Latics were unlucky to get nothing out of a closely fought game with a very good Aston Villa side but a daft own goal saw Wigan Athletic undone and Villa went home 2-1 winners.


Gary Caldwell (22)

James McCarthy o.g. (25)
James Milner (63)

James McCarthy was distraught as his own goal with no pressure gifted Aston the lead after Latics had taken the game to the visitors. We got ourselves back into it almost immediately as Gary Caldwell equalised, but an opportune goal from James Milner in the second half was enough for Villa to go home with all three points.

Latics set straight to the job and had early efforts from Rodallega and Figueroa, both attempts went over the bar but it showed our intent from the off. Villa showed very little in the opening quarter as Latics midfield bossed the show and restricted the visitors to off side efforts on goal.

Figueroa was looking to add to his goal tally for the season and got forward at every opportunity, but he found that his shooting boots were not on tonight and he couldn’t find a way past Friedal in the Villains goal. N’Zogbia uncharacteristically was finding it hard to get into the game and a poor over head kick sort of summed up the game he was having.

Then came the shocker, not just from the fact that we hadn’t really had to do much to keep O’Neil’s men at bay, but the fact that we are still wondering why McCarthy under no pressure ended up turning the ball into his own net. The poor midfielder was devastated by his mistake.

Gary Caldwell, after his disappointing game at the weekend, was having a tremendous game tonight and that was capped as he rose above everybody in the Villa box to head home from the in swinging N’Zogbia free kick just seconds after the restart.

N’Zogbia could have given us the lead just a few minutes later, but Villa got lucky again as his shot was deflected agonisingly round the post. A great first half ended with us disappointed not to be leading going in.

The second half saw us carry on with the pressure and Moreno, who had a great game, should have done better with his first effort of the half. After doing the hard part of making the room to get his shot in, he flashed the ball wide when Friedal was beaten.

Most of the play was fought out in the midfield section for a while, before disaster struck as Kirkland came out to punch a Villa corner away only for the ball to land neatly at the feet of Milner whose lash through the legs and bodies somehow managed to go untouched into the back of our net.

Luck was certainly on the clarets side as they enjoyed the lion’s share of the referees’ decisions, how there were not more booking than just Dunne is beyond me. Latics tried in vain to get the equaliser but our usual poor form in the last third continued and when we did manage a decent effort, the villa defence were on hand to deal with it.

We ended the game with Moses having a volley sail over the bar and we can feel hard done by after not getting at least a draw out of this. That said, it is Saturday that will go a long way in deciding our final position this season, we need to be beating the likes of Burnley at home to help drag us away from any relegation battles.

Report by Jayt

Cockney Latic Man of the Match: Momo Diame
Referee: Steve Bennett
Attendance: 16,186
1 Chris Kirkland 1 Brad Friedel
17 Emmerson Boyce 29 James Collins
5 Gary Caldwell 5 Richard Dunne
19 Titus Bramble 24 Carlos Cuellar
31 Maynor Figueroa 25 Stephen Warnock
27 Mohamed Diame 19 Stiliyan Petrov
14 Charles N’Zogbia 6 Stewart Downing
6 Hendry Thomas 8

James Milner

24 James McCarthy 10 John Carew
18 Marcelo Moreno 11 Gabriel Agbonlahor
20 Hugo Rodallega 7 Ashley Young
13 Vladimir Stojkovic 22 Brad Guzan
4 Antonio Amaya 2 Luke Young
15 Jordi Gomez 23 Habib Beye
11 Victor Moses 4 Steve Sidwell
7 Paul Scharner 16 Fabian Delph
9 Jason Scotland 18 Emile Heskey
16 Scott Sinclair 14 Nathan Delfouneso
23′ Yellow Card Titus Bramble    
25′     Goal James McCarthy o.g.
27′ Goal Gary Caldwelll    
36′ Yellow Card Hugo Rodallega    
40′     Yellow Card Richard Dunne
56′ Player Off Charles N’Zogbia
Player On Victor Moses
63′     Goal James Milner
71′ Player Off James McCarthy
Player On Paul Scharner
81′     Player Off Gabriel Agbonlahor
Player On Steve Sidwell
81′     Player Off John Carew
Player On Emile Heskey
90′ Player Off Emmerson Boyce
Player On Jason Scotland