Wigan stay alive with draw at Villa

Wigan climbed out of the bottom three on Saturday after a battling 1-1 draw away at Aston Villa.

Updated: May 07, 2011 22:35 IST
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Birmingham: Wigan climbed out of the bottom three on Saturday after a battling 1-1 draw away at Aston Villa.

However, they can return to the bottom three later on Saturday should Blackpool get a point at Spurs while Wolves can also go above them if they beat West Brom on Sunday.

Wigan grabbed an early lead through Frenchman Charles N'Zogbia as he was found by Hugo Rodallega just inside the box and he rifled the ball home past Brad Friedel for his eighth goal of the season, seven of them in the league.

However, their lead lasted just seven minutes as in front of England boss Fabio Capello, Ashley Young scored a superb goal.

He touched a freekick to Bulgarian veteran Stiliyan Petrov, who passed back to him and the England striker beat Ali Al Habsi from 25 yards out for his seventh Premier League goal of the season.

Al Habsi then prevented his side from going behind as he pulled off a magnificent one-handed save from former England striker Emile Heskey's close range volley.

Heskey then felt the aggrieved party as he had a shouting match with referee Mike Jones after the latter failed to penalise Steven Caldwell for his aerial challenge on the big striker - Jones booked Heskey instead for his protests.

Heskey was replaced at half-time by Marc Albrighton after the veteran striker had to be apparently restrained going down the tunnel at the break as he refused to let the matter drop.

An entertaining second-half saw both sides have their chances but in the end it was the impressive Al Habsi who saved his side again as he saved brilliantly from Darren Bent shortly before the final whistle and at least keep alive his side's hopes of maintaining their top-flight status.

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