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West Ham United
December 29, 2012
• 10:00 AM
• Villa Park, Birmingham
Referee: K. Friend
• Attendance: 33374
E. Boyce 52'
A. Koné 56'
That's it from me at Villa Park. Thank you for joining us for Goal.com's Live! commentary from Aston Villa vs Wigan, Join us again as we bring you the latest from all the big games across Europe, including all Premier League matches and clashes from the Champions League and Europa League. I've been Theo Squires, thank you and good night.
Wigan now sit 17th in the Premier League table on 18 points, with Villa behind them on goal difference. If Paul Lambert's side carry on like that you'd consider them to be one of the relegation favourites come the end of the season. Their goal difference now stands out -24 after heavy defeats in each of their last three games.
Wigan weren't at their best, but Aston Villa were worse. Paul Lambert's side, who have now conceded 15 goals in their last three matches, rarely threatened and their dismal form continues. Meanwhile Wigan's victory ensures they return home after yet another successful trip to Villa Park.
Full-time. Wigan win this one 3-0. Ivan Ramis' early first half header, and second-half goals from Emmerson Boyce and Aruona Kone see the Latics climb out of the relegation zone, overtaking Aston Villa in the process.
90' + 3'
Aston Villa continue to flood the box with crosses as they chase a late consolation but Wigan continue to defend valiantly.
90' + 2'
Into the second minute of three minutes of stoppage time.
90' + 1'
Guzan denies McManaman at the near post with his feet. It won't matter much to the scoreline, but after conceding 15 goals in his late three games I am sure the American is just pleased to keep the ball out of his net.
Yellow Card Andreas Weimann
Andi Weimann is booked for Aston Villa as the Villains' woes continue.
With Kone due to depart on African Cup of Nations duty it's yet to be seen how big a miss he'll be for Wigan Athletic. Judging on today's performance it could ultimately decide Wigan's Premier League fate at the end of the season.
Wigan sub: Kone OFF McManaman ON
Weimann fires in a shot that drifts just wide from the edge of the area. Al-Habsi had it covered though as Aston Villa fans continue to pile out of Villa Park.
Caldwell concedes a corner. Villa take it quickly but Wigan get it away.
I can't recall Al-Habsi being forced into making any saves so far this afternoon. Wigan have dealt with a limited Villa attack superbly, and have taken their chances at the other hand to deservedly lead 3-0 without even having to perform at their best.
Yellow Card Matthew Lowton
Lowton is booked for Aston Villa as he dives in on Figueroa in middle of the park.
That change sees Wigan change from 5-3-2 to 4-4-2 as they try to preserve what would be a rare clean sheet for the Latics. If they continue to frustrate Villa it will be their second clean sheet in 18 matches.
Wigan sub: Beausejour OFF Gomez ON
Bennett receives the ball on the left-hand side and lines up a shot, but sees his effort fly high and wide from outside the area.
Albrighton has looked very lively since coming on. He steals the ball off Beausejour and wins a free kick. The set-piece comes to nothing as Wigan storm up the other end. Kone runs onto a long ball and rounds Guzan, but his poor touch runs him wide and the ball goes out of play for a goal kick.
Another corner to Aston Villa on the right side as another Marc Albrighton cross is blocked. However it's a poor set-piece. The balls goes out before entering the area and Wigan have the goal kick.
Caldwell clears his lines after Benteke leaps well at the far post to head the ball from the set piece back across goal.
Corner to Aston Villa as Marc Albrighton's lofted cross is deflected wide.
Maloney fires it straight into the wall, and after stealing the ball back of Beausejour Aston Villa launch a counterattack.
Free-kick to Wigan on the edge of the penalty area on the left-hand side. Looks like Shaun Maloney to take.
Weimann sprints down the right touchline as Villa search for a way back into this game, but, with Benteke the only man in the area, his low cross is easily cleared.
Wigan sub: Jones OFF McArthur ON
Aston Villa sub: Lichaj OFF Albrighton ON
Jordan Nathaniel Bowery
Aston Villa sub: Holman OFF Bowery ON
K. El Ahmadi
Aston Villa sub: Ireland OFF El Ahmadi ON
Herd is back on and play is underway again as Villa delay making their changes.
Chris Herd is down clutching his ankle. The stretcher is coming on and it does not look good for the young Australian. He's up on his feet but walking gingerly.
A treble substitution for Aston Villa is imminent.
Assist Franco Di Santo
Goal Arouna Kone
Goal! 3-0 Wigan. Kone!. Franco Di Santo plays a pass into Kone inside the area, who rounds Brad Guzan before firing in from a tight angle. Plenty of boos from the home fans here. Wigan have been comfortable and full deserve their lead.
Yellow Card Barry Bannan
Barry Bannan is booked after he slides in late on Shaun Maloney on the half-way line. There was minimal contact but the ball was already gone.
Kone somehow fires a shot at goal from the edge of the area. Guzan saves it comfortably as it was straight but questions will be asked about how Kone managed to get the shot away, he had two Villa defenders in front of him.
Assist Arouna Kone
Goal Emmerson Boyce
Goal! And just as I say that it's 2-0 to Wigan! Emmerson Boyce. Maloney feeds Boyce he plays a delightful one-two with Kone on the edge of the area, before firing it across goal into the bottom left-hand corner. A vital goal at a vital time for Wigan.
Aston Villa have looked a lot brighter in the early minutes of the half. Benteke is winning everything in the air at the moment. If they carry on like this surely it's only a matter of time before they find a breakthrough?
Cieran Clark gallops forward from centre-back as he picks up a loose ball. He feeds Benteke on the edge of the area, carrying on his run into the box, but the Belgian is unable to return the ball to Clark as Wigan clear.
Wigan start well as Kone does brilliantly to dribble past two Villa defenders. He plays the outwide to Di Santo on the left, but the Argentine's low cross is poor and Villa clear.
Villa are attacking the Holte End this half. They were out early as Wigan kept us waiting, but now we are underway. Will Paul Lambert's side get anything from this game?
Will Wigan hold on and secure a vital three points as they look to climb out of the relegation zone, or will Aston Villa fight back and put an end to their recent dismal form? Stay tuned to find out.
Wigan Athletic dominated proceedings for the majority of the half, without ever really threatening Brad Guzan in the Villa goal after they'd opened the scoring. Paul Lambert's men fought back in the dying minutes however, first seeing a Christian Benteke chalked off for offside, before Brett Holman was unlucky to see his effort from an acute angle cannon off the bar.
Half-time and Wigan lead 1-0 thanks to Ivan Ramis' early header. The last time Villa came from behind was their last game of 2011 against Chelsea. 12 months later and will we see a repeat of that performance?
The ball falls to Holman, but he misses the target with yet another shot from distance, that drift's wide of Al-Habsi's right-hand post, when in a good position.
Yellow Card Shaun Maloney
Shaun Maloney is booked for a late challenge on Bennett in the middle of the park.
Brett Holman hits the bar from close-range. Christian Benteke wins a header inside the penalty area, the ball drops to Holman but his left foot shot from a tight angle skims the crossbar and goes out to safety.
Aston Villa are ending the half strongly but so far they have been unable to break down a stubborn Wigan backline.
Long period of possession for Aston Villa, but Wigan are pressing well and forcing them backwards.
Yellow Card Emmerson Boyce
Emmerson Boyce booked for dissent.
Villa have the ball in the net but it won't count. Holman plays the ball to Weimann, who is offside, when in a good position on the edge of the area. The Austrian tees it back to Benteke who buries it first time into the bottom corner, but the flag is up and it won't count.
Villa attempt to get the ball in the box, but Benteke is blocked in his path. The ball falls to Bennett, but his cross is poor and Wigan have the goal-kick.
Maloney takes it but Bennett heads it away.
Corner to Wigan...
Aston Villa are coming back into this a bit now. They are yet to really test Al-Habsi in the Wigan goal, but they are applying the pressure as they chase an underserved equaliser, based on their first half performance so far.
McCarthy robs the balls off Ireland and plays it through to Kone, but he fires over from an acute angle.
Di Santo is down after being caught in the face, when trying to head the ball, by Chris Herd's boot in the middle of the park.
Maloney feeds Kone but the forward stumbles and is unable to lose his marker as Guzan picks up the free ball.
Wigan attempt to launch a counterattack but Kone's poor touch stops the Latics in their tracks on two occasions.
Maloney fires over from the edge of the area after Beausejour does well to beat his man feed him. It could easily be 2-0 to Wigan.
Shaun Maloney and Jean Beasuejour have been involved in everything for Wigan so far. The score remains 1-0 to Wigan.
Weimann cuts in from the right-hand side, before uneashing a shot from the edge of the area, but it curls tamely wide.
Benteke has had an awful game so far. He has gifted Wigan the ball on numerous occasions, it was his poor marking that left Ramis free for the goal, and he has just got in the way of Brad Guzan as the American came out to catch an easy ball. Villa are fortunate that Wigan did not take advantage. This time.
Beausejour is having a field day so far as Wigan win another corner...
Wigan should have had another penalty as Stephen Ireland takes Shaun Maloney's legs away from underneath him in the penalty area. Moments later Ireland bundles Maloney over again, this time outside the area, but again no set-piece is awarded.
The early goal has shattered this young Aston Villa side's confidence. Wigan are all over them at the moment.
Al-Habsi is forced to make his first save of the day. Weimann is fed and running through on goal, but his shot from the edge of the area never had enough power to challenge the Wigan keeper.
Assist Jean Beausejour
Goal Iván Ramis
GOAL! Wigan lead through Ivan Ramis. Wigan should have had a penalty as Lawton handles in the box. The officials don't see it and a corner is awarded. The balls comes into the box and Ramis is left unmarked in the centre to head home for an easy finish. 1-0 Wigan.
A midfield battle so far as the sides seem unable to hold onto early possession and take an early hold of the game.
Wigan Athletic kick-off and we are underway...
Victory for Wigan today would see them climb out of the relegation, overtaking Aston Villa in the league table in the process. Unsurprisingly there are a number of empty seats here at Villa Park. Will Villa repay the faith shown by the fans who are here today?
Five minutes until the final game of 2012 kicks-off. The season is now at its half-way point. Is it too early to start calling this a relegation six-pointer? What's for sure is that three points today would be vital for either side as they look to end the calender year in style.
Goals from Darren Bent and Gabriel Agbonlahor saw Villa win this tie last season, as they secured their first ever Premier League home win over Wigan. Neither are available today, but if Andi Weimann and Christian Benteke can repeat their performances from the Villains' shock 3-1 win over Liverpool it would be hard not seeing Paul Lambert's men pick up all three points.
Just over ten minutes to kick-off now. Will Aston Villa bounce back after their devastating defeats to Chelsea and Tottenham, or will Wigan's fine form at Villa Park continue? Stay tuned to find out.
Shaun Maloney starts against his former side for the Latics, while fomer Brimingham City player Jean Beausejour will no doubt face a lively reception from the Villa Park crowd. Wigan starting XI: Al Habsi, Caldwell, Boyce, Ramis, Figueroa, Beausejour, Maloney, Jones, McCarthy, Di Santo, Kone. Subs: Politt, Gomez, McManaman, McArthur, Boselli, Stam, Golbart.
Andi Weimann recovers from injury to start for the Villains, while Stephen Ireland is also handed a rare starting role. Aston Villa starting XI: Guzan, Lowton, Clark, Bennett, Holman, Herd, Lichaj, Weimann, Bannan, Ireland, Benteke. Subs: Given, El Ahmadi, Albrighton, Westwood, Bowery, Stevens, Carruthers.
Team news is in and here at the sides, starting with Aston Villa...
Roberto Martinez could have taken over as Aston Villa manager in the summer of 2011, but chose to stay at the DW stadium. His side travel to Villa Park today, having only lost once here in seven previous visits, securing all three points on three separate occasions.
Paul Lambert's side come into this match having conceded twelve goals over the course of their last two games. He will be hopeful that his side can claim all three points today against a Wigan side that have just won away from home twice all season.
Good afternoon and welcome to Goal.com's Live! text commentary from today's Premier League clash between Aston Villa and Wigan Athletic. I'm Theo Squires and I will be guiding you through all the action today in what is sure to be a fascinating fixture.
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