A look back at previous meetings between the Latics and Aston Villa at Villa Park
Meetings at Villa Park since our promotion to the premier league:
2005/2006 Aston Villa 0-2 Wigan 22.10.05 Att. 32,294
A good Latics following swelled no doubt by being unbeaten in the last 7 games home and away including 6 wins and a draw, saw us arrive at Villa Park sitting joint 2nd in the table with games in hand oozing with confidence. Villa at the time were struggling in 15th position. Many of us at the time couldn’t get our heads round this and thought our first league visit to former European Champions could bring us down to earth with a bump, this proved not to be. A thoroughly professional away performance saw us to a convincing 2-0 win, with a Villa own goal and a late strike by Mahon gave us a deserved win. The stats of the match show Villa looked to have bossed the game with 16 goal attempts to our 5 and a corner count in their favour of 9 – 5, but in truth, Villa came up against a cracking defensive display by our back 4 and were reduced to many long range efforts, 2 that alluded the defence were brilliantly saved by an equally resolute John Filan in goal. Villa could not handle our pace and movement in midfield and up front.
2006/2007 Aston Villa 1 – 1 Wigan 09.04.07 Att. 31,920
Latics were looking for much needed points in our relegation battle and this Monday night televised game added one to the required tally. A 22nd minute Heskey header from a Denny Landzaat corner had given us the lead we had also squandered a couple of other chances, the game turned in the 34th minute when referee Mark Halsey sent Antonio Valencia off for what he deemed to be a two footed challenge. The TV replays clearly showed this was not the case and the so called victim of the tackle Wilfred Bouma was as guilty as Valencia even though he was substituted at this point. From this point Villa went on an all out attack and bombarded our goal, something had to give and despite a heroic near goal line clearance by Baines, replays showed that despite Latics protests the ball had crossed the line and the goal was correctly awarded to Gaby Agbonlahor. A magnificent rear guard action including fabulous goal line clearances from Baines and David Unsworth and a number of essential saves including one world class save from Filan saw us taking a point.
2007/2008 Aston Villa 0 – 2 Wigan 03.05.08 Att. 42,640
Steve Bruce had steadied our ship and we were beginning to show a little more spirit and ability but 2 previous home games with disappointing draws (one against relegation rivals Reading) had left us still needing something from this game. A fine performance by Kirkland had seen off Villa’s early threat but in truth the only weapon in Villa’s armoury were from set pieces and Kirkland made 3 cracking saves to give us a half time clean sheet. During the 1st half we had looked much the better side and Michael Brown and Jason Koumas were dominating midfield. We were gradually getting more and more on top but took the lead when a rasping shot from Valencia cutting in from the right took a wicked deflection to give us the lead on 52 minutes. Less than 10 minutes later the game was over as a contest as Heskey nodded on a Bramble clearance to give Valencia a free run from the half way line to slot the ball easily past Scott Carson in Villa’s goal and a 2-0 win. This also gave us the points required for another season in the top flight.
2008/2009 Aston Villa 0 – 0 Wigan 31.01.09 Att. 41,766
We headed into this game in a comfortable 7th position in the table with Villa pushing for a European place above us in 4th. Emile Heskey made his debut for Villa after his £3 million transfer the previous week. As seems to happen regularly with our past players he had a poor game and this partially resulted with Villa`s inability to score in them not going 2nd in the Premier League, Amir Zaki was also injured for this match leaving Mido ploughing a lone furrow up front until newly signed Rodallega came on for De Ridder in the 46th minute, not that any forward play was needed as we spent much of the game on the back foot. A number of good saves from Kirkland and last ditch defending from the brilliant Bramble and Boyce saw us gain yet another credible result and point at Villa Park.
2009/2010 Aston Villa 0 – 2 Wigan 15.08.10 Att. 35,578
The opening game of the season proved a real shock. Villa, after a promising end to the season in which they qualified for Europe were looking to push on, came up against a Latics team with other ideas despite their close season turmoil losing key players, Valencia and Cattermole who followed Steve Bruce to the Stadium of Light. Latics and new manager Martinez needed a positive start and by heck he got one. In the 31st minute a speculative clearance by Melchiot was picked up wide on the right by Rodallega. His turn and shot sailed into the top corner of Friedel’s net making it a goal of the season contender within the first half hour. Latics continued to boss the game and threaten Villa with good passing and quick breaks all the game. Jason Koumas sealed the points in the 56th minute with a cracking finish that ended a fine move involving Rodallega and a rampant Charles N`Zogbia. Villa were largely ineffective and only Brad Friedel, the post and a goal line Milner clearance kept the score somewhat respectable to Villa as we coasted to an easy victory.
2010/2011 Aston Villa 1 – 1 Wigan 07.05.11 Att. 36,293
This game was all about an ex Latics player. Emile Heskey not normally known for passion and aggression was lucky not to be sent off for physically accosting referee Mike Jones after a number of decisions went against him as he got short shrift in his battle with Alcaraz. Heskey became more and more frustrated and eventually blew his top in the 33rd minute, this time after a tussle with Caldwell. He was promptly replaced at half time. Latics were looking doomed to relegation which seems to be a regular and productive time to play at Villa Park, given our record against them. Villa were not faring much better although a couple of decent results against Newcastle, West Ham and Stoke had given them some breathing space in what was looking like a relegation scrap for them as well. A late season recovery saw them manage a respectable 9th position in the league but it did not save the combination of Houlier or Garry McAlister keeping the manager’s seat. Charles N’Zogbia had given us a 10th minute lead with a neat finish after good work by Victor Moses for his 8th goal of the season. Villa equalised through Ashley Young in the 17th minute after Ben Watson had given away a needless free kick and was punished when Young played the kick short to Petrov who trapped the ball only for Young to curl the ball into the corner of the net past Al Habsi. Not much happened in the rest of the game, defences were on top Rodallega had a chance to give us the lead on 77 minutes but Bent should have won the game in the last minute when one on one with Al Habsi only to tamely hit his shot against Al Habsi’s chest and fluff the rebound, £24 million well spent!
2011/2012 Aston Villa 2-0 Wigan 01.10.11 Att. 30,744
The Latics record of never having lost a Premier League game at Villa Park was blown away in this meeting. A game without much quality on show by either side was settled by a goal in each half that came about through mistakes in possession by Latics players, on 36 minutes Diame lost the ball on the right, Bannan put Agbonlahor away and the Villa striker cut into the box tying a back peddling Gary Caldwell in knots before firing past Al-Habsi. On 62 minutes McArthur was too easily disposed by Agbonlahor who charged down the Latics right before cutting the ball back for an unmarked Bent to tap home. Di Santo looked the Latics most dangerous player, he was bundled over in the area by Villa defender Alan Hutton for a stone wall penalty with the score at 1-0, nothing ever changes!
The latest edition of the PWU Wigan Athletic podcast is now available for download. In this the last recording of the year the panel is decimated by man flu, luckily Barry, Dan and Paul are on hand to carry the flag.
The podcast is longer than usual but with a lot of content to get through that isn’t surprising. There are the Arsenal and Everton (12:38) reviews, dodgy ref decisions and missed opportunities. Next up is the Aston Villa preview (23:40), now this is a big game. We follow the Villa preview with looking ahead to the local derby on New Year’s Day against Manchester United (33:22), we all know this game is their cup final. A nostalgic look back at 2012 (40:48) brings this week’s podcast to a conclusion
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All the PWU Podcast team would like to wish you all a Happy New Year and thank you so very much for your support on this project
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