Aston Villa have been masters of taking early leads only to bleed them away by doing things like retreating into a shell with Stiliyan Petrov their best defensive midfielder and scoring own goals via Richard Dunne's bottom, but they've finally overcome that particular hoodoo in beating Wigan Athletic 2-0 at Villa Park. It was very much the Gabby Agbonlahor show today, the England striker continuing his stupendous form this season by scoring in the first half and setting up Darren Bent for Villa's second.
The scoreline would have been even more emphatic if not for a string of fine saves by Ali Al-Habsi in the Wigan goal, but Agbonlahor finally broke the deadlock after being found by Barry Bannan, the diminutive midfielder scooping a pass to the striker, who turned Gary Caldwell and lashed home. His contribution to the second goal was even more impressive, embarking on a blistering run down the left that ate up fully half the pitch before sending in a cross that Bent was only too happy to convert.
Wigan had possession but no ability to convert that into chances (or even pressure), which doesn't exactly bode well for this season, Villa, meanwhile have some very good attacking talent - if they use that rather than relying on a shaky midfield to hold one-goal leads, they might actually win some games this season. Imagine that.