Dzeko does enough to topple Wigan in a tighter standoff than expected at Wigan’s home ground of the DW Stadium.
A single headed goal from Edin Dzeko was all that seperated the Manchester side from the home team, but was enough to extend their lead at the top of the table by a further three points.
As with City’s last string of matches, the lack of key players has shone through to opponents that were trying to pick holes in their defence, which was very close to paying off here for Wigan at the DW Stadium.
Within seconds of kick-off, City had torn through the Wigan side to present a near goal opportunity and put them ahead extremely early. Five minutes later, Wigan had a nervy presence in the box that nearly presented them as match leaders, but to no avail. As the match progressed, City were just desperate to hang on to what they had.
The first (and what later proved to be the only) goal at Wigan’s home ground came at just 22 minutes in, with Bosnian national Dzeko rising to head on a free kick into the top right of the goal. Of course, there were plenty of other occasions when City were to test the opposition’s defence, but to a shaky shadow of what a side under the same name could have produced.
There was very nearly a magic moment when Aguero ran the ball into the box, consecutively wrong footing three men but not taking the opportunity to score. Dzeko, who had followed him in and was clearly annoyed at his hesitation to shoot, promptly took the ball from him with an attempted shot that slowly approached Al Habsi, to the home stand’s amusement.
From then on, City sat on the back foot, while chance after chance was thwarted simply by Joe Hart or squandered by the inaccuracy of the Wigan forwards. They didn’t help themselves when Maynor Figueroa deliberately stopped a City counter-attack with his hand, but received a yellow card only from Martin Atkinson, who had a fairly inconsistent approach to the game.
While all that has been said, Wigan were particularly impressive on the night. Had it been any team other than top of the league Manchester City, they would definitely have been looking at a more probably three points. However, as the man of the match was awarded to Joe Hart for his clean sheet, and I was about to question why, someone next to me muttered: “Well, who else could you have given it to?” and he had a point.
Manchester City Line Up:
Hart, Zabaletta (Y), Lescott, Savic, Clichy
Milner (Y), Barry, Nasri (S), Silva (S)
Dzeko, Aguero (S)
De Jong, Onuoha, Johnson
Wigan Athletic Line Up:
Al Habsi, Alcaraz, Caldwell, Stam, Figueroa (Y)
McCarthy (Y), Crusat (S), Moses, Gomez (S), McArthur (Y, S)
Di Santo, McManaman, Watson