Manchester City 1 Wigan Athletic 0 - match report
By David Mooney, Wed 17 April 2013 22:39
FA Premier League
Wednesday 17 April 2013, 19.45 KO
City: Hart, Richards (Sinclair 83), Kompany (c), Lescott, Kolarov, Garcia (Milner 59), Y Toure, Barry, Nasri, Aguero (Dzeko 45), Tevez
Unused: Pantilimon, K Toure, Clichy, Rodwell
Goals: Tevez (83)
Booked: Richards, Tevez
Referee: Jonathan Moss
Man of the Match: Samir Nasri
It was a slow start to the match, with Wigan unable to make the most of a couple of half chances to fall their way, as the City defence blocked. Kolarov went close with a free kick, but it was wide of Joel’s post. City were beginning to take charge of possession, but they were able to create very little of note in terms of chance. Meanwhile, Wigan were looking dangerous on the break.
With 20 minutes played, Aguero received the ball and turned into the Wigan box. He did well to jink in and out of two of the visitors’ defenders, but his final effort was wide of the far post. He tried to curl it in, but it never swung back towards goal, as Tevez waited in the middle for the cut back that never came.
On 38 minutes, the visitors should have been in front. Kone missed a great opportunity to get a shot on target as he peeled free in the box following a quick free kick, before Hart was needed to produce one of the best saves he’s made this season, blocking from Di Santo as he skipped two challenges to get one-on-one in the box. Hart, though, was off his line quickly to block the shot, leaving Kolarov to clear.
Five minutes into the second half and it was still the visitors who were on top. Maloney beat Hart with a shot, but Lescott had dropped onto the line behind his goalkeeper to block it and get the ball away from danger. The Wigan pressure was clear affecting City, as Yaya Toure was caught in possession and Hart put a clearance straight out of play.
City switched back to 4-4-2, having gone to a back three at half time, and it had an effect in getting the blues on top of the game. Dzeko soon enough found himself onside and in behind the Wigan defence, but his spin and shot was well blocked by the foot of Joel.
As it looked like it would be a frustrating evening for City’s fans, a moment of inspiration caused the break-through. Tevez’s cute dragback on the edge of the box allowed him time to burst into the area. He curled his shot into the top corner by the near post and Joel was left flapping at thin air. City didn’t deserve the lead, but they had it.
City finished the stronger, looking for the goal that would seal the game: Kolarov won back possession and smashed a low cross through the box, but Sinclair couldn’t quite stretch to meet it, before a Tevez free kick curled just wide of the post.
It wasn’t a classic, but it was three more points on the board for the blues.