Match Report: Manchester City 1-0 Wigan Athletic

Alex Livesey

The score line flatters a City team which deserved nothing but to be on the end of a Wigan Athletic win. Wigan though, as has been our problem for large parts of the season, couldn’t take their chances. Instead we lost a game where a point or three could have pulled us closer to the pack ahead.

Two changes from the game at Wembley saw Callum McManaman and Ali Al Habsi give way to Joel Robles and Franco Di Santo. The decision to change few players looked to have played off for 80 minutes as Wigan held Manchester City at 0-0.

Yet in the early stages it was more a case of Manchester City stopping Wigan. The Latics had two corners inside the first four minutes of the game, neither of which really troubled the City defence of goalkeeper Joe Hart.

It was Wigan though who came the closest in the first half. Franco Di Santo getting free in the box six yards out and Joe Hart managed to deny the Argentinian. Had that ball hit the back of the net it would have been deserving of the Wigan play.

The game may have been dull, but Wigan were keeping it dull. The tempo was slowed to our level and we had more of the ball. This was the kind of performances that we Wigan fans know we can have. Keep the ball and then pick off the opposition, last year Arsenal saw the full extent of such play.

Yet the first half drew to a close with Wigan having more possession and the better chance of the game.

Even a tactical change from Manchester City to match Wigan in the 3-4-3 formation couldn’t contain the Latics blues. Within the first five minutes of the restart, Joleon Lescott had to clear the ball off the line to deny Wigan a goal. Shaun Maloney twisting and turning in the box before it was cleared away. What did we have to do?

The answer though would never come to our players, even if we created great chances. The next one falling to Arouna Kone who was played through on goal by Franco Di Santo (the Argentinian was at his best). Kone through on goal was about to pull the trigger before a magnificent challenge from Vincent Kompany stopped the goal.

As the final 20 minutes dawned, City started to slowly wake up into the game. They had rarely forced Joel into a save in the Wigan goal. Yet the Spanish goalkeeper had to be alert to deny Eden Dezko as he went through on goal; Joel using his feet to send the ball away.

Heartbreak would follow with Carloz Tevez getting the winning goal with seven minutes to play. It was sheer individual brilliance which defeated us, and that really was the only way they could have done it. The striker turning and ducking his way past two defender’s before slamming the ball into the top corner of the goal.

This time round though, there would be no late goal to save a point for Wigan. City had deflated us and we slipped to our first defeat since losing to Liverpool at the beginning of March. The performance itself though was fantastic, and we can take plenty of positives into our crunch game against West Ham United at the weekend, that is a must win game.

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