Controversy surrounds Latics`defeat
Eastlands Stadium, Manchester
Last night`s three nil defeat at Champions League chasing Manchester City was memorable for the harsh sending off of Gary Caldwell and the eccentric goal keeping of reserve keeper Vladimir Stojkovic.
With Kirkland taken ill the night before with a virus, Martinez was forced into a change between the posts but otherwise he kept faith with the side which narrowly beat Burnley nine days previously.
The first half was a largely forgettable affair with Diame and Thomas having the better of the midfield battle against their more illustrious opponents in De Jong and Vieira. Latics` best effort was from a reflex shot from Scharner following a poor free kick from Moreno which was well saved by Given. Latics other chances were from quick breaks by Rodallega but once again Moreno`s poor control let him down when it mattered.
Manchester City didn`t look anything like a side which has cost over £250,000,000 to assemble but on the occasions when they did threaten first Bramble and then Stojkovic bravely blocked goal bound shots.
Have time brought muted boos from the home fans and applause from the small away following who were delighted with the commitment shown by their side.
City opted to re-arrange their side at half time replacing one of only three Englishmen on the pitch in Wright - Phillips with Welshman Craig Bellamy and he immediately had an impact stretching the Wigan back four. City had two reasonable shouts for penalties but Attwell waved them away.
Latics were on the back foot and were in deep trouble when Caldwell made a firm and clearly one footed tackle which appeared to win the ball. Referee Attwell ruled that Caldwell had lunged with both feet which replays show that he clearly had not and the Scotsman was unjustly sent off.
Latics held on reasonably comfortably and could have actually taken the lead when Moreno controlled the ball on the turn and fired in a left footed shot which had Given scrambling across his goal. However a farcical moment of madness from Wigan`s Serbian keeper when he tried to chest a ball in front of two City forwards when it would have been easier to catch the ball and Tevez got one of the easiest goals he will ever get. Latics who had worked hard were now one down with only ten men and a clearly angry Bramble berated the keeper for his idiotic manoeuvre.
Within a few minutes Latics were two down when again Stojkovic was out of position and Tevez scored his second. Five minutes later and it was three and whilst City were lauding the performance of the diminutive Argentinean, the main talking point will centre around the sending off if Caldwell