Villa end Wigan hoodoo
Agbonlahor scores one then turns provider for Bent
Last Updated: 01/10/11 5:59pm
Agbonlahor: Opens the scoring for Villa with a well taken strike
Aston Villa claimed their second win of the season and remain unbeaten as they finally defeated Wigan at Villa Park.
Gabby Agbonlahor opened the scoring before providing the second for Darren Bent to seal the points in a comfortable 2-0 win.
Draw specialists Villa finally turned one point into three as they recorded their first Premier League victory over Wigan at home and only their second win in 13 games against the Latics.
Villa were ahead at the break thanks to Agbonlahor's dynamite strike.
Barry Bannan's delightful long ball found the run of the striker and he cut inside Gary Caldwell and then outside, before lashing his explosive right-foot effort past the helpless Ali Al Habsi into the roof of the net for his fourth of the season.
The visitors thought they should have been awarded a penalty midway through the second half when Franco Di Santo claimed he had been felled by Alan Hutton's clumsy challenge but referee Mark Clattenburg waved away appeals.
And Villa soon doubled their lead when Agbonlahor showed tremendous pace to race away from James McArthur and Emmerson Boyce before his low cross found Bent hanging at the back post to slot the ball home for his first goal in four games.
Villa were the first to threaten with Agbonlahor making a powerful run but his eventual shot was deflected into the hands of Al Habsi.
A deep ball into the Wigan box from Villa skipper Stiliyan Petrov was headed by Bent into the path of the lively Agbonlahor but he was unable to keep his shot down.
Bent seized on a mistake by Mohamed Diame and teed up Stephen Ireland whose shot was deflected wide in a promising start by the home side.
Wigan skipper Gary Caldwell became the first player to be booked after 19 minutes after appearing to catch Agbonlahor with an elbow.
Bent connected with the resulting free-kick from Bannan but he could not keep his header down.
Bent was looking sharp and it needed a fine save from Al Habsi to keep Villa on level terms.
Bannan's pass over the Wigan defence was chested down by Bent, but Al Habsi blocked his powerful close-range volley.
Good play by Agbonlahor allowed Ireland a free run at the Wigan area but he scooped his shot over the bar.
It came as no surprise when the impressive Agbonlahor put Villa ahead after 36 minutes.
Warnock won possession and found Bannan whose ball over the top was seized on by Agbonlahor. He turned inside Caldwell before lashing a powerful shot past Al Habsi from 15 yards.
Wigan tried to retaliate and a mistake by Fabian Delph almost gifted them an equaliser. Victor Moses was able to free Di Santo whose low cross-shot flashed inches wide of the far post.
Agbonlahor began the second half in the same vein as the first and almost doubled Villa's lead within 60 seconds.
A mazy run took Agbonlahor past Boyce, Watson and James McCarthy and his curling shot beat the dive of Al Habsi but flew inches wide.
Villa were in command and it needed a desperate block from Caldwell to keep out Bent's low shot after Delph had created the opening.
Wigan had claims for a penalty rejected after a challenge by Alan Hutton on Di Santo.
But Villa were soon back on the offensive and Al Habsi produced another excellent save to keep out Bannan's curling 20-yard drive at full stretch.
Agbonlahor was a constant menace and after 62 minutes he created the second goal for Bent.
He made a 50-yard run down the left flank before sending over an inviting centre which Bent side-footed past Al Habsi into the corner of the net.
Al Habsi made another excellent save to fingertip Petrov's fierce drive around the post.
Villa keeper Shay Given was called into meaningful action for the first time in making a double save to deny substitute Shaun Maloney and Di Santo.
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