A stunning goal from Colombian striker Hugo Rodallega started Roberto Martinez’s Wigan Athletic managerial career off on the right foot. Jason Koumas added a second after the break to complete an emphatic victory over Aston Villa at Villa Park.

PREMIER LEAGUE – VILLA PARK – Saturday 15th August 2009
Rodallega 31
Koumas 56

Roberto Martinez took his place at the Premier League table, straightened his tie and announced to the world that he is here and the world stood up and took notice.

The new Wigan Athletic manager’s style of play immediately won admirers after this convincing victory over Martin O’Neill’s Aston Villa – Latics’ first opening day win since goals from Andy Liddell and Lee McCulloch secured all three points at Cheltenham seven years ago.

Villa started the brighter but couldn’t capitalise on their early possession. However once Wigan got into their stride their was no stopping them.

Jordi Gomez looked sharp all afternoon and his ball to Charles N’Zogbia almost paid dividends but the French winger was denied by Brad Friedel in the Villa goal – the American keeper getting the feintest of touches to send the ball against the base of the post.

James Milner tested Kirkland from 20 yards out before Hugo Rodallega had a header cleared off the line by Milner at the other end of the park.

Wigan continued to push forward and their pressure paid off with 30 minutes on the clock and in spectacular style too.

Nicky Shorey’s attempted clearance fell into Hugo Rodallega’s path and the Colombian hit a screamer over Friedel into the far top corner of the goal.

Kirkland needed to beat his absolute best 10 minutes later to keep out an Ashley Young free kick and he didn’t disappoint.

Moments later Rodallega almost doubled his tally for the afternoon when Curtis Davis allowed the Wigan striker clean through on goal only to be thwarted by Friedel’s legs.

However Wigan did add a second 10 minutes after the interval. Charles N’Zogbia carved his way forward with options on either flank – Koumas and Rodallega both racing forward in support.

N’Zogbia opted for Koumas and the Welsh midfielder ran into the Villa area before sliding the ball through Friedel’s legs for his second competitive goal in a Wigan shirt.

Wigan never looked like relinquishing their grip on the game and Villa’s afternoon was pretty much summed up when Titus Bramble threw himself in front of Ashley Young to deflect his effort over the bar – Bramble making amends for allowing the home side to break free in the first place.

Roberto Martinez must now prepare his team for the visit of Premier League new boys Wolverhampton Wanderers at the DW Stadium on Tuesday evening before a tough test against champions Manchester United next Saturday afternoon but if his side continue to play as they did at Villa Park then they won’t go far wrong.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne and Wear)
Attendance: 35,578
1 Brad Friedel 1 Chris Kirkland
23 Habib Beye 25 Mario Melchiot
24 Carlos Cuellar 19 Titus Bramble
15 Curtis Davies 7 Paul Scharner
21 Nicky Shorey 31 Maynor Figueroa
19 Stiliyan Petrov 10 Michael Brown
8 James Milner 14 Charles N’Zogbia
16 Fabian Delph 6 Hendry Thomas
18 Emile Heskey 15 Jordi Gomez
11 Gabriel Agbonlahor 10 Jason Koumas
7 Ashley Young 20 Hugo Rodallega
22 Brad Guzan 12 Mike Pollitt
47 Ciaran Clarke 17 Emmerson Boyce
4 Steve Sidwell 3 Erik Edman
20 Nigel Reo-Coker 5 Won-Hee Cho
12 Marc Albrighton 30 Marlon King
26 Craig Gardner 16 Scott Sinclair
14 Nathan Delfouneso 9 Jason Scotland
31′ Hugo Rodallega
43′ Fabien Delph
56′ Jason Koumas
61′ Fabien Delph
Steve Sidwell
68′ Habib Beye
Marc Albrighton
77′ Gabriel Agbonlahor
Nathan Delfouneso
79′ Titus Bramble
83′ Maynor Figueroa
85′ Ashley Young
89′ Jason Koumas
Won-Hee Cho
90′ Hugo Rodallega
Jason Scotland