Aston Villa are an embarrassment and deserve to be relegated. Fresh off an 8-0 away loss at Chelsea and a 4-0 home defeat against Tottenham Hotspur in which Gareth Bale scored a hat trick, Paul Lambert's side were absolutely mauled at Villa Park by a Wigan Athletic team that began Saturday in the bottom three. And that's despite help from the referee.
The Latics somehow had two penalty appeals declined in the opening exchanges, but they were less annoyed about that than they might have been because Ivan Ramis had already given them an early lead. Christian Benteke allowed the centre back a free run on a corner kick, and Ramis made the most of his opportunity by smashing a header past Brad Guzan and in.
Villa weren't totally useless in the first half -- they began spectacularly poorly but hauled themselves back into playing something approaching football, and even threatened Ali Al-Habsi's goal at times. Brett Holman's angled drive rattled the Wigan crossbar and fizzed out for a throw in, and Benteke even managed to get the ball into the back of the net only to see his neat effort ruled out for an offside call on Andreas Weimann.
But the little renaissance the hosts experienced was snuffed out most cruelly in a brutal spell shortly after the break. Emmerson Boyce doubled the Latics' lead after a neat one-two with Arouna Kone which saw no fewer than four claret shirts bypassed, and then Kone turned scorer when he drifted past Matt Lowton, rounded Guzan, and slotted home from an acute angle.
And that would pretty much wrap up the game. Villa huffed and puffed and made a triple substitution, but not much changed, and when Friend blew for full-time it was to the relief of pretty much everyone in the stadium. I can't believe these clowns beat Liverpool at Anfield two weeks ago. 15-0 in three games later and that result seems completely surreal.