Vital Football

Latest Manchester City News

No case for the defence

Wigan Athletic
4 - 3
Manchester City

JJB Stadium

Monday 26/12/05 3pm

Attendance: 25017

Referee:

City were full of christmas benevolance during their first Premiership encounter with promoted Wigan. Despite taking a 2nd minute lead the defence put in probably its worst collective display since Stuart Pearce took charge. Sibierski opened the scoring for City on 2 minutes, justifying Stuart Pearce's decision to start with an unchanged team from the one that had beaten Birmingham the previous week. That was as good as it got for the blues (or bright yellows) as Wigan took advantage of City's poor defending. Sylvain Distin had his worst game of the season as Jason Roberts out-paced and out-muscled him time and again. Distin was at fault for the first goal as he missed an attempted clearance from a ball over the top, allowing Roberts to nip in behind him and finish easily. The second Wigan goal came from a McCulloch header as sleepy Sommeil decided against staying with the man and presented him with a free header that was well converted. Just before the break Thatcher got in on the act by providing a perfect headed through ball for Roberts to run in behind Distin and break clear of those masquerading as a defence, to score Wigan's third.

Stuart Pearce must have had words at the break as City came out and dominated. Barton, in particular, was in fine form, forcing a sucession of world class saves out of Pollitt in the Wigan goal. As City pressed Wigan withdrew to protect their lead, relying even more on the counter attacks that had served them so well in the first half. On 71 minutes it was Camara's turn to get in behind the static City defence before nutmegging Dunne and finishing to make it 4-1. That should have been game over and total embarrassment, instead City rallied through the excellent Barton and sought a way back into the game. It was fitting that Barton himself scored on 77 minutes, a spectacular volley, as his all round play deserved it. Barton's goal gave City belief once more and they continued to press to get something from a game that had looked lost. With just two minutes remaining, Cole scored to narrow the gap to one goal and set up a hectic last couple of minutes. Sibierski headed wide in injury time but it was not to be the complete comeback that the 5,000 city fans in a record JJB crowd had hoped for.

All in all a thrilling game for the neutrals but dire for City. The defence were awful with Distin, in particular, having a nightmare. Solace can be sought from another three away goals, making it nine goals in the last four league games, but the fact remains that this was a must win game. Credit must be given to Joey Barton however, a man of the match display that didn't warrant a place on the losing side. The team need to get their act together quickly, it's only Chelsea next up.

Star Player

Joey Barton - The class player on the pitch. Fully deserved his goal but didn't deserve to lose.

Manager Rating

Stuart Pearce must ask what the defence were doing, they were simply awful. The 'christmas day off' experiment looked a spectacular failure, to much festive spirit perhaps? Personally I don't think it made a difference, just sort them out Psycho.

Opponent Rating

Wigan played their game well and exploited the space behind the City defence. Were outclassed at times in the second half but hung on for the three points with a sensational performance from Pollitt.

Journalists wanted.

Fancy writing about City and the frustrations following them? E-mail Andy at editor@mcfconline.co.uk


Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.
www.papajohns.co.uk/football

Writer:Andy Leggott
Date:Tuesday December 27 2005
Time: 3:03PM

Login to post a comment

As featured on NewsNow: Real Madrid news
Real Madrid News 24/7  

Site Journalists

Tudor
Editor email
Profile
Johnny Baguette
no email
Profile
Pedmachine
no email
Profile
Sedgie
no email
Profile
Skoorb
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

How many new players will Pep bring in this window?
Suggested By: johnkelv
Between 1 & 23%
Between 3 & 564%
Between 6 & 829%
9 or more4%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Leicester City 38 23 12 3 81 32
2 Arsenal 38 20 11 7 71 29
3 Spurs 38 19 13 6 70 34
4 Man City 38 19 9 10 66 30
5 Man Utd 38 19 9 10 66 14
6 Southampton 38 18 9 11 63 18
7 West Ham 38 16 14 8 62 14
8 Liverpool 38 16 12 10 60 13
9 Stoke 38 14 9 15 51 -14
10 Chelsea 38 12 14 12 50 6
11 Everton 38 11 14 13 47 4
12 Swansea 38 12 11 15 47 -10
13 Watford 38 12 9 17 45 -10
14 WBA 38 10 13 15 43 -14
15 Crystal Palace 38 11 9 18 42 -12
16 AFC Bournemouth 38 11 9 18 42 -22
17 Sunderland 38 9 12 17 39 -14
R Newcastle 38 9 10 19 37 -21
R Norwich 38 9 7 22 34 -28
R Aston Villa 38 3 8 27 17 -49
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Manchester City Results (view all)

Manchester City Fixtures (view all)

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.Buzz Lightyear428
2.Tudor409
3.Skoorb312
4.Johnny Baguette210
5.Bluedub203
6.Colin Is The King191
7.kennyclementstache109
8.Rising107
9.johnkelv73
10.seac71