Basement boys Wigan fail to beat Aston Villa

Wigan 0 Aston Villa 0

Darren Bent was stretchered off in agony as Premier League basement
boys Wigan failed to capitalise on their dominance against Aston Villa
at the DW Stadium.

Bent went down following a challenge by Antolin Alcaraz and it was immediately obvious he could not continue.

The injury will almost certainly rule him out of England's midweek friendly with Holland, and possibly a lot longer given the pain he was in.

It was an incident which overshadowed a curious game, which Wigan dominated but Villa had the best chances, Ali Al Habsi called upon three times to keep the hosts level.

Hugo Rodallega came closest for Wigan in a frantic finish.

It was not enough to give the Latics their second home win of the season though, or take them off the foot of the Premier League table.

However, it was the Villa fans who booed their team off at the end, their patience with Alex McLeish starting to wear very thin.

The first-half was a microcosm of Wigan's season in that despite enjoying long periods of possession, it was Aston Villa who carved out the better chances.

In his final game before returning to MLS, Robbie Keane tried his luck from 25 yards with a low daisy-cutter that looked harmless when it left his foot, but was actually destined for the bottom corner until Al Habsi pushed it away.

Shortly afterwards, Keane turned provider, lifting a deft pass beyond a static Wigan back four.

Bent had the pace to reach it. Unfortunately for the England man, he could not beat Al Habsi either as his shot cannoned away off his knee.

Stephen Warnock also flashed a shot wide in what was an brief period in the ascendancy for the injury-hit visitors, who had named Gabriel Agbonlahor as skipper for the first time.

In contrast, Wigan controlled proceedings as much as it was possible to do on a pudding of a pitch, causing difficulties for both defences.

The arrival of Jean Beausejour from Birmingham during the transfer window has provided the Latics with a welcome cutting edge

It was the winger's deep cross in the early moments that Gary Caldwell lifted on to the roof of Shay Given's goal.

Carlos Cuellar did well to get a similar effort out of his six-yard box before Emmerson Boyce arrived to do some damage.

Had Wigan been caught napping right at the start of the second period, manager Roberto Martinez would not have been impressed.

Al Habsi was once again equal to the threat though after James Collins had turned the ball back into the Wigan box and, from Caldwell's flick, Cuellar thundered a header goalwards.

Quickly though, Wigan got themselves on top once more.

Beausejour was proving particularly difficult to pin down and on three occasions it was his crosses that brought peril for Villa, whose supporters were starting to get increasingly agitated at the lack of invention from their team.

Di Santo had a penalty appeal correctly waved away by referee Kevin Friend as his shot struck Collins and then Albrighton.

The introduction of Wigan old-boy Emile Heskey for Albrighton sent the anti-McLeish sentiment into overdrive.

Wigan appeared incapable of taking advantage though. Two corners were curled straight out of play before one of the culprits, Moses, sprinted clear down the right only to drill his cross beyond an empty six-yard box.

Bent's injury drew a temporary halt to proceedings.

Even though there was no booking for Antolin Alcaraz's foul on the England striker, it was immediately obvious he was in some distress and the sight of him being carried down the tunnel was not good.

When play eventually resumed, Hugo Rodallega turned on to a pass from fellow substitute Mohamed Diame and curled narrowly over, then Emmerson Boyce dashed back to clear just as Keane was about to pull the trigger.

Charles N'Zogbia might have caused a problem for his former club near the end, although Di Santo had the last chance, which was repelled by Given.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
Voices
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift performs at the 2014 iHeart Radio Music Festival
musicReview: 1989's songs attempt to encapsulate dramatic emotional change in a few striking lines
News
Mario Balotelli has been accused of 'threateningly' telling a woman to stop photographing his Ferrari
peoplePolice investigate claim Balotelli acted 'threateningly' towards a woman photographing his Ferrari
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Anderson plays Arthur Shelby in Peaky Blinders series two
tvReview: Arthur Shelby Jr seems to be losing his mind as his younger brother lets him run riot in London
Voices
Don’t try this at home: DIY has now fallen out of favour
voicesNick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of it
Arts and Entertainment
Miranda Hart has called time on her award-winning BBC sitcom, Miranda
tv
Sport
Phil Jones (left) attempts to stop the progress of West Bromwich Albion’s James Morrison on Monday
I'm not worried about United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Arts and Entertainment
Saw point: Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in ‘Serena’
filmReview: Serena is a strangely dour and downbeat affair
Life and Style
The Zinger Double Down King, which is a bun-less burger released in Korea
food + drinkKFC unveils breadless meat beast
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker