Friday, December 8, 2023

Valencia double leaves Wigan safe

SoccerNews in English Premier League 3 May 2008


Ecuadorian winger Antonio Valencia struck a second-half double to secure a shock win over Aston Villa that ensures Wigan will be playing top flight football again next season.

For Villa, a disappointing performance in front of their own fans could have cost them the chance of claiming 5th place in the table and direct entry to next season's UEFA Cup. That honour will go to Everton if they can take a point from either of their two remaining matches.

Villa were given a pre-match boost when Olof Mellberg was passed fit to make a farewell appearance before his summer move to Juventus.

And the contest started promisingly enough with Villa taking the game to the visitors, albeit without carving out any creating any clear chances.

Wigan, in contrast, might have gone ahead just after half an hour, Marcus Bent firing wide after a whipped corner from Jason Koumas had generated panic in the Villa box.

Gabriel Agbonlahor responded for Villa, forcing Chris Kirkland to tip his close-range header on to the bar.

Villa improved after the break and skipper Gareth Barry almost caught Kirkland out with a cross that sailed dangerously towards the top corner.

It was Wigan however who took the lead, against the run of play.

Fed by Koumas, Valencia tried his luck from a tight angle and, with the help of a deflection off Dutch defender Wilfried Bouma, his shot looped over Scott Carson in the Villa goal.

It may have been extremely fortunate but the goal proved to be the catalyst for Wigan to take control of the match.

The second goal came after an astute header from Emile Heskey which presented Valencia with a route to goal. The Ecuador international got away from stand-in right-back Nigel Reo-Coker and beat Carson at his near post with a firm shot.

Agbonlahor went close again with another header but Valencia had an even better chance to complete his hat-trick as Wigan held on comfortably for a win that leaves them with little to play for when Manchester United come visiting on May 11, possibly needing a win to wrap up the title.


SoccerNews is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.

You can follow us on Facebook: or Twitter: @soccernewsfeed.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This field is required *

Join the conversation!

or Register

Live Scores


Betting Guide Advertisement


Become a Writer
More More