Manchester City secured a valuable three points at the DW stadium without hardly breaking into a sweat against a spirited but limited Wigan Atheltic, thereby condemning their local rivals to another week at the bottom of the table and yet had Wigan not seemed intent on giving City far too much respect and possession in the first half it could have been oh so different.
Martinez reverted back to his first choice starting line up following the debacle at Swindon with only Diame and Jones missing from his preferred eleven with Crusat operating on the left wing and McArthur in for Diame in a fluid set up which varied between a back three and back four.
The first half was virtually all City with Silva and Nasri dictating play and seemingly trying to pass the ball into the net with the Wigan midfield and defence seemingly defending further and further back without actually putting a challenge in. Whilst this football was pretty to watch it created very little clear cut chances and Wigan actually gave City a couple of anxious moments. First when Crusat fired a bullet of a cross from the left wing and Rodallega was slow to move when a touch would have seen the ball in the next and secondly when Moses broke from his own half but with Rodallega unmarked on his outside chose to cut inside to where the defenders were grouping and allowed himself to be dispossessed.
City for all their neat interplay looked more dangerous in the air where they won virtually every ball and the only goal of the game came as a result of a powerful header from Dzeko following the award of a soft free kick where he outjumped Alcaraz and buried the ball past Al Habsi.
Wigan struggled to build any momentum and all too often this resulted in the ball going backwards to the keeper which caused mutters of disquiet from a long suffering home support which has only seen one home win so far this season.
Wigan started the second half by far the brighter and with Rodallega looking sharper than in the first half of the season and Gomez looking to drive Wigan forward , City were forced onto the back foot. For all this pressure however, Wigan created very few clear cut chances and City looked dangerous on the break withWigan’s three centre halves looking particularly ponderous.
Silva almost scored the goal of the season with intricate dribbling took him past four Wigan defenders, the move only coming to a halt when Dzeko took the ball off his foot as Silva was shaping to shoot , firing a weak shot straight at Al Habsi.
The Wigan keeper once again tonight proved what a bargain buy he was, pulling off several superb saves to deny both Silva and Dzeko.
Wigan’s best chance came when a quick break found McCarthy on the edge of the penalty area, he cut inside and fired a powerful goalbound shot, only to see Joe Hart’s out-stretched left boot deflect the ball away for a corner.
Wigan huffed and puffed but rarely troubled the City keeper after that and the lack of chances created with the even fewer goals this season must raise serious questions about Wigan’s viability as a Premier League club. An interesting talking point was the booking for Figueroa, as the last defender when he committed a handball when not to do so would have allowed the City attacker a clean run through on goal. So blatant was it, many Wigan fans were amazed it didn’t earn the Honduran a straight red.
Al Habsi…Man of the match again 8/10
Stam.. Looked to attack at every opportunity but too often caught out of position 6/10
Figueroa..Exposed due to a lack of pace 6/10
Alcaraz… Out jumped for the goal and every other header 5/10
Caldwell..Gives of his best but not good enough 5/10
Crusat…Not tough enough for the Premier League 5/10
Gomez…Looked to take Wigan forwards at every opportunity 7/10
McArthur… Looked out of his depth , taken off before being sent off 5/10
McCarthy… Worked hard, unlucky not to score 6/10
Moses…All too often takes the wrong option 5/10
Rodallega .. Played well but starved of quality possession 6/10
Di Santo… Ran around a lot 5/10
Watson… Tried to create an equaliser 6/10
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