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Manchester City Scrape Past Wigan!

Manchester City
- 0
Wigan Athletic 0

The City of Manchester


Attendance: 41, 262


Manchester City had lady luck on their side as what looked like a good performance by City turned into pure panic and mayhem when the not so reliable Dunne got sent down the tunnel for kicking out at Egyptian Zaki.

The Match:

Debutante Bridge received a great ovation by his new fans and was already pleasing the fans within the first couple of minutes. Bridge managed to shut down Melchiot who gave away a throw from which the fit again Shaun Wright-Phillips went close to flicking the ball past Kirkland.

Robinho then spurned two great opportunities. Elano`s world-class pass found Robinho who was more focussed on the defender chasing him than the goalkeeper and miss-hit his shot and the ball flashed wide of the post. Elano who was looking quite impressive managed to find his fellow Brazilian again, whose managed to chip the ball over the keeper and was looking like a certain goal until Titus Bramble came and cleared the ball off the line.

City then had another chance that really should have been converted. Shaun Wright-Phillips crossed the ball to the head of Sturridge but he managed to miss from about 3-yards out. City continued to dominate proceedings. Both Sturridge and Shaun Wright-Phillips were testing the Wigan defence with mazy runs and long-ranged shots.

Wigan did manage to put together a decent attack on the 38th minute. Future Spurs midfielder Palacios managed to find the target but Joe Hart managed to keep the ball out.

Halftime drew to a close in quiet fashion and at this stage I was just beginning to get the feeling it was going to be one of those days.

Half Time: Manchester City 0 Wigan 0.

The second half really started the way the first ended. Good passing from Man City led to a good confidence building process in which City did manage to profit from.

Fine work from Sturridge on the right saw Scharner`s header fall straight to the right-back come defensive mid, Zabaleta. He managed to control the ball on his knee before unleashing an unstoppable volley that scraped past the post and into the net.

But like everything associated with City, what goes up generally seems to come back down and that was the case here. Within a minute of taking the lead, Dunne and Zaki went up for a flying ball and as a conclusion saw Dunne clutching his face on the floor. However all that pain in his face must have sent him crazy as he lashed his foot at Zaki who made the most of the contact but succeeded in his acting mission as Dunne received a straight red.

How many times is this man going to ruin and destroy what could have been an easy game for us! I was a big fan of Dunne leading up to this year, but he keeps making mistakes after another. Garrido replaced Sturridge as City began the process of "parking their buss".

Wigan began piling on the pressure and were claiming a handball a few minutes after Dunne`s departure, but Elano had managed to chest the ball down and clear the danger without the use of his arm. A scrappy encounter followed as City failed to clear their lines which allowed Melchiot to spin on the ball before firing straight at Zabaleta. Robinho then joined Dunne in the book, but for only a yellow after holding back Cattermole.

City did however manage to make the one-way traffic half for at least a moment. SWP broke forward from midfield and unleashed a shot that flew wide with eight minutes left.

If you thought Sturridge`s missed header from three yards out was bad enough, you haven`t seen anything yet. A Cattermole header rebounded off the bar and fell to Zaki who was literally a couple of yards out with Hart on the floor, but he managed to header the ball over the bar? This is something to watch out for on MOTD or any football highlight program. Simply mystifying to how he managed to not score.

Joe Hart managed to save the day with a flying save from Melchiot`s header before Wigan had one last attack from a corner. Kirkland came up for it, but City broke and Elano`s shot from the halfway line went wide when surely he should have found the target at least after quite a good game for City.

Final Score: Manchester City 1 Wigan 0.


Hart, Richards, Dunne (c), Onuoha, Bridge, Kompany, Zabaleta, Elano, SWP, Robinho, Sturridge (Garrido 60).
Subs: Schmeichel, Vassell, Fernandes, Weiss, Jo, Caicedo.


Kirkland, Bramble (Camara), Taylor (de Ridder 58), Scharner, Figueroa (Kapo 74), Melchiot (c), Cattermole, Valencia, Palacios, Zaki, Heskey.

Subs: Kingson, Brown, Boyce, Edman.

Aaron`s Conclusion:

I though that overall City where awesome. In the first half their attacking play was good and when made to by Dunne, their defence stood strong. Robinho needs to find his finishing again and Dunne either needs to step up or leave, but overall this would have been a game we would have normally lost under Hughes so I am going to celebrate this victory with a nice beer. Cheers!

Star Player

Zabaleta, - After an akward start this boy settled down well and played awesome. His blocks and tackles at the end helped the City cause, and showed he will give %110 to the City Cause.

Date:Saturday January 17 2009
Time: 5:48PM

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AC spot on I made Zabaleta my MOM, added that bit of Beef to the midfield, Elano quiet, but was there in defence to clear on occasions and the hand ball asked for by Wigan had no substance. The red card was the correct decision for a rush of bood to the head, reminds me of Beckhams sending off against Argentina when he did exactly the same thing. I think both players expected to just get a yellow. Richards played well at RB and then when he had to come back into the centre following Dunnes departure for an early bath, he played extremely well. They could have increased the lead and as AC the miss of the game went to Zaki, but overall for the defending alone I think City justr scraped the hounours,with the theatrical prizes all taken by the wigan players.
Buzz Lightyear
17/01/2009 17:59:00
This could be the City curtain call for Dunne. Been a terrific servant but he'll miss Newcastle, Stoke and Boro and should the side fair well under a new Captain, hopefully Kompany, it could be the polite way of him not getting back in. There is no margin for error in this league. Should Arsenal beat Hull we are 2 points off 8th.
Johnny Baguette
17/01/2009 18:36:00
This game will be a turning point for Hughes and City's season. We were playing our number one jinx team. Wigan have taken so many points from us. This was a gritty team performance, even Elano putting in some steely defensive moments. It was all about team, but Hughes's recruits Zabaleta, Kompany and SWP were the best on the park and that's why we won. Zabaleta was a revelation in defensive midfield duty and surely Kompany is one of the best midfielders in the Prem. But the team did the business for their manager and us fans today. Poor Richard Dunne will bounce back. He needs our support now I think. A couple of weeks' rest won't do him any harm and Onuoha won't let us down. We can now think of clawing our way up the table. I forecast a 3-1 win for City, but truly I was very worried about this one. We were looking down over the cliff edge. I am so very pleased that Hughes does at last seem to have got the team playing with conviction. He deserves credit for that and this performance.
17/01/2009 18:50:00
11-0. not bad :-)
17/01/2009 20:34:00
Think you are being a bit hard on Sturridge and the header, the angle was against him. As for Dunnie he really does need some time off, he must have known it would be a red card offence if spotted.
17/01/2009 21:32:00
The last time JB, he gave it to Robinho, Kompany seems the obvious choice, but If Nedum makes a regular start. I would add his name to the list of possible Captains. A very sensible young man.
Buzz Lightyear
17/01/2009 21:55:00
0 say Dunne will miss 3 games....shouldnt that be 4 games as its his second straight red....???.......anyway I bet MH will be looking at getting another CB in now before Jan window an injury to one of the others over the next couple of games would leave us struggling..... .....and now is the time to give Kompany the armband......I dont think Robinho is the right man for that will get him booked too many times, "arguing" with the ref about decisions like he did when he was captain last time..... ...yippeee....Stevie Ireland back for next game.......OH yes and "who knows who else"...??
18/01/2009 10:06:00
Congratulations guys, The difference was Bridge, A good performance form Elano, Sturridge bright future, Zabaleta was good but I think he was angry to take his place, Dunne I expect not back to the squad again .
city 81
18/01/2009 10:46:00
City 81, It is nice to see us winning again. Zabaleta plays in the defensive midfield for his country Argentina and was no stranger to it. He was surprised that Mark Hughes signed him and wanted him to be a full back. You could tell he enjoyed the freedom a bit more and we got a bit of strength in the middle for a change
Buzz Lightyear
18/01/2009 11:30:00
Hello BL, I saw Zabaleta with his National team in the Olympics & He was play RB !!
city 81
18/01/2009 11:43:00
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