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Match Reports

Match Report : 29/12/2012

29 December 2012


Wigan Athletic took firm advantage of Aston Villa's poor defensive record as Ivan Ramis, Emmerson Boyce and Arouna Kone sealed Latics' first victory since Reading in November to climb out of the relegation zone and up into 16th place in the Barclays Premier League.

Roberto Martinez had the luxury of bringing back his towering centre half Ramis as he returned from an injury which was picked up in Latics' last win as he replaced Ronnie Stam.

Franco Di Santo also returned to the starting line-up with James McArthur settling for a place on the bench.

Latics were left licking their lips after just three minutes and must have been thinking 'how many can we get?' as Ramis made his returning impact known when he rose above the Villa defence to head home Jean Beausejour's corner.

Moments before and in the incident that led to the corner Latics claims for a penalty were turned down when the ball hit the arm of Chris Herd on its way behind.

The referee said no but, Latics just got on with it to take an early lead.

Flowing football became a positive theme in the opening 15 minutes and there were more cries for a penalty when Shaun Maloney was caught by the trailing leg of Stephen Ireland on the by-line.

Again the whistle wasn't blown and Villa could breathe a sigh of relief.

After such a positive start and some excellent wing play by Beausejour and Boyce, Latics were forced to defend as Villa got their tails up and started to pile on the pressure.

On 30 minutes Christian Benteke had the ball in the back of the net when he was teed up by Andreas Weimann inside the area but, the Austrian's assist was deemed offside despite a roar from the Villa Park crowd.

Latics held on into half time as the home side attempted to launch the ball into the box from all angles.

Possession became hard to control but the defence had everything taken care of as the immense Gary Caldwell, Maynor Figueroa and goal scorer Ramis cleared the danger time and time again.

The second half started in a similar fashion as the pressure of a disgruntled crowd looked to be pushing Villa on.

Just seven minutes after the break though, Latics doubled their lead in fine style when Emmerson Boyce's forward run down the inside right proved to hot to handle.

His steam train like run just didn't look like stopping and a neat one-two on the edge of the area with Kone gave the wing back a sight at goal.

With an instinctive finish Boyce lashed the ball to Brad Guzan's right to make it 2-0 to the delight of the vocal travelling support.

3-0 soon followed and Kone finally showed that the forward's wanted to be involved on the score sheet when he showed his true quality in the finish.

Latics retained possession in midfield and the ball fell at Franco Di Santo's feet 30 yards from goal.

The Argentinian international spotted the run of Kone between defenders and played an inch perfect ball into the space.

Kone still had work to do as goalkeeper Guzan rushed off his line to put him off but, he jinked to the side of the American and slotted the ball in from an acute angle.

Villa didn't relent in their pressure to get a goal but Caldwell and co. remained strong as the constantly denied the hosts' aerial threat.

It could have been more late on when substitute Callum McManaman came close to his first ever Premier League goal but, he was denied by a solid Guzan save and Latics had to settle for 3-0.

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