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Villa Park (ATT 33,374) 29th December 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: K Friend

A Villa Aston Villa vs Wigan Athletic Wigan


Wigan 3

I Ramis (3)
E Boyce (52)
A Kone (56)

Live Commentary

This article updates itself. There is no need to refresh this page. Last Updated at 4:53 pm, December 29th 2012

  1. Another very tough day at the office for Paul Lambert's young side, who now drop into the relegation zone. Wigan, meanwhile, leapfrog Villa and move up to 17th. Thanks for sticking with us today.

  2. Full-time: Aston Villa 0 Wigan 3

  3. 90+1

    McManaman draws a smart save from Guzan with a low, left-footed shot in the left channel. Wigan are just pinging the ball around now to oles from their fans.

  4. 90

    Weimann is booked for clipping the ankles of Boyce.

  5. 89

    Another hopeful shot from Villa as Bowery sees a low right-footer saved easily by Al-Habsi.

  6. 87

    Final change for Wigan as Kone is replaced by Callum McManaman.

  7. 86

    Chance for Villa as Weimann collects the ball in the corner of the box on the right-hand side and flashes a low shot across goal. Ambitious.

  8. 84

    Niggly fouls have really slowed the game now, which gives me the opportunity to highlight that Villa's goal difference is now -24. As I write, Gomez slips Kone in behind the Villa defence - again too easily - but the Ivorian was narrowly offside.

  9. 82

    Villa are still working hard and plugging away, but are struggling to create chances. Wigan are just in wind-down mode.

  10. 79

    Change for Wigan as Jordi Gomez replaces Beausejour.

  11. 76

    More pressure from Villa as Bowery sees a close-range shot blocked and then Bennett fires a left-footer over from the edge of the box. Credit to Villa's youngsters for the way they have kept plugging away. There is still no excuse for their defending, though.

  12. 73

    Great chance for a fourth for Wigan as Al-Habsi launched a huge kick forward that completely bypasses the Villa defence and reaches the on-running Kone, but the Ivorian tries to take it around Guzan and ends up running the ball out of play.

  13. 72

    Good spell from Villa, who are getting it wide and playing balls into the box at every opportunity now. Wigan haven't touched the ball other than to clear it in about four minutes.

  14. 70

    Villa aren't giving up on this one and Bennett has just swept an absolute gem of a cross in from the left-hand side, only for Wigan to defend it really well and get a strong clearance in. Villa are going down with a bit of a fight here.

  15. 67

    Interestingly, Villa have now abandoned their back three and have moved to a back four. Could that be Lambert giving up on the 3-5-2 system?

  16. 65

    Now a change for Wigan as James McArthur replaces Dave Jones.

  17. 64

    Triple change for Villa as Karim El Ahmadi, Jordan Bowery and Marc Albrighton replace Lichaj, Holman and Ireland.

  18. 64

    Momentary break in play as Chris Herd goes down with an injury and needs treatment. Villa are preparing to make a triple substitution, while Wigan fans are ole-ing.

  19. 60

    You have to feel for Villa, who had muscled their way back into the game and were the better team before that second goal. The third goal merely takes their already depleted confidence down another notch. Needless to say, the hosts have completely lost their momentum now and Wigan are back in control.

  20. 57

    Game over. Di Santo picks the ball up in midfield and slips a ball straight through the Villa defence to Kone, who shrugs off a weak challenge from Lowton, rounds Guzan and slots home from a tight angle into an empty net.

  21. 56

    Goal! Aston Villa 0 Wigan 3 (Arouna Kone)

  22. 56

    Barry Bannan is booked for a late challenge on Maloney.

  23. 55

    Another chance for Villa now as Kone collects the ball on the edge of the box and is allowed to get the ball out from underneath his feet and let a right-foot shot go that Guzan had to get down quickly to save.

  24. 52

    Sucker punch for Villa as Wigan double their lead with their first attack of the half. Boyce collected the ball in midfield, surged forward, played a one-two with Kone and then swept a low, right-footed shot past Guzan. Really well taken.

  25. 52

    Goal! Aston Villa 0 Wigan 2 (Emmerson Boyce)

  26. 50

    Benteke is completely dominating the Wigan centre-backs in the air - and Villa are duly playing to that strength by pumping regular balls up towards the Belgian. That's not to say they're passing it around too, because they're build-up play is both measured and patient.

  27. 49

    Villa have started this second half as they finished the first - on the front foot. Now it's Wigan's turn to look short of confidence and belief.

  28. 47

    Great chance for Villa as Eric Lichaj flights a neat cross from the right to the back post, where Benteke climbs above Ramis but can only head over the bar when he really should have at least hit the target.

  29. 46

    We're back under way at Villa Park, where Villa have gone straight on to the attack.

  30. The teams are on their way back out for what should be an intriguing second half.

  31. Much better signs from Villa in the last 12 minutes or so of that first half. The problem is, the other 33 minutes were a complete catastrophe. What do you think? Should either side make changes? How will this one end up? Send me your thoughts via Twitter @MattSkyCycling or e-mail and I'll publish what you have to say.

  32. Half-time: Aston Villa 0 Wigan 1

  33. 45+1

    Another chance for Holman as Benteke heads another long ball down into his path, but it skids up off the wet turf and just beyond his reach.

  34. 45

    Another chance for Holman, who fires a left-foot shot from 25 yards wide. Slightly hasty from the Australian, because he had options left and right.

  35. 43

    Villa hit the bar! Fantastic chance as Benteke heads a long ball into the box down to Brett Holman at the back post, but his left-foot half-volley hit the bar and rebounds out for a throw-in.

  36. 43

    Shaun Maloney booked for a late challenge on Joe Bennett.

  37. 41

    Another good spell of possession for Villa but it's wasted by Lowton, who charges down the right-hand side but balloons his cross way beyond the back post. Much more promising signs for the home fans now.

  38. 39

    Villa have bossed the last five minutes and are now controlling possession. They're passing well enough in the middle third of the pitch, but there's no penetration. Not sure what has happened to Wigan. One minute they were making all the running, they next they're the ones who are standing off and giving the opposition too much space. Strange.

  39. 37

    Wigan's Emmerson Boyce is booked for dissent.

  40. 36

    Goal for Villa - but it's disallowed. Holman shot from outside the box but it hit Weimann, who was offside. The ball bounced back to Benteke, who finished well, but the referee blew for the offside.

  41. 35

    The rain is absolutely sheeting down now. You would have thought that would suit Wigan, but conversely, it's Villa who have started to ping the ball around and, for the first time in the match, it is the visitors who are on the back foot.

  42. 34

    At last, Villa put a sustained attack together through Benteke in the left channel. There were three or four home shirts in the box, but the Belgian opted to cut in and shoot, only to see his effort blocked the moment it left his boot.

  43. 33

    If Wigan don't come away with three points here they will be kicking themselves because they have seen enough of the ball in the final third to win two or three matches. Villa are operating entirely on the counter-attack and look like the away team.

  44. 30

    Wigan threaten again down the left after winning the ball in midfield. It was played out to Beausejour on the left, but his cross was poor and easily cleared by a grateful Villa defence. Maloney, incidentally, is running this match. He's popping up in dangerous positions all over the final third and just isn't being tracked.

  45. 27

    Yet another chance for Kone as he is slid through in the right channel by James McCarthy, but the angle was against him and his shot was high and wide. Villa's defence once again totally bypassed.

  46. 24

    Now Maloney plays Kone through on goal but, once again, the striker's touch wasn't crisp enough and allowed Herd to get a last-gasp challenge in.

  47. 23

    Wigan break through Di Santo and Kone but the moves breaks down after a heavy touch from the Ivorian. Wigan are still making all the running here. It's almost impossible to see Villa scoring in this match the way they are currently playing.

  48. 22

    Where will Villa find the goals to turn this one around? Benteke next goal is 5/1 with Sky Bet, who go 5/1 that they win the game while Wigan have been slashed to 4/9 on. However, no next goal scorer is a tempting 6/1.

  49. 21

    Great chance for Wigan as Beasejour cuts the ball back from the left byline to Maloney on the edge of the box, but the former Villa man drives his right-foot shot over the bar. Major let-off for the hosts.

  50. 18

    Wigan have lost their early momentum a touch and the tempo of their game has also dropped. Benteke, meanwhile, is having a stinker for Villa. Whenever the ball is punted up towards him, his first touch has been so bad that it just bounces straight back off him and Wigan regain possession.

  51. 16

    Villa just can't get going here at all. They haven't been able to string three passes together yet and confidence looks utterly obliterated. Weimann is the only player who is offering any hope and, right on cue, he picks the ball up on the right, cuts inside and sends a left-foot shot wide.

  52. 13

    Chance for Wigan as Franco Di Santo flashes a 22-yard right-footer high and wide, although it looked like it took a deflection. Once again, though, Wigan are left incensed as Kevin Friend gives a goal kick.

  53. 11

    Aston Villa fans, I'm sorry to say that this game is looking very grim for your side right now. Wigan are pinging the ball around with pace and cutting through the hosts at will. Christian Benteke hasn't helped matters by giving the ball straight to Arouna Kone in a dangerous position. Fortunately for the Belgian, nothing came of it.

  54. 9

    Another huge call for a Wigan penalty as Stephen Ireland completely wipes out Shaun Maloney right in the corner of the box next to the byline, but referee Kevin Friend once again waves play on. That was as clear-cut as they come.

  55. 7

    Jean Beausejour could build a house in the space he is getting on Wigan's left wing. Sam Herd and Lowton don't really seem to know how to defend the space and the Chilean is consequently whipping crosses in at will.

  56. 6

    The corner that led to the goal should actually have been a penalty after a long ball forward clearly hit the arm of Matthew Lowton before going out of play. Not that it mattered in the end.

  57. 5

    Villa attempt to hit back as Andreas Weimann is threaded through on goal, but he was being put under pressure by Ramis and his left-foot shot from the edge of the box was easily saved by Ali Al-Habsi.

  58. 4

    What a disaster for Villa. A corner from the left, no marking whatsoever, Ramis leaps up and thunders a header past Brad Guzan.

  59. 3

    Goal! Aston Villa 0 Wigan 1 (Ivan Ramis)

  60. 1

    Right, we're under way at Villa Park. The hosts are in their traditional claret and blue, with Wigan in all black.

  61. Four changes for Aston Villa today, but their team still has an average age of about 12. Meanwhile, Ivan Ramis' surprise return is a big boost for Wigan.

  62. Right, the teams are in the tunnel and we're about five minutes from kick-off. Last chance to grab a brew...

  63. Had enough of obscure stats yet? No? Okay then, here's another: Wigan have conceded more penalties than any other team this season (six) but Villa are one of five teams yet to win one.

  64. Wigan have the chance to erase their name from an unwanted piece of history today. They currently hold the record for the most goals conceded in three consecutive Premier League games with 18 (May to August 2010), but with Villa having conceded 12 in their last two games, that 'honour' will pass on to today's hosts if Wigan can score seven or more at Villa Park.

  65. Whichever stat or fact you look at for these teams, it makes very, very grim reading. Try these, for example: Wigan have taken just one point from their last six Premier League games, while Villa's goal difference of -21 is the worst in the Premier League currently.

  66. No team has scored fewer home goals than Aston Villa (8/5 favourites) this season, while only West Ham have scored less on the road than Wigan (17/10). All signs point to a goalless draw, which can be backed with Sky Bet at 9/1. If you're a more cautious punter, you might fancy a no on both teams to score at Evens.

  67. Wigan team: Al Habsi, Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa, Boyce, McCarthy, Jones, Beausejour, Kone, Di Santo, Maloney. Subs: Pollitt, Gomez, McManaman, McArthur, Boselli, Stam, Golobart.

  68. Aston Villa team: Guzan, Herd, Clark, Lichaj, Lowton, Ireland, Holman, Bannan, Bennett, Weimann, Benteke. Subs: Given, El Ahmadi, Albrighton, Westwood, Bowery, Stevens, Carruthers.

  69. Welcome along to our live text coverage of Aston Villa v Wigan Athletic. You've heard of the Immovable Object v The Unstoppable Force? Well, this match is the exact opposite. Both of these teams are in woeful form and are shipping goals like a Sunday League side, which probably means we're in for either a thriller or a shocker. I'm Matt Westby and I'll be talking you through proceedings. If you want to have your say on the match, tweet me @MattSkyCycling or e-mail and I'll be happy to publish your thoughts.

  70. Live updates will appear here from 1500 GMT...



Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 8 22
2 Manchester City 8 17
3 Southampton 8 16
4 West Ham United 8 13
5 Liverpool 8 13
6 Manchester United 8 12
7 Arsenal 8 11
8 Swansea City 8 11
9 Tottenham Hotspur 8 11
10 Stoke City 8 11
11 Hull City 8 10
12 Aston Villa 8 10
13 Everton 8 9
14 West Bromwich Albion 8 9
15 Leicester City 8 9
16 Crystal Palace 8 8
17 Sunderland 8 8
18 Newcastle United 8 7
19 Burnley 8 4
20 Queens Park Rangers 8 4