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January 16, 2012
• The DW Stadium, Wigan
Referee: M. Atkinson
• Attendance: 16026
E. Džeko 22'
90' + 4'
FULL TIME!! It ends 1-0 to City thanks to that header from Dzeko in the first half. Mancini's men had some good chances which they should have scored to make the win more comfortable, but the Italian will be happy that they managed to keep a clean sheet and extend their lead over Manchester United at the top of the table to three points.
90' + 3'
Good work from Lescott at the back as he clears. City are digging in deep defensively, as they look to hold on to these precious three points away from home.
90' + 1'
Aguero is nearly through on goal but he can't get the ball under control as he gets in behind the Wigan defence once more. Four added minutes.
Yellow Card James Milner
Yellow Card Maynor Figueroa
Wigan are throwing players forward in search of a goal here and as City clear there lines with a hoof, Figueroa seems to jump up and bat it away with his hand with Aguero on the break. Only a yellow is given though, Mancini doesn't look happy with the decision, he clearly thinks it was a goal scoring opportunity and should have been red.
Nervous moment for Martinez there as Al-Habsi sells Aguero with a drag-back as the striker closes down the keeper. He gets it clear though.
Miss by Aguero! The striker gets away from the opponent's back-line inside the Wigan box after a pass from Milner, but drags his shot well wide and looks disappointed with his effort. Good chance that one.
Great effort from Dzeko as the City striker fizzes a strike from range which Al-Habsi reacts well and tips it over the bar. The shot may have got a deflection off Caldwell there.
Yellow Card Nigel De Jong
Yellow Card James McCarthy
Yellow Card Pablo Zabaleta
Zabaleta with a foul after a shirt pull, then another free-kick to City in a similar position as the one a few minutes ago, after a bad challenge by McCarthy. That followed by a dangerous lunge by Nigel De Jong, who has only been on the pitch a matter of minutes. All three are booked as he game is getting slightly scrappy now.
Barry wins a free-kick for City deep in Wigan's half, after a foul from Di Santo. They chose to play it short and keep the ball, some neat passing from Milner and Silva and then the Englishman again wins them a corner. But they can't create a chance as Wigan clear.
A speculative McCarthy low effort from range is tipped wide by Hart for a corner, but the delivery from Ben Watson is over-hit and cleared.
Nigel De Jong
Wigan are impressing in this half as they continue to push forward in search of a goal. Firstly Moses tries a neat ball to play in Rodallega but it is intercepted, then substitute Franco Di Santo finds a couple of yards out on the left but wastes his cross as it goes straight out.
Great save from Hart as Wigan nearly equalise! A poor attempted pass by Milner goes only as far as McCarthy who takes the ball on into the CIty box and drills a shot across the keeper who sticks out a foot and keeps it out.
Franco Di Santo
Nasri puts a ball in the box from the right, shouts for a foul by by Caldwell as he leads with his arm when challenging Dzeko, but nothing is given. May have away with that a bit.
Clichy flashes a dangerous ball across the box, which picks up a couple of deflections off Wigan defenders on the way through and nearly goes in. Corner to City from which Dzeko gets a header on goal but doesn't test Al-Habsi.
Yellow Card James McArthur
Good run from Dzeko who shows a bit of pace to knock the ball past McArthur, and then good strength to shrug him off the Wigan man is pulling back on the striker's shirt. Free kick and yellow given, McArthur needs to wait until full-time to get the goal-scorer's shirt.
Nasri is the next City player to go down under a heavy challenge, as he is flattened by Figueroa, but the midfielder gets to his feet and looks ok.
Another massive chance for City!! A dazzling run from Aguero, who slaloms between bodies in the Wigan box somehow keeping control of the ball, ends, unfortunately for Mancini, with Dzeko getting in his way somewhat and tamely rolling the ball straight to Al-Habsi from all of four yards out.
Great double save from Al-Habsi!!! Firstly Nasri's low cross finds Dzeko, the big man gets a shot away but the keeper parries it away from goal. The ball falls to the Nasri again and the Frenchman finds Silva this time. But again the man in the Wigan goal denies City a second.
Another chance for Martinez's side but James McArthur drags his shot wide of the far post. Then a momentary concern for Mancini as Dzeko falls heavily from a challenge on Alcaraz, but the striker is ok.
Corner for Wigan, after a quick stoppage for the linesmen to replace his broken flag, but they fail to make it count. The hosts have continued to come out of the blocks as the better side after the break.
And it's the home side that start on the attack. A couple of dangerous balls into the box are dealt with by the City back-line. Then Wigan have another penalty shout waved away, Moses was convinced his cross was stopped by Zabaleta's hand.
Wigan get the game back underway.
Greg Stobart reports back from the break at the DW: "City have had to do very little to lead 1-0 at the break here thanks to Edin Dzeko’s accurate header in the 22nd minute. Roberto Mancini’s side have create few chances but look comfortable against a toothless Wigan side. The hosts did grow into the game as the half went on but they don’t look like they can get the ball into the City penalty area, let alone score."
HALF TIME! Dzeko's header gives the league leaders the advantage at the DW Stadium after an entertaining first half. Mancini's men have had some good chanced to double their lead but Wigan have also created some openings on the counter-attack. Looking forward to the second half!
45' + 1'
Crusat showing some good skill against Zabaleta on the left-hand-side and feels he should have had a corner off the right-back as the ball bobbles out, but a goal kick is given.
A glorious chance for City! Aguero is played in by Silva, the Argentine works some space with some good footwork and a change of pace before his low shot is saved well by Al-Habsi.
Gomez delivers a dangerous free-kick from the left but Rodallega fails to get a proper connection on it. Moses then shows off some more good trickery when he could have had a shot. Martinez can be encouraged by his side's fight, if not quality, so far though.
As City press forward for a second, Wigan have a good chance at the other end. A great run and bit of skill from Moses on the left-hand-side in the visitors' box, but the attacker fails to cross the ball when he had options inside.
Nasri is getting on the ball a lot more than recent performances, which will please Mancini. City are continuing to dominate but are still failing to create that golden opportunity to double the lead, which won't.
Another decent opportunity, this time for City after some terrible defending by Alcaraz in his own box. Nasri collects the ball in a couple of yards of space from the defenders way-ward pass, he cuts the ball back to Silva but Wigan's defence manage to redeem themselves and block the shot.
Good chance for Wigan. Rodallega and Moses combine before the ball finds Jordi Gomez after getting a touch from Zabaleta. The Striker takes a first-time shot which curls and dips nastily and Joe Hart has spill the ball before collecting it fully.
Maynor Figueroa hits a long cross-field pass out to the wide right, finding Rodallega. The striker collides with Gael Clichy in the air and is winded as he falls heavily. Wigan are being forced to pass by City as they press high.
Counter by Mancini's side as Narsi breaks with the ball after Wigan had been in a good position in opposition territory, but the midfielder can't find Dzeko with the ball.
Assist David Silva
Goal Edin Dzeko
GOOOOOAAAAAALLLL! 1-0 to City. Dzeko wins a free-kick in a good position on the far side after a foul by Antolin Alcaraz. Silva whips it in and it's Dzeko who gets on the end of it to head past Ali Al Habsi. Greg Stobart's thoughts: "He needed that goal, Edin Dzeko, after a run of 11 appearances for City without a go. It was a trademark goal from the Bosnian - a well-timed glancing header - but Wigan will be so annoyed that City were allowed to take the lead so easily. ‘We are top of the league’ is once again coming out of the away end but something is puzzling me - why do people always sing it in a Geordie accent?"
Greg Stobart from the chilly DW: "Looking down to the touchline below, it strikes me that we have here probably the two most dapper managers in the Premier League. In the sartorial stakes, I’m giving the edge to Roberto Mancini (suit from Saville Row) because of the horrendous light bright shoes being sported by Roberto Martinez. On the pitch, the game has settled down now after a high octane start. City are prompting and probing - to the background of their fans singing ‘we are top of the league’ - but haven’t caused Wigan any real problems in the last 10 minutes."
Plenty of space on the right-wing for Zabaleta as he exchanges passes with Nasri and James Milner but the home-side's defence get back in numbers and force Milner to concede a goal-kick.
Nasri finds himself in some space on the right-hand-side and lays it off for Zabaleta to cross, Silva nearly beats the defender to the ball but he fails to control it well enough and Wigan clear their lines.
City now with what looked like a great chance for Aguero. He received the ball following a powerful Silva shot deflecting into his path in the Wigan box, but the linesman flags him correctly offside.
The league leaders are pinning the hosts in their half at the moment, but Wigan have a decent chance on the break after a long-ball clearance from Gary Caldwell finds Hugo Rodallega who beats Joleon Lescott and passes on to Victor Moses however his shot flies over. A good open start at the DW.
Good link-up play from Samir Nasri and David Silva, with the Frenchmen winning a corner off Ronnie Stam, however Dzeko's effort goes wide.
Martinez's side are having a good spell of possession just now, but it's City that have a good chance. Gael Clichy spots Edin Dzeko lurking in the box and finds the big Bosnian with a cross before the striker flicks his header wide of the near post.
The match has started very brightly indeed, with Mancini's men first to attack but Pablo Zabaleta's cross gets blocked. Then Wigan counter but the City defence scramble the ball clear with The Latics also having a penalty shout turned down for a push from Gareth Barry.
Manchester City get the match underway.
Goal.com's Greg Stobart reports from the DW Stadium: "I’m not usually one to moan about the weather, but it’s bitterly cold tonight in Wigan - I just hope we have the same kind of bite on the pitch. A man sat just in front of the press box seems to have the right idea, he’s brought a thermos flask into the ground to keep warm. As ever, parts of the stadium are sparsely populated but it’s a decent turnout tonight, with the City end to my left more or less full. Those fans have travelled up from Manchester hoping to see their side pull three points clear over rivals United at the top of the table - and I think they will do it comfortably."
Roberto Martinez's side, the league's bottom club, have won just once at home this season, which is the joint worst record. Roberto Mancini's team, the table toppers, have won away five times, which is the joint third best.
City have won their last four matches against Wigan without conceding a goal. Sergio Agüero has scored 14 league goals this season while the entire Lactics squad have scored 18
Our man at the DW Greg Stobart reports back what Roberto Martinez has said in tonight's programme: “There is always a strong cliche saying that money cannot buy titles in football but what Manchester City and Roberto Martinez have done in this period is a real example of how to build a team from strong individuals with great talent, experience and value in the market. It’s fair to say that City have been the best team during the first half of this season. The manner in which they started the season in such terrific form earned them the label of title favourites and it’s something that they’ve been reaffirming game after game.”
Manchester City starting line-up: Hart; Zabaleta, Savic, Lescott, Clichy; Milner, Barry; Silva, Aguero, Nasri; Dzeko. Subs: Pantilimon, Kolarov, Onuoha, Rekik, Johnson, Hargreaves, De Jong
Wigan starting line-up first: Al Habsi; Stam, Alcaraz, Caldwell, Figueroa; McArthur, Gomez; Crusat, Moses, McCarthy; Rodallega Subs: Pollitt, Gohouri, Boyce, Watson, Di Santo, McManaman, Sammon
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE commentary of tonight's Premier League clash between Wigan Athletic and Manchester City. The visitors have not won in their last four away games and will be hoping to turn that around at the DW Stadium tonight in order to go three points clear of their rivals Manchester United. Starting Line-ups to follow.
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