Villa hold relegated Wigan

Relegated FA Cup winners Wigan ended their eight-year stay in the top flight with an entertaining 2-2 home draw against Aston Villa.

Last Updated: 20/05/13 at 14:40 Post Comment

Ron Vlaar: The Villa skipper rescued a point for the visitors

Ron Vlaar: The Villa skipper rescued a point for the visitors

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Darren Bent opened the scoring with his first Premier League goal since September after just five minutes.

But the Latics hit back thanks to a firm header from right-back Emmerson Boyce at the back post, and then they took the lead on the stroke of half-time after some calamitous defending by Villa.

Ashley Westwood's clearance off the line hit Nathan Baker and the ball rebounded into the back of the net. However, Villa rescued a point on the hour mark thanks to their skipper Ron Vlaar, who struck home a stunning volley from the edge of the box.

It was a slow start from the hosts and Ali Al Habsi, brought back into the side in place of Joel Robles, was called into action in the third minute to punch away Joe Bennett's free-kick.

With Christian Benteke suspended, Bent made his first start since January, and it only took the striker five minutes to make his mark. Paul Scharner played Bent onside and the former England man netted his first Premier League goal in nearly eight months with a shot that went in off a post.

The Latics soon levelled things up as Roger Espinoza swung over a cross from the left and Boyce leapt above Bennett to head powerfully past Brad Guzan.

Shaun Maloney forced Guzan into a decent save from a 20-yard free-kick in the 40th minute, and in stoppage-time the hosts went ahead.

Maloney's corner caused havoc in the Villa defence and, although Westwood cleared Ben Watson's shot off the line, he directed the ball against Baker, who could not stop it rolling into the net.

Wigan carried the momentum into the second half and might well have increased their lead on a number of occasions.

Boyce scored twice on the final day of last season and the defender was close to a repeat in the 59th minute as he got on the end of an Espinoza cross but his first effort was headed away from in front of the line by Bennett while his second clipped the top of the bar.

Two minutes later Villa made Wigan pay for failing to take their chances as Bennett's long free-kick was pulled down by Vlaar and then volleyed sublimely into the top corner by the centre-back.

James McArthur thought he had scored an even better goal in the 79th minute with a volley from the corner of the area but it crashed against the bar and Arouna Kone was unable to turn in the rebound.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Sunday, 22 March 2015
16:00
Hull City 2-3 Chelsea Report
QPR 1-2 Everton Report
13:30
Liverpool 1-2 Man Utd  
Saturday, 21 March 2015
17:30
West Ham 1-0 S'land Report
15:00
A Villa 0-1 Swansea Report
Newcastle 1-2 Arsenal Report
So'ton 2-0 Burnley Report
Stoke 1-2 C Palace  
Tottenham 4-3 Leicester  
12:45
Man City 3-0 W Brom Report

Footer 365

Israel 0-3 Wales: Gareth Bale's double sends Wales top of Group B

Gareth Bale scored two and set up another as Wales moved to the top of Group B with a 3-0 win over 10-man Israel in Haifa.

Raheem Sterling expects to be fit for Liverpool trip to Arsenal

Raheem Sterling expects to be fit for Liverpool's trip to Arsenal, despite pulling out of England's Turin date.

Danny Welbeck out of England game v Italy, Ryan Bertrand called up

Roy Hodgson has confirmed Danny Welbeck will miss England's friendly in Italy, while Ryan Bertrand has been called up.

Mail Box

Where's The Love For Walcott?

Theo Walcott is wanted by neither Arsenal or Liverpool fans in the afternoon Mailbox. Also, some good points on the FA skewed priorities, and glorious geekery...

Ripe Robin Still Has A Role To Play...

There is some support for the aging Robin van Perise in a frankly threadbare Mailbox. Also, more debate over homegrown players, with a suggestion of an import tax...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company