Emile Heskey fortunate after row with referee
Aston Villa 1 Wigan 1
Aston Villa striker Emile Heskey was fortunate not to be sent off after making contact with referee Mike Jones as relegation-threatened Wigan earned a precious point in the battle for survival.
Heskey lost his composure after not winning a free-kick and appeared to barge into the official. But he escaped with a yellow card and was substituted at half-time.
Charles N'Zogbia gave the Latics the lead but Ashley Young levelled for the home side with his ninth goal of the campaign.
A share of the spoils has banished any lingering relegation fears for Villa.
They were not at their best with only winger Stewart Downing and midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker emerging with full credit.
But Wigan's survival hopes are still alive ahead of next week's crunch meeting with West Ham after fully deserving to collect a point with N'Zogbia always a threat.
After 10 minutes N'Zogbia stunned Villa by giving Wigan a 10th minute lead.
Moses made a purposeful run before slipping the ball into N'Zogbia whose low left-footed shot flew past Brad Friedel into the corner of the net.
It was his eighth goal of the campaign.
Villa tried to retaliate and skipper Stiliyan Petrov's flighted pass almost played in Stewart Downing but he could not bring it under control.
But after 17 minutes Ashley Young brought Villa on level terms.
The England winger, who was being watched from the stands by Fabio Capello, was brought down in a central position 20 yards out by Ben Watson.
Ashley Young played a short free-kick to Petrov before himself curling a low shot wide of the defensive wall into the corner of the net.
Wigan keeper Ali Al Habsi made a fine save to keep out a shot on the turn from Heskey after he had shown good skill to carve out the opening.
The home side won another free-kick in a promising position after Caldwell brought down Darren Bent.
But this time Ashley Young's curling attempt did not trouble Al Habsi.
Heskey was shown a yellow card after 33 minutes after he appeared to barge into referee Mike Jones.
He was clearly unhappy at not being given a free-kick after a tussle with Caldwell.
Heskey appeared to have lost his self control and skipper Petrov was spoken to by referee Jones about the behaviour of the striker.
The Villa fans appealed for a penalty after Ashley Young went down in the box but replays showed there was no contact made.
Al Habsi got his body behind a Petrov low drive after being teed up by Bent.
N'Zogbia scuffed his shot wide after carving a chance for himself and then Dunne made a crucial block to deny Antolin Alcaraz.
Villa caretaker manager Gary McAllister replaced Heskey with Marc Albrighton for the second period.
Ashley Young set up an opportunity for Luke Young but he miskicked and Downing powered his shot over the bar after seizing onto the loose ball.
Downing had a fierce shot blocked by Caldwell but Wigan were knocking the ball around with confidence despite their lowly position.
Friedel went down to cling onto Moses' shot on the turn.
Wigan came within inches of taking the lead after 77 minutes when Di Santo's flick on was seized on by Hugo Rodallega.
He turned sharply and his low shot beat Friedel but flashed just past the post.
Bent could have won the game for Villa when he found himself one on one with Al Habsi but his shot was blocked.
Latest in Sport
With the top nine players in the men’s world tennis rankings all missing this tournament to prepare ...
by Gareth Purnell
21 May 2013 02:01 AM
When cyclists look back on their careers spanning many hundreds (and in some cases possibly thousand...
by Martin Ayres
20 May 2013 06:12 PM
As England’s new football strip – made by Nike – is revealed today, new research shows the English F...
by Alex Miller
20 May 2013 04:52 PM
Why Spurs will break the bank to keep Gareth Bale this summer
Jose Mourinho clear to rejoin Chelsea as departure clears the way for Real Madrid to move for Gareth Bale to become Cristiano Ronaldo's successor
Tottenham to smash pay scale with £150,000-a-week contract in attempt to tie Gareth Bale to club
Manchester City begin to rebuild and rebrand for future
Why Arsène Wenger must spend to put icing on the cake and buy likes of Stevan Jovetic for Arsenal
- 1 Tottenham to smash pay scale with £150,000-a-week contract in attempt to tie Gareth Bale to club
- 2 Austerity has hardened the nation's heart
- 3 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 5 Top A&E doctors warn: 'We cannot guarantee safe care for patients anymore'
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.