Roberto Martinez's men unable to break down a resilient visiting team though the traveling support called for the sacking of McLeish after another down afternoon.
WIGAN - It was an afternoon when both sides were in desperate need of three points with time starting to run out on the Premier League season. Wigan dominated possession throughout but for all its effort Aston Villa could not be broken down.
Aston Villa is now with just one win from its last seven Premier League games leading to the visiting fans calling for the sacking of the team's boss. Former Villa chairman, ‘Deadly’ Doug Ellis was in the crowd and with the midlands side in dire form McLeish will be starting to fear for his job.
In the 8th minute Wigan had a great chance to take the lead after a really bright start but a mix up between James McCarthy and Emerson Boyce spurned the opportunity. A square ball to Franco Di Santo was just behind the Argentinian though McCarthy and Boyce were lurking at the back post for a chance to smash home the Wigan pair ran straight into each other.
Aston Villa was slow to get going but in the 15th minute only a superb stop from Ali Al-Habsi kept the scores level. James Collins picked out Robbie Keane in the Wigan center circle and the Irishman took down the pass expertly before playing a pin-point pass of his own to Darren Bent with the outside of his boot. The England striker was in one on one and hit it first time to the left side of the Al-Habsi, but the Wigan keeper stuck out an arm to knock it clear for a corner.
Wigan dominated the first half in terms of possession and looked like the only side looking to win the game, though it was Aston Villa which had carved open the best chance of the opening 45 minutes through Darren Bent.
Aston Villa started the second half at an electric pace and almost caught Wigan off guard with a Carlos Cuellar header. A cross into the Wigan area was glanced by Collins straight into the path of Cuellar who used all the power in his neck to hit it at goal, but Al-Habsi read it well and saved comfortably.
Wigan was still the better of the two sides and after Martinez introduced Hugo Rodallega Villa appeared to shut up shop looking for a point. The home side was passing patiently around the opposition’s penalty area before Rodallega tried to take matters into his own hands with a curling effort from the edge of the area that went despairingly over.
With time running out Villa countered well through Keane who found some space for the powerful Emile Heskey. The former Wigan striker went towards the area before shooting. But the hit flashed just wide to the relief of the home support.
Villa was looking the more dangerous of the sides late on and when the fourth official revealed there was to be seven minutes of added on there was a feeling that Villa may snatch a late winner. But Martinez’s side hung on for a point that keeps its hopes of survival alive.