Villa hold on again

Last updated : 26 January 2011 By Stateside Villa

Villa were 2-0 up and passing the ball around without a care in the world. The game looked over. Houllier decided to bring off the lively Agbonlahor to rest him after his tireless effort, but 2 goals in the final ten minutes and Manchester Utd pushed Vidic up front and eventually levelled the game.

A few games later, the Frenchman did the same thing when Villa had a good 2-0 lead at home to West Brom. Albion scored late in the game and Jerome Thomas is probably still having nightmares about his 94th minute miss.

So, after taking another 2 goal lead at Wigan last night, and the side playing some lovely keep away stuff and still creating chances, you have to wonder why one of the hardest working players on the night had to be removed, after scoring his first goal of the season in the league and with so much clock time left?

Villa fans were spoiled for choice watching their new boys. Jean Makoun started in midfield, Bent made his second appearance and Nathan Baker was picked for his debut in place of Ciaran Clarke.

Although he didn't score, Bent tied up Wigan's two defenders all night, with some great touches and some veteran moves. Just like the match against Man City, he showed his experience at the end of the game, taking valuable seconds away from the home side.

Bent is still waiting for a decent cross. 2 games with -Downing, Albrighton, Young, Agbonlahor, Clarke, Baker and Cuellar. Not one has given him a decent cross in either match. The biggest culprit in this match was Downing. He was sent through by Young and with Bent tearing goalwards the former Boro man chose to shoot instead of teasing a square ball across the face of goal. Kudo's to Bent. He still got the rebound.

Makoun was solid. Nobody bossed him around. He had very nice touches on the ball and seemmed to play well with everyone.

Baker was quiet. Nzogbia gives everyone a torrid time on his day and this was no exception. But, Nathan can be pleased with his work.

Villa worked hard. They showed glimpses in the first half, but ran riot for the first 25 minutes of the second. Downing worked his butt off. Young looked willing.  Downing always looks better with Young working with him. But, they had a few mis communications too. Agbonlahor was involved throughout and Reo-Coker was a constant menace.

At the back, Dunne played very well. Like the Man City game, he made a couple of boo-boo's but wasn't punished. Collins was the man of the match with another strong effort.

Gabby got his first league goal early in the 2nd half. Young won a corner with a great shot that was well saved. From the second corner of the sequence, Cuellar looked to have headed home. The keeper made a reflex save, but the ball fell to Gabby who nodded over the line. Villa were fortunate. When the corner was in flight, Gabby was offside, but by the time Cuellar headed the ball, the defender had stepped back on his own line.

It wasn't long before Villa got a second. Young was needlessly chopped down in the box by Wigan's version of Reo-Coker. Young slammed the ball down the middle for 2-0.

After Albrighton came on for Agbonlahor and Petrov for Makoun, Wigan got back into the game. Collins tried to block a McCarthy effort, but the deflection took it into the net.

That started 11 minutes of panic from Villa and Wigan began to look like Man City. But, deep into stoppage time, Bent won the ball and the clock sped up and all felt right in the world.

Hopefully next time Villa are 2-0 up, Houlls won't drag his young speed merchant off until the game is safe. Like, maybe the 98th minute!