Aston Villa 2-0 Wigan
Gabriel Agbonlahor and Darren Bent proved too sharp for Wigan as Aston Villa maintained their unbeaten start to the Premier League season.
Agbonlahor cut inside from the left before crashing a shot past Ali Al-Habsi into the roof of the net for Villa's opener.
Just past the hour Agbonlahor set up the second, crossing for Bent to net.
Wigan struggled to create chances and Shay Given was rarely troubled in the Villa goal.
The visitors, who had never lost in their previous six visits to Villa Park, were unable to replicate the type of threat that Agbonlahor and Bent offered Villa as Wigan slipped to a fourth successive defeat.
Victor Moses occasionally threatened with his close ball control and speed, while Franco Di Santo appealed for a second-half penalty when he went to ground after a challenge from Alan Hutton.
And Wigan, who won 10 corners to Villa's five, did improve after the introduction of James McArthur but the fact that it took until the 71st minute for Given to make a serious save - first from Shaun Maloney and then from Di Santo - tells its own story.
Given made a couple more stoppage-time saves, while Wigan also went close after a corner, which having evaded a packed penalty area was cleared off the line by Barry Bannan.
The Scottish midfielder had an impressive game for Villa and his passing and vision stood out throughout.
It was Bannan who released Agbonlahor for his goal with a long-range curling pass after Stephen Warnock had dispossessed Mohamed Diame.
As Bent pulled away to the far post, Agbonlahor opted to go it alone, motoring past Gary Caldwell before unleashing a shot into the roof of the net.
Early in the second half, Agbonlahor's willingness to take on the Wigan defence almost gave him a second goal but his shot went narrowly wide after a fine run.
Bent's ability to drift away from his markers offered Wigan a different challenge to contend with.
The England striker had come close with a first-half header from a Bannan free-kick and after a neat piece of ball juggling and fierce shot, Bent was then denied by a superb reaction save from Al-Habsi.
The Wigan keeper had a busy afternoon and during a sustained period of second-half Villa pressure he saved superbly to deny Bannan and then Stiliyan Petrov.
But there was nothing he could do about Villa's second when Agbonlahor crossed from the left and Bent finished with a precision volley.
In stoppage time Given was called into action when he got down quickly to save Moses' defected shot and then safely gathered another Di Santo effort.
It is a defeat - given the way that Wigan struggled to create chances - that will provide plenty for Roberto Martinez to think about, particularly after he turned down the offer of talks over the Villa job in the summer.
Indeed Villa were so dominant they had the luxury of leaving former Wigan winger Charles N'Zogbia on the bench until the 75th minute.
Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish: "At last we had big levels from our creative players. That's probably what's been missing in the past few games.
"We have had a lot of opportunities without executing the final ball and for me that has happened in a lot of games.
"I think the players have been very keen to get results for my staff and myself. We have a good relationship.
"There may have been a bit of anxiety in that respect. We have had solid performances from defenders and Shay Given in goal, who have to be the most consistent players in the team.
"If we can get the other creative players to the same level, they can cause any defender problems."
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez: "We started the game really bright and found space well but we gave the ball away cheaply a couple of times and we got heavily punished for the goals.
"Goals change the dynamics of the game and it is a real shame because when you go away from home and get 10 corners, it is a real attacking intent.
"We had enough chances with a little bit more composure could have got the goal we needed. But overall we are disappointed in ourselves."
"Franco Di Santo doesn't need to go down because he was ready to pull the trigger. It was a penalty. Hutton makes contact."
- 01 Given
- 02 Hutton
- 03 Warnock
- 05 Dunne
- 06 Collins
- 07 Ireland (Heskey - 57' )
- 16 Delph
- 19 Petrov
- 25 Bannan
- 09 Bent (N'Zogbia - 74' )
- 11 Agbonlahor (Weimann - 85' )
- 22 Guzan
- 21 Clark
- 10 N'Zogbia
- 12 Albrighton
- 31 Herd
- 18 Heskey
- 26 Weimann
- 26 Al Habsi
- 05 Caldwell Booked
- 17 Boyce
- 22 Van Aanholt
- 23 Stam (McArthur - 56' )
- 31 Figueroa
- 04 McCarthy (Sammon - 85' )
- 08 Watson
- 11 Moses
- 21 Diame (Maloney - 71' )
- 09 Di Santo
- 01 Kirkland
- 24 Lopez
- 10 Maloney
- 14 Gomez
- 16 McArthur
- 19 Jones
- 18 Sammon
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.90:00 +3:49
The assistant referee signals for offside against Emile Heskey. Indirect free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.90:00 +3:04
Barry Bannan crosses the ball, clearance made by Gary Caldwell.90:00 +2:34
Effort on goal by Franco Di Santo from 20 yards. Save by Shay Given.90:00 +2:11
Effort from 18 yards by Andreas Weimann. Save by Ali Al Habsi.90:00 +0:19
Shot from 18 yards by Victor Moses. Save by Shay Given. Ben Watson takes the inswinging corner, save made by Shay Given.89:56
Free kick awarded for a foul by Emile Heskey on Maynor Figueroa. Direct free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.89:14
The ball is delivered by Victor Moses.87:55
Shot by Franco Di Santo from outside the box goes high over the crossbar.87:34
Unfair challenge on Victor Moses by Stiliyan Petrov results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Ben Watson.85:51
Foul by Charles N'Zogbia on Maynor Figueroa, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Ali Al Habsi.85:00 Substitution
Substitution Gabriel Agbonlahor leaves the field to be replaced by Andreas Weimann.84:01 Substitution
Substitution Conor Sammon is brought on as a substitute for James McCarthy.81:53
Victor Moses produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that goes over the bar.80:11
Shaun Maloney fouled by Emile Heskey, the ref awards a free kick. Shaun Maloney takes the free kick.78:41
Victor Moses decides to take a short corner, Ben Watson produces a cross.76:18
James McArthur crosses the ball.73:36 Substitution
Substitution Darren Bent leaves the field to be replaced by Charles N'Zogbia.71:40
Shaun Maloney takes a shot. Shay Given makes a save. Franco Di Santo takes a shot. Save by Shay Given. Franco Di Santo fouled by Barry Bannan, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed by Ben Watson, clearance made by Barry Bannan. Ben Watson decides to take a short corner. Ben Watson produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the left of the goal.71:10
The referee blows for offside. Gary Caldwell takes the direct free kick.
Substitution (Wigan) makes a substitution, with Shaun Maloney coming on for Mohamed Diame.70:17
Gary Caldwell crosses the ball.70:04
Stiliyan Petrov gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Victor Moses. Mohamed Diame takes the free kick.69:28
Victor Moses produces a cross, save by Shay Given.67:54
Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Barry Bannan played to the near post.67:33
Shot from 30 yards by Stiliyan Petrov. Brilliant save by Ali Al Habsi.66:30
Unfair challenge on Stiliyan Petrov by Mohamed Diame results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Shay Given.65:02
Free kick awarded for a foul by Stiliyan Petrov on Mohamed Diame. Free kick taken by Mohamed Diame.63:46
The ball is delivered by Mohamed Diame.63:20
Corner taken by Ben Watson from the left by-line, Barry Bannan makes a clearance.62:59
The ball is sent over by Emmerson Boyce, clearance made by Barry Bannan.62:50
Mohamed Diame takes a shot. James Collins gets a block in.61:15
The assist for the goal came from Gabriel Agbonlahor.61:15 Goal scored
Goal! - Darren Bent - A Villa 2 - 0 Wigan A goal is scored by Darren Bent from inside the six-yard box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Aston Villa 2-0 Wigan.61:14
A cross is delivered by Gabriel Agbonlahor,56:12
Strike comes in from Darren Bent from the free kick.56:12 Substitution
Substitution Stephen Ireland leaves the field to be replaced by Emile Heskey.56:12
Ben Watson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Fabian Delph.55:09 Substitution
Substitution Ronnie Stam leaves the field to be replaced by James McArthur.54:23
Ben Watson takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, James Collins makes a clearance.53:52
A cross is delivered by Alan Hutton.53:03
Barry Bannan takes a inswinging corner to the near post, clearance by Franco Di Santo.52:47
Barry Bannan produces a drilled left-footed shot from 25 yards. Save by Ali Al Habsi.52:11
Barry Bannan produces a cross, clearance by Patrick Van Aanholt.51:53
The ball is swung over by Stephen Warnock, Maynor Figueroa makes a clearance.51:09
Alan Hutton produces a cross.50:31
Corner taken short by Stiliyan Petrov, Barry Bannan sends in a cross, clearance by Franco Di Santo.50:15
Darren Bent takes a shot. Blocked by Gary Caldwell.47:49
Darren Bent concedes a free kick for a foul on Gary Caldwell. Free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.46:49
Unfair challenge on Alan Hutton by Franco Di Santo results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Shay Given.46:23
Emmerson Boyce fouled by Fabian Delph, the ref awards a free kick. Gary Caldwell takes the direct free kick.45:32
Gabriel Agbonlahor has an effort at goal from outside the area which goes wide right of the goal.45:01
The referee gets the second half started.45:00 +1:36 Half time
Half Time The referee calls an end to the first half.44:59
Stephen Warnock produces a cross, Gary Caldwell manages to make a clearance.43:40
The offside flag is raised against Victor Moses. Shay Given restarts play with the free kick.42:25
A cross is delivered by Gabriel Agbonlahor.41:41
Franco Di Santo has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the left of the target.41:20
Fabian Delph produces a cross, Patrick Van Aanholt manages to make a clearance.40:16
Victor Moses delivers the ball.39:01
Pass corner from left by-line taken by Ben Watson to short, Darren Bent manages to make a clearance.38:56
Victor Moses crosses the ball, James Collins makes a clearance.35:39
The assist for the goal came from Barry Bannan.35:39 Goal scored
Goal! - Gabriel Agbonlahor - A Villa 1 - 0 Wigan Gabriel Agbonlahor finds the back of the net with a goal from the edge of the penalty area to the top left corner of the goal. Aston Villa 1-0 Wigan.35:00
Alan Hutton produces a cross, clearance made by Patrick Van Aanholt.33:18
Free kick awarded for a foul by Ronnie Stam on Fabian Delph. Free kick crossed by Stephen Warnock, clearance made by Maynor Figueroa.32:32
Ronnie Stam has an effort at goal from outside the penalty area which goes wide right of the goal.31:08
Shot from just outside the box by Stephen Ireland goes over the target.30:15
Franco Di Santo takes a shot. Blocked by Richard Dunne.29:45
Richard Dunne challenges Franco Di Santo unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ben Watson takes the direct free kick.29:40
The ball is sent over by Gabriel Agbonlahor, clearance made by Maynor Figueroa.28:18
Free kick awarded for a foul by Darren Bent on Gary Caldwell. Free kick taken by Ben Watson.27:57
The assistant referee signals for offside against Franco Di Santo. Shay Given restarts play with the free kick.24:41
Shot by Darren Bent from 12 yards. Save made by Ali Al Habsi. Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Stiliyan Petrov from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by James McCarthy.23:08
Patrick Van Aanholt takes a shot. James Collins gets a block in.21:41
Effort from outside the penalty box by Fabian Delph goes wide right of the target.21:19
Patrick Van Aanholt crosses the ball, Shay Given makes a save.20:47
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Ben Watson from the right by-line, clearance by Richard Dunne.20:20
Mohamed Diame has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide right of the target.18:32
A cross is delivered by Barry Bannan, Header from close range by Darren Bent misses to the right of the goal.18:32 Booking
Booking The referee cautions Gary Caldwell for unsporting behaviour.18:28
Gary Caldwell gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gabriel Agbonlahor.16:14
The offside flag is raised against Gabriel Agbonlahor. Gary Caldwell takes the indirect free kick.15:42
Shot by Victor Moses. Blocked by James Collins.13:34
A cross is delivered by Stephen Ireland, save by Ali Al Habsi.12:46
Stiliyan Petrov decides to take a short corner, Barry Bannan delivers the ball, clearance made by Emmerson Boyce.12:33
Stephen Ireland takes a shot. Blocked by Maynor Figueroa.11:17
Stiliyan Petrov has a drilled shot and went wide right of the post.10:17
Gabriel Agbonlahor produces a left-footed shot from inside the area that clears the crossbar.9:42
Ben Watson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stiliyan Petrov. Stiliyan Petrov takes the free kick.8:25
The ball is swung over by Alan Hutton, James McCarthy makes a clearance.6:11
The ball is delivered by Patrick Van Aanholt, save made by Shay Given.5:20
Corner taken by Ben Watson from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Darren Bent.4:11
Corner taken right-footed by Ben Watson from the left by-line to the near post, Alan Hutton makes a clearance. Ben Watson decides to take the corner short.4:03
The ball is swung over by Patrick Van Aanholt, James Collins gets a block in.3:14
Centre by Stephen Warnock, Maynor Figueroa manages to make a clearance.2:20
Gary Caldwell fouled by Gabriel Agbonlahor, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.2:00
The ball is swung over by Victor Moses, save by Shay Given.1:47
Ronnie Stam delivers the ball, Richard Dunne manages to make a clearance.1:17
Shot by Gabriel Agbonlahor from 25 yards. Save by Ali Al Habsi.0:00
The ref blows the whistle to begin the match.
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