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VILLA 0-2 Wigan
Villa's European ambitions suffered a body blow as Wigan ran out 2-0 winners on a frustrating afternoon.
3rd May 2008
VILLA 0-2 Wigan

Villa's European ambitions suffered a body blow as Wigan ran out 2-0 winners on a frustrating afternoon.

Luis Antonio Valencia was the two-goal party pooper as Villa were unable to break down stubborn Wigan resistance.

Villa must now hope Arsenal can beat Everton tomorrow to take the race for fifth place into next weekend.

Scharner's sliding challenge frustrated Agbonlahor on four as the striker chased a loose clearance.

Brown sent a tame right-foot effort straight to Carson on six as Young slipped on the edge of the Villa box.

A cagey opening saw neither side creating chances of note in the early stages.

Knight almost broke the deadlock on 20 as he rose to head Young's free-kick from the left goalwards - Kirkland saved.

Barry sent a rising left-foot drive over the bar from distance on 24.

The Villa skipper went closer three minutes later but saw his header from a Bouma cross saved by Kirkland.

Agbonlahor dragged a left-foot shot past the post on 29 as he raced onto a long clearance from Knight.

As Villa pressed, Carew fired wide as he met Mellberg's low cross from the right three minutes later.

Bent fired high and wide from close range on 34 as Villa only half cleared a Koumas corner from the right.

Kirkland tipped Agbonlahor's close range header onto the roof of the net on 39.

Reo-Coker's cross cum shot from distance flew straight to Kirkland on 42.

Agbonlahor screwed a left-foot shot wide on 44 as he met Carew's flick from a Laursen long ball.

Kirkland was forced to tip Barry's left-wing centre over the bar on 50.

Wigan had the lead on 52 as Valencia's hopeful right-foot drive took a wicked deflection to leave Carson stranded.

O'Neill threw Berger into the action on the hour mark as the midfielder replaced Knight.

The veteran midfielder made an instant impact and released Barry on 62. The Villa skipper sent a low drive narrowly wide from the edge of the box.

Valencia then added a second for Wigan, slotting past Carson as he met Heskey's flick from a long clearance.

Young fired a right-foot free-kick straight at the Wigan wall on 65 as Villa chased a lifeline.

Kirkland tipped Agbonlahor's header onto the roof of the net on 68. Harewood then replaced Bouma.

Wigan broke on 70 but Carson did well to deny Valencia a hat-trick, diving low to his left to block the midfielder's drive.

Carew sent a weak header from Petrov's right-foot cross wide on 74.

Laursen then fired high into the Holte End from distance three minutes later.

Harewood dragged a right-foot shot across the edge of the six-yard box on 79 as he was sent clear by Berger.

The frustration continued for Villa as O'Neill's men were unable to test Kirkland in the Wigan goal.

Berger fired high into the Holte deep into stoppage time to sum up a frustrating afternoon for Villa.

VILLA: Carson, Mellberg, Bouma, Knight, Laursen, Reo-Coker, Petrov, Barry, Young, Agbonlahor, Carew. Subs: Taylor, Harewood (for Bouma 68), Berger (for Knight 60), Salifou, Routledge.

Wigan: Kirkland, Palacios, Kilbane, Heskey, Koumas, Brown (booked 54), Valencia, Boyce, Scharner, Bramble, Bent. Subs: Pollitt, Taylor, Sibierski (for Heskey 89), King (for Bent 77), Skoko (for Palacios 90).

Today's match will be followed by a lap of appreciation led by the title winning Academy and Reserve sides. MON's first-team squad will also pay tribute to the Villa Park faithful.

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