Championship
Aston Villa3Wigan2

Championship: Aston Villa 3-2 Wigan Athletic

Jack Grealish was making his first appearance since the collapse of his proposed transfer window move to Tottenham Hotspur
Jack Grealish made his first appearance since the collapse of his proposed transfer window move to Tottenham Hotspur

Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce said his side's dramatic stoppage-time win against Wigan Athletic was testament to the "resilience" of his squad following a turbulent off-field summer for the club.

Birkir Bjarnason scored in the fourth minute of added time as Villa came from behind to stun the Latics in a five-goal thriller.

"We've come through it with a bit of resilience, which is evident after a difficult summer for everybody," Bruce told BBC WM.

"They're a very good side, who caused us a lot of problems, but we've managed to get through.

"To win back-to-back games with all the difficulties we've had, is huge."

Villa suffered a number of financial problems following last season's play-off final defeat by Fulham - a loss which cost them £160m.

However, billionaire businessmen Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris were brought in last month to inject "significant investment".

And, as well as having new signings John McGinn, from Hibernian and Norwegian keeper Orjan Nyland making their debut, Villa also had star winger Jack Grealish still on show after being able to turn down Tottenham Hotspur's deadline bid.

"John McGinn is a player we couldn't buy two weeks ago," added Bruce. "The new owners have blown new life into the club."

New Villa signing John McGinn from Hibernian made a good start to his career in the Midlands
New Villa signing John McGinn from Hibernian made a good start to his career in the Midlands

Things started brightly for the home side when skipper James Chester earlier headed Villa in front from a McGinn free-kick on the left.

But Nyland made a mess of a back pass from Mile Jedinak to gift Nick Powell a 41st-minute leveller.

Callum Connolly then headed the Latics in front after the interval with a far-post header from Powell's cross.But, eight minutes later, Latics defender Chey Dunkley put through his own net in a scramble to make it 2-2.

And, from Conor Hourihane's cross, Icelandic international Bjarnason slid in to win it to help Bruce's men maintain their 100% winning start against one of his former clubs.

Villa's victory followed Monday's 3-1 win at Hull City, also one of Bruce's old clubs. And it is the first time Villa have kicked off the season with successive league wins since 1999-00, when they did so in the Premier League under John Gregory.

"We've been behind in both games so far," said Bruce said. "But, we've come back to score three, as we did on Monday, so overall a decent start.

"I have to say to have 34,000 supporters here with the problems we've had, just shows the attraction we still have as a club."

For Paul Cook's Wigan, losing an end-to-end classic which could have gone either way, was a first defeat since promotion back to the second tier in May.

Wigan used two of their new signings, striker Josh Windass and on-loan Sheffield United midfielder Lee Evans, who both came off the bench.

Wigan manager Paul Cook:

"I was happy with all aspects of the game except the result. We wanted to give a good performance against Villa and the players did that.

"But Villa have some quality players and anyone of them can pop up and get a goal.

"We are disappointed as I feel a draw would have been a fair result. The disappointment will drive us on."

Line-ups

Aston Villa

  • 1Nyland
  • 4TuanzebeSubstituted forAdomahat 65'minutes
  • 5Chester
  • 15Jedinak
  • 21Hutton
  • 27El Mohamady
  • 7McGinn
  • 20Bjarnason
  • 19GreenSubstituted forHepburn-Murphyat 74'minutes
  • 10GrealishBooked at 86mins
  • 26KodjiaSubstituted forHourihaneat 87'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Taylor
  • 6Whelan
  • 14Hourihane
  • 23Campos Moreira
  • 24Elphick
  • 29Hepburn-Murphy
  • 37Adomah

Wigan

  • 1Walton
  • 12James
  • 22DunkleyBooked at 66mins
  • 21Kipre
  • 3Robinson
  • 26Connolly
  • 5MorsyBooked at 58mins
  • 15McManamanBooked at 50minsSubstituted forEvansat 54'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 25PowellSubstituted forWindassat 68'minutes
  • 17Jacobs
  • 9GriggSubstituted forVaughanat 81'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Walker
  • 8Vaughan
  • 10Windass
  • 14Bruce
  • 18Roberts
  • 23Jones
  • 36Evans
Referee:
Jeremy Simpson
Attendance:
34,331

Match Stats

Home TeamAston VillaAway TeamWigan
Possession
Home48%
Away52%
Shots
Home17
Away10
Shots on Target
Home6
Away3
Corners
Home3
Away4
Fouls
Home17
Away16

Live Text

Match ends, Aston Villa 3, Wigan Athletic 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Aston Villa 3, Wigan Athletic 2.

Foul by Jack Grealish (Aston Villa).

James Vaughan (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Goal!

Goal! Aston Villa 3, Wigan Athletic 2. Birkir Bjarnason (Aston Villa) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Conor Hourihane with a cross.

Booking

Lee Evans (Wigan Athletic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lee Evans (Wigan Athletic).

Corner, Wigan Athletic. Conceded by Alan Hutton.

Attempt blocked. Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ahmed El Mohamady with a cross.

Foul by John McGinn (Aston Villa).

Cheyenne Dunkley (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Conor Hourihane replaces Jonathan Kodjia.

Delay in match Callum Connolly (Wigan Athletic) because of an injury.

Booking

Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Jack Grealish (Aston Villa).

Callum Connolly (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Cedric Kipre (Wigan Athletic) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Lee Evans with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Wigan Athletic. Conceded by James Chester.

Attempt blocked. Josh Windass (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Sam Morsy.

Attempt blocked. Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jack Grealish.

Albert Adomah (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic).

Substitution

Substitution, Wigan Athletic. James Vaughan replaces William Grigg.

Attempt missed. Michael Jacobs (Wigan Athletic) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Reece James with a cross.

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Cedric Kipre.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Rushian Hepburn-Murphy replaces Andre Green.

Attempt missed. John McGinn (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Attempt missed. Josh Windass (Wigan Athletic) header from the left side of the six yard box is too high. Assisted by Lee Evans with a cross.

Attempt saved. Andre Green (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jack Grealish.

Birkir Bjarnason (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by William Grigg (Wigan Athletic).

Substitution

Substitution, Wigan Athletic. Josh Windass replaces Nick Powell.

Attempt missed. Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Albert Adomah with a cross.

Attempt missed. Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left following a set piece situation.

Booking

Cheyenne Dunkley (Wigan Athletic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Cheyenne Dunkley (Wigan Athletic).

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Albert Adomah replaces Axel Tuanzebe.

Goal!

Own Goal by Cheyenne Dunkley, Wigan Athletic. Aston Villa 2, Wigan Athletic 2.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Middlesbrough32106247
2Leeds22007256
3Aston Villa22006336
4Swansea22003126
5Nottm Forest31203215
6Brentford21106244
7Bolton21104314
8West Brom31116604
9Wigan21015503
10Preston21011103
11Derby210135-23
12Sheff Utd310236-33
13Rotherham210125-33
14Bristol City20203302
15Blackburn20202202
16Millwall20202202
17Norwich201156-11
18Sheff Wed201134-11
19Birmingham201123-11
20Ipswich201123-11
21Hull201124-21
22Stoke201124-21
23QPR200213-20
24Reading200213-20
View full Championship table

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