Sunday, 19 September 2010

Wigan 0 - 2 City

  • What a welcome return from professionalism. After five frittered points in consecutive league games it was crucial that no such mistakes were made today. Particularly as this was precisely the sort of game that can surprise and disrupt: three days after a match in Europe, away at one of our bogey-grounds, in the rain, against unpredictable opponents. But we eliminated error for the afternoon, kept the ball and scored at the right times.

  • Roberto Mancini switched back to 4-5-1; but of our pair of English wingers rested in Salzburg only James Milner returned - David Silva kept his place on the right wing ahead of Adam Johnson. With a midfield of such ability and variation we were the better side in a fairly entertaining first half. But Wigan were better organised than we might have hoped. Silva and Carlos Tévez had some good moments but we lacked penetration.

  • How fortunate, then, that the chancey, contingent hinge-moment should break in our favour this week. Just before half time Joe Hart launched a goal kick up field, Mohammed Diamé flicked it backwards and Carlos Tévez raced onto it. Ali al Habsi charged out but Tévez chipped the ball over him. I suppose some might say that a £160million football team ought not to rely on the sort of goal that Blackburn or Stoke score. I could see their point. But after the goal we conceded last week I feel no embarrassment at accepting gifts. Plus it was a nice finish.

  • It was - as the cliché goes - the perfect time to score. Having gone ahead the players could relax and keep the ball. And with Wigan more keen to come out and attack, chances were easier-found than they were in the first half. Again, everything that was good came through Silva and Tévez. They combined for the second goal - Silva headed to Tévez who squared to Yaya Touré - arriving and finishing at the far post. From there it was comfortable.

  • To add to the general satisfaction of the afternoon, this was a previous bogey ground of ours. We slayed the Stamford Bridge monster in February and while the DW Stadium isn't on quite the same scale we had never won there in five attempts.

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