A cold night in Wigan saw Manchester City visit the DW Stadium and with City having lost two consecutive games the pressure was on to end their blip in form. With the Touré brothers away on international duty, inspirational captain Vincent Kompany serving the second of a four match suspension and Micah Richards out injured the captain’s armband was handed to birthday boy Pablo Zabaleta.
Both teams started brightly and City were boosted by the return of Spanish wizard David Silva who has an almost telepathic relationship with Sergio Aguero, a relationship which combined from the kick off to create a goal scoring opportunity. It was Wigan, however, who had the best of the early chances wreaking havoc in City’s depleted defence, young Serbian defender Stefan Savic was easily turned by Rodallega and Gareth Barry collided with Gomez two minutes in as Wigan appealed for a penalty. Referee Martin Atkinson disagreed.
The Blues had the majority of the possession in the first half and made it count after 22 minutes when Edin Dzeko won a free kick down the left hand side. A beautifully weighted cross from David Silva found the head of Dzeko who placed it powerfully past Al-Habsi in the Wigan goal to make it 1-0. It was Dzeko’s 11th goal in 17 games, but his first goal in 11, showing just how mercurial he had been at the start of the season.
Manchester City constantly pressed Wigan, forcing the Latics into making mistakes at the back which City were unable to capitalise on. Wigan got back into the game towards the end of the first half, however, but were always vulnerable to the Blues’ quick counter attack. Silva found Sergio Aguero but his shot was well saved.
The second half started just as brightly as the first and some sensational footwork from Aguero as he weaved in and out of Wigan’s defence almost saw City get the much needed second goal. Aguero was unable to get his shot away and it fell to Edin Dzeko whose effort was tame and ended rolling into the arms of Al-Habsi. Aguero was not happy, neither was Mancini on the touchline.
City continued to press and dominate and Clichy’s cross on the hour mark found Aguero whose flick came off Gary Caldwell and went agonizingly past the post.
A loose pass in the middle of the field was seized upon by McCarthy who raced towards goal only to see his shot excellently saved by the foot of Joe Hart as Wigan pounced on City’s gift.
This left Wigan believing they could still get something out of the game, the same thought must have crossed Mancini’s mind as he sent on Nigel de Jong for Samir Nasri and Nedum Onuoha made a rare Premier League appearance, replacing David Silva ten minutes from time.
As Wigan continued to add pressure with minutes remaining, one last attack from City almost sealed the win. Aguero did well to stay onside from Milner’s pass and he then managed to pull his shot wide of the post.
The final moments were frantic as Wigan threw everything they had at the City, but the Blues held on to record their first away win since QPR on November 5th and to take all three points.
Man of the Match: Tough one to call, Joe Hart made an outstanding save which ensured City gained maximum points. Sergio Aguero also had a good game, but for his sensational goal and hard work Edin Dzeko gets the MotM award.