Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Wigan Athletic v Manchester City: post match

That certainly wont go down as one of the greatest City performances of all time. I got a rather uneasy feeling just before kick off and it proved to be quite a nervy game all round as, I think it's fair to say, City scrapped away to get a 1-0 victory in a half empty DW Stadium.

Of course you could look at the result and the performance and be thinking that City should have flattened Wigan without much trouble but the Premier League often produces a surprise or two throughout the season. We've seen several good results for teams lower down the league, or bad results for those higher up depending on which way you want to look at it.

This game looked as though it might be one of those days as City never really got going despite the first half looking quite comfortable as City went ahead through Edin Dzeko's first goal in over 2 months. The goal itself came in the 22nd minute after Edin won a free kick down the left flank. David Silva lofted the ball into the box and Edin Dzeko found himself unmarked and unimpeded to head the ball home.

The 2nd half was a different story with Wigan being largely the better side as City's usually metronomic passing lacked consistency, even David Silva looked out of sorts as a number of passes he usually does in his sleep didn't reach their intended targets.

What City didn't do though is fall apart. When luck isn't on your side and you have a few players not playing quite up to the standard that has come to be expected of them then you need them to just grind out results.

A good indication of how City's evening was going was when Aguero got himself within 7 yards of the Wigan goal but instead of pulling the trigger with his left foot he weaved his way across the face of the goal expertly avoiding the Wigan defenders only for Edin Dzeko to put in a perfectly timed tackle, prodding the ball into Al-Habsi's hands.

Despite Wigan's performance in the 2nd half, Joe Hart only had to make 2 saves all game. Partly due to Wigan's appalling final ball, and the battling defensive display from City. Gareth Barry and James Milner both put in a good shift and Sergio Aguero made himself a pest when Wigan had the ball in their own half. Stefan Savic and Joleon Lescott both put in a decent performance at the back too.

As is becoming the norm in City games of late there was yet another contentious decision by the referee. This time Wigan's Figueroa blatantly cut out a lofted pass forward with his hand at the half way line. The pass would have seen Aguero have a free run on goal with no other defenders within 20 yards of him.

Surely this was a clear goal scoring opportunity despite the distance from goal as there were no other defenders near Aguero. But no, Martin Atkinson gave a yellow card for what should have been a straight red, much to Mancini's growing and justified annoyance with the inconsistency of officials in the Premier League.

Thankfully it didn't change the outcome of the game like it potentially has done in recent weeks but it is yet another indication that something desperately needs to be done about the standard of officials in England.

I wont hold my breath for any positive headlines from this game as we all know when certain other teams  grind out results after a couple of bad games they're "playing like champions" while other teams are "struggling" or "feeling the pressure". Whatever is said, it wont change the fact that City are 3 points clear at the top of the league.

Twitter: @MikeWalsh1880 or @mcfcDSLeftFoot
Facebook: David Silva's Left Foot

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