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Played
November 28, 2012 8:00 PM GMT
The DW Stadium — Wigan
Referee:‬ M. Halsey‎
Attendance:‬ 19623‎
 
 
 
James Milner 72′
Top of the Match
Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli
Manchester City FC
Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli
Manchester City FC
Flop of the Match
Ali Al Habsi
Ali Al Habsi
Wigan Athletic
Ali Al Habsi
Ali Al Habsi
Wigan Athletic

Wigan 0-2 Manchester City: Balotelli & Milner stunner keep visitors hot on United's tail

Two goals in as many second-half minutes earned the Premier League champions three points at the DW Stadium but they were given a tough examination by their hosts

By Rhys Turrell

EPL - Wigan Athletic v Manchester City, Ali Al-Habsi and Mario Balotelli
Getty Images
A wonderful strike from substitute James Milner and a first league goal of the season from Mario Balotelli was enough for Manchester City to earn a hard-fought victory away at Premier League strugglers Wigan.

The reigning league champions were uninspiring for much of the contest, but a two-minute double in the second half ensured the visitors kept up the pressure on rivals Manchester United at the summit of the Premier League.

Wigan more than held their own for large parts of the game, but an error from the otherwise highly-dependable Ali Al-Habsi midway through the second half was ruthlessly punished by the visitors, who then saw out the contest with relative ease.

Roberto Martinez’s men could have made in a much more tricky evening for their opponents if they had taken any of the glorious chances that went their way, with Arouna Kone particularly culpable when he headed wide under no pressure in the six-yard box when he really should have tested Joe Hart.

They had their chances in the opening period too with both sides sharing periods of dominance, but lacking quality in the final third.

It took until the 45th minute of the half before the visitors registered a first shot on target, when giant midfielder Yaya Toure powered his way towards the byline, only for his shot to be batted away by Wigan keeper Al-Habsi at his near post.

Up until that point it was Martinez’s men who had looked the more likely to break the deadlock, with Kone causing problems with his pace and power.

Indeed it was the Ivorian who had the first chance of the game when he found some space on the edge of the City area, however his shot was tame and was easily gathered by Joe Hart.

But that was not the only chance Wigan had in the opening 45 minutes, with Jordi Gomez threatening from a free-kick, the lively Jean Beausejour having a shot blocked and Kone again doing well when he headed a Ronnie Stam cross narrowly over Hart’s crossbar.

After a tidy build-up involving Maicon and David Silva, Gareth Barry found himself in acres of space on the edge of Wigan’s penalty area and his powerful drive at goal was not properly dealt with by Al-Habsi, who fumbled the ball into the path of Balotelli who lashed a shot past the helpless Oman international to give City a scarcely-deserved lead.

Minutes later and they doubled their advantage thanks to a wonderful strike from James Milner. Silva was again involved in the build-up as he teased the Wigan defence before finding Milner in acres of space on the edge of the Wigan penalty box, and he smashed a shot past the helpless Al-Habsi to effectively kill the game as a contest.

Gomez also had an ambitious appeal for a penalty turned down when he went down rather easily after a tussle in the area with City’s stand-in left-back Pablo Zabaleta.


Wigan Athletic

26
Ali Al Habsi
Goalkeeper
2.00
17
Emmerson Boyce
Defender
2.50
-
Ronnie Stam
Defender
93′
3.50
3
Maynor Figueroa
Defender
3.00
26
Adrain Lopez
Defender
3.50
16
James McCarthy
Midfielder
3.00
19
David Jones
Midfielder
74′
2.50
14
Jordi Gómez
Midfielder
47′
2.50
22
Jean Beausejour
Midfielder
3.00
9
Arouna Kone
Striker
3.00
9
2.50

Manchester City FC

3.00
1
Joe Hart
Goalkeeper
3.00
13
Maicon
Defender
3.50
4
3.00
5
3.50
33
2.00
14
Javi García
Midfielder
59′
3.00
18
Gareth Barry
Midfielder
64′ 72′
3.00
21
David Silva
Midfielder
2.50
42
Yaya Touré
Midfielder
3.00
16
3.50
45

Substitutes

12
Mike Pollitt
Goalkeeper
 - 
28
 - 
-
 - 
16
James McArthur
Midfielder
74′
 - 
20
Fraser Fyvie
Midfielder
 - 
15
 - 
-
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
30
3.00
13
 - 
4
Kolo Toure
Defender
81′
3.50
7
James Milner
Midfielder
59′ 72′ 81′
 - 
10
Edin Dzeko
Striker
 - 
21
Scott Sinclair
Midfielder
 - 
10

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
30 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Manchester City
18 6
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
16 0
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man Utd.
15 2