Chuba Akpom scored a hattrick to help Middlesbrough produce one of the most comprehensive football scores of the weekend in the Championship. With his second-half goals, Akpom climbed to the top of the Sky Bet Championship goal scoring charts and increased his season total to 12. Marcus Forss had opened the scoring for Boro in the first half, and he gave his team three points to cut the gap on the top six. Wigan is still in danger of being relegated.
The opening exchanges between the two teams favored Boro, but shortly after the quarter-hour mark, the visitors had a chance to take the lead against the odds when Nathan Broadhead found space to shoot from the edge of the box but was stopped by Zack Steffen. The energetic Duncan Watmore and the flanking Isaiah Jones and Ryan Giles caused havoc for Wigan, and two of the three worked together to set up the first goal in the 27th minute. Watmore wriggled into space, alert to the chance of a quick throw-in from Jones, and found Forss in the box for his third goal of the year.
After a fine buildup down the right, Wigan responded well, and Boro can thank Darragh Lenihan for stopping a Callum Lang attempt from inside the box. Charlie Hughes should have leveled on the ensuing corner, but he headed over from a close distance. Jonny Howson was replaced at halftime by West Brom loanee Alex Mowatt, forcing Boro to make a move. Just four minutes into the second half, Mowatt started the excellent team play that resulted in Boro’s second goal. Giles and Akpom combined again to make it 3-0 after four minutes, with the former Arsenal striker latching onto a deflected Giles through-ball and expertly placing his left foot in the far corner.
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