Wigan 1-2 Aston Villa

16 March 2010 09:43
James Milner underlined his potential as a possible World Cup starter for England with the winner as Aston Villa reignited their top-four push at Wigan.With Fabio Capello's midfield options dwindling through injury, Milner showed he can be called upon if needed with Villa's second to cap a fine display. [LNB]Wigan's James McCarthy had gifted Villa the lead with a bizarre own goal. [LNB]Gary Caldwell levelled with his head, but Milner had the final say in a match full of chances with a well taken shot. [LNB]The win takes the Villans, who have a game in hand, to within three points of Tottenham in that coveted fourth spot and marks boss Martin O'Neill's first March win in the Premier League in a decade. [LNB]It also means Villa remain the only side in the top flight unbeaten in 2010 - and if they can continue this kind of form their dream of Champions League football could well be realised.[LNB] [LNB][LNB]We deserved more - Martinez[LNB]That would also only help Milner's bid to impress Capello, with the likes of Aaron Lennon and now David Beckham struggling with injury. [LNB]Wigan, on the other hand, remain just four points off the relegation zone and looking nervously over their shoulder with eight matches of the season remaining. [LNB]Predicting Wigan results has not been an easy task this season, with Roberto Martinez's side managing to beat Chelsea and Liverpool only to suffer heavy defeats by Portsmouth and, most recently, Bolton. [LNB]But this was one of the Latics' more encouraging displays, even if their early verve going forward was not quite matched by their frail backline. [LNB]Charles N'Zogbia and Hugo Rodallega were generally to the fore going forward, the latter forcing Villa keeper Brad Friedel to save low down with a long-range effort on 20 minutes, while defender Maynor Figueroa also stung the American's palms from outside the box.[LNB] I think 24 points from 30 available would de fantastic, but we'll drop a few more than that due to draws where we cant break teams down (ie Stoke) villaox Defensively, though, it was another matter for the hosts, and in John Carew they found themselves up against a striker in a rich vein of form. [LNB]The Norwegian caused the home backline problems all night, and it was from his far-post header that McCarthy, under no pressure, inexplicably volleyed into his own net 25 minutes in. [LNB]A quarter of an hour later and Carew should have grabbed Villa's second, Chris Kirkland beating his shot away after Ashley Young's through-ball, while Milner will have been disappointed not to have done better with a couple of efforts from the striker's flick-ons. [LNB]Before that, though, Wigan had drawn level. Villa's lead had lasted less than two minutes when Caldwell rose to glance N'Zogbia's free-kick into the far corner - and it was little more than they deserved.[LNB] [LNB][LNB]Villa hanging in for fourth - O'Neill[LNB]However, although Marcelo Moreno let fly with a couple of shots from range, after that Villa's pace and incision going forward slowly began to tell and Wigan were reduced to trying to contain Villa. [LNB]Caldwell, heavily criticised for his performance during Saturday's 4-0 defeat at Bolton, was particularly impressive - but he could do little about Milner's strike when it came. [LNB]Kirkland flapped at a Young corner, the ball was only half-cleared, and Milner pounced to slam low into the net from 25 yards. [LNB]Wigan responded by sending on Victor Moses, and the signing from Crystal Palace was certainly a livewire as the hosts pushed and probed around the Villa defence. [LNB]But, in truth, the Latics rarely looked like snatching a point despite their efforts, and in fact it was Villa substitute Steve Sidwell that came closest to a fourth goal in the game when his deflected shot nearly crept past Kirkland in injury time. [LNB][LNB]Wigan manager Roberto Martinez: "We didn't get the reward that the performance deserved tonight. We wanted a reaction after our defeat to Bolton and we got that. [LNB]"It was a really open game, both sides had good chances, and I thought it was very even. But the goals we conceded were a little bit soft and that made it hard for us to get something out of the game. [LNB]"I'm just disappointed for the players that their effort, work-rate and determination has gone unrewarded - a draw would've been the fair result." [LNB]Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill: "It was a very important win for us, away from home and against opposition who only a week ago beat Liverpool, so I'm pleased. [LNB]"We're hanging in there for the chase for fourth spot. It's a difficult run-in for us but we're excited by it, we're going for it and we're going to try to achieve it. [LNB]"We knew our runs in the cups would lead to a packed schedule come the end of the season, but we'll face the challenges as they come. I'm just delighted with my players." [LNB][LNB] Live text and stats  [LNB] Tuesday, 16 March 2010[LNB] Premier League[LNB] Home Team Score Away Team Time Wigan 1-2 Aston Villa FT (HT 1-1) Caldwell 27 McCarthy (og) 25 Milner 63 Wigan 01 Kirkland 05 Caldwell 17 Boyce (Scotland 90) 19 Bramble yellow card 31 Figueroa 06 Thomas 14 N'Zogbia (Moses 56) 24 McCarthy (Scharner 71) 27 Diame 18 Moreno 20 Rodallega yellow card Substitutes 29 Stojkovic, 04 Amaya, 07 Scharner, 11 Moses, 15 Gomez, 16 Sinclair, 09 Scotland Aston Villa 01 Friedel 05 Dunne yellow card 24 Cuellar 25 Warnock 29 Collins 06 Downing 07 A Young 08 Milner 19 Petrov 10 Carew (Heskey 81) 11 Agbonlahor (Sidwell 81) Substitutes 22 Guzan, 02 L Young, 23 Beye, 04 Sidwell, 16 Delph, 14 Delfouneso, 18 Heskey Ref: BennettAtt: 16,186 WIGAN ASTON VILLA Possession Wigan 62% Aston Villa 38% Attempts on target Wigan 6 Aston Villa 10 Attempts off target Wigan 4 Aston Villa 8 Corners Wigan 7 Aston Villa 8 Fouls Wigan 10 Aston Villa 14 Final Result Full Time 90:00+4:42 The match has reached full-time. 90:00+4:24 Steve Sidwell takes a shot. Chris Kirkland makes a save. 90:00+2:05 Corner taken right-footed by Victor Moses. 90:00+0:45 Victor Moses delivers the ball, save made by Brad Friedel. Correction - 89:06 Gary Caldwell takes the free kick. Correction - 89:06 Substitution Jason Scotland joins the action as a substitute, replacing Emmerson Boyce. Correction - 89:06 The assistant referee signals for offside against Emile Heskey. 89:06 Gary Caldwell takes the direct free kick. 89:06 Substitution Jason Scotland joins the action as a substitute, replacing Emmerson Boyce. 89:06 The offside flag is raised against Emile Heskey. 88:48 Centre by Victor Moses, Brad Friedel makes a comfortable save. 86:39 Unfair challenge on Mohamed Diame by Emile Heskey results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Gary Caldwell. 86:11 James Milner concedes a free kick for a foul on Maynor Figueroa. Hendry Thomas restarts play with the free kick. 85:35 Maynor Figueroa challenges James Milner unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Stewart Downing. 84:13 Foul by Gary Caldwell on Ashley Young, free kick awarded. James Milner takes the direct free kick. 83:31 Foul by Stiliyan Petrov on Hendry Thomas, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Gary Caldwell. 82:03 Victor Moses takes a outswinging corner. 80:58 Substitution Emile Heskey is brought on as a substitute for John Carew. 80:35 Substitution Steve Sidwell on for Gabriel Agbonlahor. 79:53 Hugo Rodallega takes a shot. James Collins gets a block in. 76:46 Foul by John Carew on Paul Scharner, free kick awarded. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Victor Moses from right wing, save by Brad Friedel. 75:08 James Milner challenges Maynor Figueroa unfairly and gives away a free kick. Chris Kirkland takes the direct free kick. 73:27 Free kick awarded for a foul by Gabriel Agbonlahor on Gary Caldwell. Chris Kirkland restarts play with the free kick. 72:28 Free kick awarded for a foul by James Milner on Gary Caldwell. Gary Caldwell takes the free kick. 71:49 Victor Moses takes the inswinging corner, clearance by James Collins. 70:07 Substitution James McCarthy goes off and Paul Scharner comes on. 69:23 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Ashley Young from the right by-line, James Collins has a headed effort at goal from just inside the area that misses to the right of the goal. 69:02 John Carew takes a shot. Hendry Thomas gets a block in. 68:25 Marcelo Moreno takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel. 67:59 Gabriel Agbonlahor takes a shot. Chris Kirkland makes a save. 67:22 James Milner takes a shot. Blocked by Emmerson Boyce. 65:32 Corner taken right-footed by Victor Moses, James Collins makes a clearance. 65:25 The ball is delivered by Victor Moses, Richard Dunne manages to make a clearance. 63:55 Hugo Rodallega is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Brad Friedel takes the free kick. 62:35 GOAL - James Milner:Wigan 1 - 2 Aston Villa James Milner finds the back of the net with a goal from just outside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Wigan 1-2 Aston Villa. 61:58 Corner taken by Ashley Young, save by Chris Kirkland. 61:13 Free kick awarded for a foul by Hendry Thomas on Richard Dunne. Ashley Young produces a cross, James Collins takes a shot. Clearance by Gary Caldwell. 58:23 Handball by James Collins. Free kick crossed right-footed by James McCarthy. 57:20 The ball is sent over by Titus Bramble. 56:43 Corner from right by-line taken by James McCarthy. 56:08 Foul by John Carew on Gary Caldwell, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Gary Caldwell. 55:21 Substitution (Wigan) makes a substitution, with Victor Moses coming on for Charles N'Zogbia. 55:00 Stephen Warnock sends in a cross, Ashley Young produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand upright. 54:51 Stewart Downing sends in a cross. 51:30 Effort on goal by Ashley Young from just outside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target. 49:12 Charles N'Zogbia fouled by Carlos Cuellar, the ref awards a free kick. Charles N'Zogbia restarts play with the free kick. 48:38 The ball is delivered by Gabriel Agbonlahor, clearance by Gary Caldwell. 45:30 Marcelo Moreno has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright. 45:01 The second half kicks off. Half Time 45:00+2:11 The whistle is blown to end the first half. 45:00+1:00 Hendry Thomas challenges Richard Dunne unfairly and gives away a free kick. Stephen Warnock restarts play with the free kick. 44:28 John Carew is penalised for a handball. Direct free kick taken by Titus Bramble. 43:21 Maynor Figueroa challenges Gabriel Agbonlahor unfairly and gives away a free kick. The ball is sent over by Stiliyan Petrov, James Milner has an effort from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal. 43:01 Gabriel Agbonlahor sends in a cross, Emmerson Boyce manages to make a clearance. 41:35 Stiliyan Petrov concedes a free kick for a foul on Hugo Rodallega. Titus Bramble takes the free kick. 40:45 The referee blows for offside. Titus Bramble restarts play with the free kick. 39:56 Gary Caldwell takes the free kick. 39:56 Booking Richard Dunne shown a yellow card. 39:38 Hendry Thomas fouled by Richard Dunne, the ref awards a free kick. 38:50 John Carew takes a shot. Save by Chris Kirkland. Stewart Downing takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, Marcelo Moreno manages to make a clearance. 37:59 Emmerson Boyce delivers the ball. 37:23 Marcelo Moreno produces a cross. 35:57 Effort from deep inside the area by Ashley Young clears the bar. 35:35 Inswinging corner taken by Ashley Young. 35:35 Booking Hugo Rodallega receives a caution. 32:56 Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Ashley Young. 32:24 John Carew takes a shot. Blocked by Gary Caldwell. 31:44 Mohamed Diame gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stiliyan Petrov. Direct free kick taken by James Collins. 31:02 Foul by Stiliyan Petrov on Mohamed Diame, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Hendry Thomas. 30:31 Hugo Rodallega has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the goal. 30:05 Corner taken by Charles N'Zogbia, clearance by Richard Dunne. 29:34 Charles N'Zogbia takes a shot. James Collins gets a block in. 26:36 The assist for the goal came from Charles N'Zogbia. 26:36 GOAL - Gary Caldwell:Wigan 1 - 1 Aston Villa Gary Caldwell grabs a headed goal from close in. Wigan 1-1 Aston Villa. 26:13 Assist by John Carew. 25:56 The ball is crossed by Charles N'Zogbia, 24:39 GOAL - James McCarthy:Wigan 0 - 1 Aston Villa James McCarthy concedes an unfortunate own goal. Wigan 0-1 Aston Villa. 24:23 Corner from right by-line taken by Stewart Downing. 23:55 Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Stewart Downing, James Collins takes a shot. Emmerson Boyce gets a block in. 22:46 Stewart Downing shoots direct from the free kick, save by Chris Kirkland. 22:46 Booking Titus Bramble shown a yellow card. 22:37 Gabriel Agbonlahor fouled by Titus Bramble, the ref awards a free kick. 22:12 John Carew takes a shot. Save made by Chris Kirkland. 21:49 Unfair challenge on Stephen Warnock by Mohamed Diame results in a free kick. Brad Friedel takes the free kick. 20:58 Hugo Rodallega takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel. 19:35 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Charles N'Zogbia by James Collins. Strike on goal comes in from Hendry Thomas from the free kick. 19:12 Gabriel Agbonlahor takes a shot. Blocked by Maynor Figueroa. 17:46 James Collins concedes a free kick for a foul on Marcelo Moreno. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Charles N'Zogbia from left channel. 14:45 John Carew produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the goal. 13:59 Corner taken by James McCarthy from the left by-line. 13:32 Maynor Figueroa takes a shot. Brad Friedel makes a save. 12:17 Gabriel Agbonlahor is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Chris Kirkland takes the free kick. 10:56 The referee blows for offside against Gabriel Agbonlahor. Chris Kirkland restarts play with the free kick. 9:50 Free kick awarded for a foul by James McCarthy on Stiliyan Petrov. James Collins takes the direct free kick. 9:16 The referee blows for offside against Gabriel Agbonlahor. Chris Kirkland restarts play with the free kick. 8:02 Stewart Downing takes a inswinging corner. 7:56 The ball is delivered by Ashley Young, clearance by Hendry Thomas. 4:50 Maynor Figueroa takes a long range shot clearing the crossbar. 4:11 Marcelo Moreno delivers the ball, save by Brad Friedel. 2:44 Hugo Rodallega sends in a cross. 0:40 Mohamed Diame challenges James Milner unfairly and gives away a free kick. James Milner takes the free kick. 0:00 The match gets underway. Live text and data provided by The Press Association.[LNB]

Source: BBC_Sport