Game #5112

Season | 2009-10 |

Matchday | #41 |
League Game | #28 |
Premier League Match-week | #28 |  
Manager Game | #179 |
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
Premier League | Away | Wigan Athletic | DW Stadium | 16,186 | 

Game Summary

Manager | Martin O’Neill

KO | 19.45 |
Referee | Steve Bennett | 
HT Score | 1-1 |

FT Score | 2-1 |
FT Result | Won |

Last 5 Games | WLWDW | 

Scorers | Own Goal | 25’ | James Milner | 63’ |

League Position | 7th | - |

Line Up |

GK Brad Friedel |
LB Stephen Warnock |
CB Carlos Cuéllar |
CB James Collins |
CB Richard Dunne |
BOOKED | 41' | 
M Stiliyan Petrov |
W Ashley Young |
W Stewart Downing |
W James Milner |
GOAL | 63' |
CF John Carew | SUB OFF | 81' |
F Gabby Agbonlahor | SUB OFF | 81' |

Substitutes |

CF Emile Heskey for CF John Carew | 81’ | 
M Steve Sidwell for F Gabby Agbonlahor | 81’ | 

Unused Substitutes |

RB Habib Beye
M Fabian Delph
F Nathan Delfouneso
GK Brad Guzan
RB Luke Young

Cards |

 Yellow | Richard Dunne | 41’ |

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 28.37 | 

Oldest Player | GK Brad Friedel | 38.85 |

Youngest Player | F Gabby Agbonlahor | 23.44 |

Unavailable |

Injury |

M Nigel Reo-Coker | 

Match Stats |

Possession F | 46
Possession A | 54
Shots F | 18
Shots A | 10
Shots on Target F | 10
Shots on Target A | 6
Corners F | 8
Corners A | 7
Fouls F | 14
Fouls A | 10

Match Report 

BBC Sport

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

*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.
 

Wigan’s James McCarthy had gifted Villa the lead with a bizarre own goal.
 

Gary Caldwell levelled with his head, but Milner had the final say in a match full of chances with a well taken shot.
 

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.

 

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.

 

That would also only help Milner’s bid to impress Capello, with the likes of Aaron Lennon and now David Beckham struggling with injury.
 

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.
 

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.
 

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.
 

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.
 

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.
 

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.
 

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.
 

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.
 

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.
 

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.
 

Kirkland flapped at a Young corner, the ball was only half-cleared, and Milner pounced to slam low into the net from 25 yards.
 

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.
 

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.


*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.
 

“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.
 

“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.”


*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.
 

“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.
 

“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.”