Wigan Athletic 0 Aston Villa 0

By Footymad Previewer
Last updated : 19 November 2006
After four straight wins Wigan had to settle for a point from their first ever goalless game in the Premiership - a run of 50 matches at the top level.

With Australian World Cup star Josip Skoko producing a man of the match performance, Wigan did have the chances to win it.

Villa's well-oiled machine is proving difficult to beat this season, but they missed out on the chance to climb into third spot in the table .

Both sides were looking to make further progress up the Premiership table and the two managers were anticipating a close encounter between two sides very much in form.

Villa skipper Gareth Barry had recovered from a bruised back to lead the team, but Martin O'Neill was deprived of the services of the suspended Gavin McCann.

As expected, striker Emile Heskey was again missing from the Wigan attack with his calf injury proving difficult to shake off.

The Latics made four changes with Matt Jackson and David Wright getting a start and Gary Teale and Skoko returning to the side after injury.

Villa had an early let off when Wigan failed to cash in on a clear-cut chance which fell to Lee McCulloch on the edge of the six-yard area.

Henri Camara supplied the perfect cross from the right but the Scotland international powered the header straight at the keeper.

Austrian midfielder Paul Scharner then opted to shoot on sight but his long-range attempt swerved off course.

Kevin Kilbane was allowed to race into the Villa area to get in a header, but again it was off target.

Wigan had a big fright when Peter Whittingham tried his luck from the edge of the area and saw the shot clip the right post after latching on to Jackson's headed clearance.

Juan Pablo Angel tried to catch Chris Kirkland off his line but the England keeper was alert and in position to deal with the shot.

Villa enjoyed a charmed life early in the second half as Wigan created two quick-fire chances.

Isaiah Osbourne breathed a sigh of relief after getting his head to Emmerson Boyce's ball into the box. Thomas Sorensen was beaten but Osbourne was spared further embarrassment when it hit the post.

Skoko then unlocked the defence with a terrific pass for Scharner but the Villa keeper reacted superbly to keep it out.

The visitors were proving dangerous on the break and skipper Barry blasted over the bar when he should perhaps have done better.

The lively Skoko was proving a real handful and twice let fly with goalbound shots which were headed clear as well-organised Villa defended resolutely.

Despite the Wigan pressure, the speed of Gabriel Agbonlahor was keeping veteran defenders Jackson and Arjan De Zeeuw on their toes.

Substitute Didier Agathe robbed Kilbane of possession to send Agbonlahor into the box, but this time Skoko popped up in a defensive role to deny him the chance of a shot.

Wigan had to survive a nail-biting finish as Villa tried to snatch a late winner but they held out through three minutes of stoppage time.

Aston Villa Match Reports

Sky Bet Championship Sat 18th November 15:00

Queens Park Rangers 1 - 2 Aston Villa

Last game - Match Centre


Trending on the boards