two big games to go,” manager Cook said. “We’re climbing a mountain but we’re not at the top.
“We’re very proud of our supporters and the town, to raise the money and give us the support they have, and I think tonight we’ve gone a long way towards repaying that.
“Can we go the extra yard to give them that full satisfaction of overturning possibly a 12-point deduction? We have to keep believing we can.”
Are Hull doomed?
This was a performance to forget for Hull and their dismal form this year means their chances of survival look even slimmer as a result of their 23rd defeat of the campaign.
Hull have not played in English football’s third tier since 2005, enjoying promotions to the Premier League in the intervening years.
Those glory days look like a distant memory, as they slipped to their biggest defeat since an 8-0 thrashing by Wolves in 1911.
There had looked to be a consolation in Hull’s fortunes as the game drew to a close after Keane Lewis-Potter looked to have been brought down by Nathan Byrne.
However referee Tony Harrington changed his mind after initially pointing to the spot, in a moment that was symbolic of a nightmare evening for Hull.