FT Wigan 0 Aston Villa 4
Gabriel Agbonlahor further enhanced his claims to be a part of Fabio Capello’s England plans by creating two goals and scoring another to keep Aston Villa riding high in the Barclays Premier League.
Agbonlahor’s pace and skill was too much for Wigan as he won a controversial first-half penalty which Gareth Barry converted and then stole the show in the second half with a predatory strike and a brilliant assist.
In the 57th minute, the Birmingham-born striker, 22, bundled home a close-range shot and then embarked on a delightful run and inch-perfect cross for substitute John Carew to head home five minutes later.
Substitute Steve Sidwell curled home a superb fourth goal in the last minute but the scoreline was harsh on Wigan, who largely dominated the first half, but the second half belonged to Villa and Agbonlahor in particular.
Wigan’s response was encouraging but they spurned a series of half chances and it was fairly obvious the game was now over as a contest.
Villa should have had a fourth nine minutes from time when skipper Martin Laursen strode out of defence and carried the ball deep into Wigan territory but his pass to Agbonlahor should have come sooner and the home defence regrouped.
However, a fourth goal did arrive in the last minute when Sidwell – an 84th-minute replacement for Stiliyan Petrov – found the space to place a curling right-foot shot past Kirkland and into the top corner.