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Last Updated: Sunday, 19 November 2006, 15:21 GMT
Wigan 0-0 Aston Villa
By Charlie Henderson

Aston Villa goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen denies Wigan's Paul Scharner early in the second half
Villa goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen made vital saves to deny Wigan
Wigan recorded a first ever Premiership goalless draw despite dominating the action against a limited Aston Villa.

Lee McCulloch saw an early header well parried by Villa goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen and Paul Scharner went close on a couple of occasions for the hosts.

Early in the second half Villa's Isaiah Osbourne headed an Emmerson Boyce cross on to his own upright as Wigan pressed.

For Villa, Peter Whittingham hit the same post with a first-half effort and Gareth Barry flashed a shot over.

The result also halted Wigan's run of four successive wins, but their failure to score was not for the want of trying.

606 DEBATE: Give your thoughts on this match

Within a minute of the start Sorensen was called on to make a reaction save as McCulloch met Henri Camara's right-wing cross with a firm header.

And in a vibrant opening, midfielder Scharner soon had his first sight of goal, dragging a rifled, low shot from the edge of the area narrowly wide of the target.

McCulloch headed over from Gary Teale's cross and the Scot's strike partner Camara proved a nuisance down the middle.

But while the nimble-footed Senegalese striker's twisting and turning tormented Villa and created good openings, he had the poise and touch of a pinball paddle in front of goal, skewing two shots well wide.

The best effort that Villa could muster in the first-half came when Whittingham hit a bobbling shot from outside the box on to the woodwork.

That same post came to Villa's rescue after the break as Wigan again flew out of the blocks.

Osbourne's ill-advised and misdirected defensive header from Boyce's searching cross diverted the ball on to the frame of his own goal with Sorensen flat-footed.

Villa cleared the rebound, but before long the Danish stopper was called on to deny Scharner.

The Austrian ghosted into the box to get on the end of Josip Skoko's threaded through ball, but after a good first touch his second was smothered by Sorensen.

As in the first-half, despite bossing possession, Wigan struggled to carve more clear-cut openings.

Villa, missing Stilian Petrov's prompting presence in midfield, played on the break but Barry's rising shot, after a deft step-over from Chris Sutton, was their only real effort on goal before a late rally.

On this occasion it was the turn of Wigan's rearguard to stand firm at two successive corners and secure that first goalless draw in their 50th top-flight outing.

The point, Villa's fourth away from home, means Martin O'Neill's obdurate side missed the chance to go third and stay fifth in the table.


  • Wigan manager Paul Jewell
    "We were terrific. In the first half that's as well as we have played in the Premiership.

    "All that was missing for the icing on the cake was a goal or goals. We missed some good chances but that happens.

    "We were great and for a 0-0 it was a good game. At least we are creating chances and do look like we can score goals, although not on this occasion."

  • Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill
    "We knew it would not be easy coming here and so it proved.

    "They were miles better than us in the first half, but after half-time we came into it more and looked more dangerous.

    "But it would have been harsh on Wigan if we had sneaked the three points, so overall I think we have done well."


    Wigan: Kirkland, Boyce, De Zeeuw, Jackson, Wright, Teale (Cotterill 76), Skoko (Landzaat 78), Scharner, Kilbane, Camara, McCulloch.
    Subs Not Used: Filan, Johansson, Webster.

    Booked: Jackson.

    Aston Villa: Sorensen, Mellberg, Cahill, Ridgewell, Bouma, Agbonlahor, Osbourne, Barry, Whittingham (Agathe 51), Sutton, Angel (Davis 67).
    Subs Not Used: Taylor, Baros, Berger.

    Att: 18,455

    Ref: S Bennett (Kent).



  • SEE ALSO
    Sunday's football photos
    19 Nov 06 |  Football
    Get club news on your mobile
    22 Feb 05 |  Sport Homepage


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