Late heartbreak as Jack Grealish screamer earns Steve Bruce's Villa all three points at Villa Park.
- Latics in 88th minute defeat at Aston Villa in the Sky Bet Championship.
- Jack Grealish breaks Latics heart with late screamer.
- Yanic Wildschut came closest for Latics, who lose first away game in six.
ASTON VILLA 1
WIGAN ATHLETIC 0
Brave Latics were undone by a late stunner from Jack Grealish having held out and frustrated Aston Villa in another highly disciplined rear-guard action.
It looked for all the world that they would come away from Villa Park with a point until the ball fell to the midfielder on the edge of the box and he curled an unstoppable effort beyond the despairing hands of Jussi Jaaskelainen, although Latics manager Warren Joyce was displeased about a foul on Sean MacDonald that went unpunished in the build-up to the goal.
Latics had soaked up immense pressure but actually came into the game after the break and Wildschut came mighty close with a powerful shot which whistled over the bar after good work from Michael Jacobs.
Joyce made the one change from the team who started against Derby County last weekend, Reece Burke returning after injury and replacing Jordi Gomez.
It was Burke who probably came closest in a cagey first half, driving a half volley just over the bar after Latics had broken down the left hand side.
Yanic Wildschut cut a lonely figure at times as Latics set out to absorb the pressure from Aston Villa, he had a couple of moments where he almost escaped his shackles but like the rest of the team, they set out to frustrate Villa and for the most part did exactly that.
Jonathan Kodjia came close when Albert Adomah dispossessed Steve Warnock on the Villa right and set up the chance, but Jaaskelainen read the attempted chip. Jordan Amavi had an early half-volley that flew just over the bar but those two chances aside, Latics were very disciplined and worked tirelessly to prevent Villa getting any kind of rhythm in the game.
Gomez replaced Burke after the break and orchestrated a more productive 45 minutes for Joyce’s men, but they were not able to hold out in the end. Gomez himself had a good attempt, Jacobs cleverly worked space in the box but just wasn't able to find the space to turn.
Latics: Jaaskelainen, R. Burke (Gomez 46), Morgan, Buxton, Warnock, Perkins (Burn 88), MacDonald, Power, Garbutt, Jacobs (Grigg 88), Wildschut
Subs: Lavercombe, Le Fondre, Davies, Kellett