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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 December 2007, 17:10 GMT
Wigan 1-1 Man City
By Chris Whyatt

Paul Scharner
Paul Scharner celebrates his second goal of the season
New Wigan boss Steve Bruce had an immediate impact as his side ended an eight-game losing streak with a draw against Manchester City.

A Titus Bramble error within 30 seconds got Bruce's reign with the club off to the worst start imaginable.

Geovanni capitalised to put City ahead but Wigan hit back through a powerful Paul Scharner header before half-time.

Wigan captain Mario Melchiot was sent off late on for a two-footed tackle on Stephen Ireland.

Much maligned during his Newcastle career, Bramble had the most inauspicious of starts under his new manager.

With no sign of any imminent danger, the unchallenged centre-back merely had to launch the ball clear as he faced towards his own goal.

He took a swipe, missed, and let Geovanni in to coolly round a bemused Chris Kirkland before slotting home.

606: DEBATE

Wigan, owners of the longest current losing streak in the Premier League, swiftly regained their composure, though.

They managed to carve out a number of chances through Emile Heskey - back in the starting line-up for the first time since breaking his foot.

His bustling style caused problems for the City backline, and Croatian right-back Vedran Corluka had to make an athletic block from a Scharner effort.

Wigan grabbed an equaliser, their first goal in four games, when Koumas jinked down the left touchline to cross precisely for Paul Scharner to head home powerfully at the back post.

Minutes earlier City's Spanish full-back Javier Garido had suffered a clash of heads and appeared to still be recovering as he failed to mark the lurking Austrian international, who was left to convert in acres of space.

City, without a win in their last five away games, looked composed without ever moving into top gear.

One of their better openings in the first half came when a deep-lying Geovanni floated a bouncing ball over the top for Martin Petrov to accelerate onto, only for on-rushing Wigan keeper Kirkland to clear decisively.

Bruce had demanded that the home fans play their part but the "Wigan roar" was more of a murmur, while City fans were in fine voice with regular chants of "Blue Moon".

Wigan were handicapped within four minutes of the restart as Heskey limped off with a tight hamstring.

But both sides kept up the entertaining pace and Heskey's replacement, Ryan Taylor, broke free down the left to connect with a deep Melchiot cross forcing a strong save from City keeper Andreas Isaksson.

With the game stretched and there to be won by either team, City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson made a defensive-looking substitution, withdrawing the fading Geovanni in his free role for Kelvin Etuhu to make a five-man midfield.

The final action saw a strong hand-ball appeal against Etuhu in the City box. Referee Mike Riley waved away Wigan's loud claims.


  • Wigan boss Steve Bruce on Mario Melchiot's red card:
    "We might have to [appeal]. I can understand why the referee gave his decision because it looks like a stamp.

    "But it was a 50-50 challenge and Mario has not gone over the ball even though he has shown his studs.

    "I think Emile might be okay. He has been out for two and a half months and the big target was 70 minutes. But he is a big powerful boy and he has done well to last an hour.

    "I was especially pleased with the way we played defensively today. The one thing we have got to do is try and bring the fans back."

  • Manchester City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson:
    "One point is always good in a way. But deep inside I have a feeling we should be doing a little bit better in games like this.

    "We were a bit lucky with our goal because it was a mistake, but it was also a mistake from us for their goal.

    "We have lost three times away from home before this, so one point is okay. We haven't got a point against Wigan in two years, so at least we have one now."

    "I don't have the answer to why we play better at home than away but I wish we could. We have the quality."


    Wigan: Kirkland, Melchiot, Bramble, Boyce, Kilbane, Valencia, Scharner, Landzaat, Koumas, Bent, Heskey (Taylor 53).
    Subs Not Used: Pollitt, Granqvist, Cotterill, Skoko.

    Sent Off: Melchiot (88).

    Booked: Bramble, Scharner.

    Goals: Scharner 25.

    Man City: Isaksson, Corluka, Dunne, Richards, Garrido (Ball 36), Ireland, Hamann, Gelson, Geovanni (Etuhu 69), Petrov, Samaras (Bianchi 78).
    Subs Not Used: Hart, Jihai.

    Booked: Hamann, Ball.

    Goals: Geovanni 1.

    Att: 18,614

    Ref: Mike Riley (Yorkshire).



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