Date:Saturday January 17 2009
City of Manchester Stadium
Latics efforts were in vain today, as they couldn't break down the stubborn Man City defence, after the sending off of Richard Dunne for kicking Zaki.
Steve Bruce kept faith with the side which lost to United on Wednesday, which meant that Wilson Palacios kept his place, despite being the subject of several bids for his services.
The game started with City looking the more purposeful and both Wigan full backs were stretched when Wright Philips was on the ball.
Latics, with Palacios driving them forward and Valencia having the mother of all battles with Wayne Bridge, providing ball for the forwards who were disappointing, Zaki seemingly content to pass to someone else and Heskey about a yard off the pace.
The first real chance fell to City,a mistake by Scharner when he looked for an offside flag that never came, let in Robinho.
Schanrer raced to get back and lunged missing both ball and player but this in combination with Kirkland rushing out put Robinho off and he shot wide.
At the other end Palacios had two shots but neither troubled Hart who saved with ease.
A powerful header by Bramble from a Taylor corner beat Hart but ended on the bar.
The best chance of the first half fell to Robinho who was put through by Elano, he chipped Kirkland but Bramble raced back and cleared off the line.
The first half ended goaless with Latics dominating possession but City creating the best chances.
The second half, started much the same as the first but sprung to life on the 53rd minute. A poor clearence from Scharner fell to Zabelata, his shot appeared to take a deflection and beat the despairing dive of Kirkland.
Latics went straight up field and Dunne and Zaki tumbled over. Dunne evidently resented something in the incident and kicked Zaki in the calf, directly in front of the referee, who had no option but to show him the red card.
Bruce opted to change things around very shortly afterwards, bringing De Ridder on for the out of position and out of sorts Taylor. This had the effect of stretching the City defence, with De Ridder turning in his best performance in a Latics shirt.
Time and again Latics pushed forwards, with both wingers crossing but no Wigan player could get on the end of them.
The best chance fell to Zaki, Cattermole challenged for the ball,the ball looped onto the bar, bouncing out to Zaki unmarked with an unmarked goal beckoning.
Somehow he managed to head over and the look on his face showed that he knew he should have done better.
Latics still pushed forward desperate for an equiliser and Bruce threw caution to the wind, bringing on Kapo and Camara for Figueroa and Bramble. Camara looked sharp and created several half chances,which again no Wigan player could get on the end of.
What was a concern in the 35 minutes City were down to ten men,is that Hart didn't have a save to make until the very last minute, when a goal mouth scramble saw the ball punched away.
The result was unlucky but the lack of shots from the WIgan forwards is a cause for concern and Rodellega may find himself thrown in at the deep end.
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Date:Saturday January 17 2009
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