10 Man City Battle For Draw
Sunday 18th October 2009, 4pm
After conceding a late goal in the first-half to Wigan, Manchester City drew level early in the second-half courtesy of Martin Petrov only to struggle to see the game out with 10 men after Argentine Pablo Zabaleta was sent off for a second bookable offence.
On a day that Mark Hughes' men could have been sitting third in the Premier League table, his side will have to make do with another week on the fringes as they maintain fifth place.
Mark Hughes, without captain Toure at his disposal was forced to move Micah Richards into central defense in an attempt to combat the attacking qualities of Rodallega and Scotland.
Roberto Martinez's Wigan side went into the match much in the same vein as they did against Chelsea, slick passing combined with a strong physical presence.
Once the visitors had settled down, their superior qualities shone through and Wigan were kept quiet as City had the better of the ball for long spells.
Regardless of City's intent, there was no quality in the final third to force a breakthrough goal. Adebayor and Tevez were well marshalled, while the lack of creative spark from someone like Ireland, Robinho or Bellamy was clearly missing.
With the visitors dominating play, Wigan looked to get a goal on the break with Rodallega and the impressive Scotland causing Mark Hughes' backline a few problems every time they got forward.
As the half came to an end, it looked more and more unlikely that either side would find a goal, until the powerful Rodallega had a decent effort accross goal parried into the path of the onrushing N'Zogbia by Shay Given, who slid the ball in at the far post.
The City keeper made a great stop but was helpless to do anything as the perfectly placed N'Zogbia put the home side ahead at the break.
Half-time: Wigan 1 Manchester City 0
Hughes must have had a word at half-time because the visitors were almost instantly on level terms after the break.
The wonderfully industrious Tevez made the goal as he ran down the right wing before creating space to cross the ball into the box.
Shaun Wright-Phillips appeared to miss the ball although he had helped in drawing the defenders away from Martin Petrov who was waiting on the edge of the box.
The Bulgarian winger, who scored twice for Bulgaria midweek, stroked the ball into the bottom corner with immaculate precision from his famed left-foot to put City on level terms.
Moments after the restart Titus Bramble made an inch perfect tackle to deny Adebayor, Wright-Phillips unable to find the net on his follow-up shot.
City continued to press and the game was hotting up nicely with some tough tackles and fine passing movements from both sides.
Just as it seemed that a goal might be on the cards for the Blues in a fine comeback, Pablo Zabaleta brought down Rodallega and earned himself a second yellow card and was subsequently sent off in the 65th minute .
Down to 10-men, the game was flipped on its head and City's endeavour going forward soon turned into a frenetic effort to keep the advancing Wigan at bay.
The home side looked ever threatening as they pushed for a winner but were reluctant to commit men forward, in retrospect playing it safe probably cost them all three points.
Mark Hughes' side should have been awarded what looked like a clear penalty after Figueroa brought down Wright-Phillips in the box, but Wiley waved play on and any hope of three points dwindled in the late stages of the game
Given made a crucial save in the dying minutes to deny Rodellaga's volley and City will have to be content with a hard fought point.
Full Time: Wigan 1 Manchester City 1
Goals: N'Zogbia 45+1' (Wigan) Petrov 47' (Manchester City)
Wigan: Kirkland, Scharner, Boyce, Bramble, Melchiot, Figueroa, Thomas, N'Zogbia, Diame, Scotland, Rodallega.
Subs: Pollitt, Cho, Koumas, Gomez, Sinclair, Kapo, King.
Manchester City: Given, Zabaleta, Richards, Lescott, Bridge, De Jong, Barry, Wright-Phillips, Petrov, Tevez, Adebayor.
Subs: Taylor, Sylvinho, Kompany, Johnson, Ireland, Weiss, Santa Cruz.
Referee: Alan Wiley
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