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Page last updated at 19:31 GMT, Saturday, 5 March 2011

Man City   1 - 0   Wigan

Ali Al Habsi and David Silva
David Silva's goal proved enough to secure victory

By Nabil Hassan

Manchester City closed the gap on leaders Manchester United to seven points with a win that left Wigan rooted to the foot of the table.

David Silva's tame shot was palmed through his own legs by Wigan keeper Ali Al Habsi who had earlier made a mess of Mario Balotelli's low drive.

Antolin Alcaraz volleyed against the crossbar for Wigan and James McCarthy forced a fine save from Joe Hart.

Substitute Connor Sammon fired wide in injury time when one-on-one with Hart.

The result left Wigan on 27 points and four from safety, while City made up some ground on United although they have played a game more.

Importantly for City, victory saw them further consolidate their place in the top four as they continue their chase for Champions League football.

City started well with the Italian Balotelli driving a low shot goalwards.

It should have been a routine save for Al Habsi but he palmed the ball wide for a corner. It was a nervous start by the Wigan keeper.

Mancini says City need injured players back

Silva and Carlos Tevez sent shots wide after promising work in the build-up and it was the little Spaniard who was causing Wigan the most trouble.

But while City dominated possession, Wigan - with pace up front - always looked dangerous on the break and Hugo Rodallega was unlucky to have a shot blocked.

The game struggled for momentum during a first half peppered by reckless challenges, with City's Micah Richards lucky to stay on the pitch for one such tackle on Wigan midfielder Tom Cleverley.

Gareth Barry was also booked for two late tackles in quick succession and Wigan's Gary Caldwell received a yellow card after an awkward looking challenge on the excellent Yaya Toure.

Despite City's control of the game, the best chance of the first half fell to Wigan with McCarthy blazing wide from 12 yards following Victor Moses' surge into the box.

Moments later Wigan were left to rue that miss when Silva gave City the lead, albeit in fortunate circumstances.

His shot from outside of the box should have provided a routine save for Al Habsi, but the Omani keeper got his positioning wrong, fumbling the ball between his legs and into the net.

BBC Sport football expert Jonathan Pearce described the mistake as "wretched goalkeeping".

The goal was harsh on Wigan whose uphill challenge suddenly became that much harder.

Martinez proud of Wigan players in defeat

But they started the second half well and Alcaraz hit the post with a neat side-foot volley from Ben Watson's corner.

His effort seemed to inspire Wigan who were full of energy and endeavour now while City were sloppy and lacklustre.

McCarthy had his second chance of the game on the hour and this time he forced a fine save from Hart with a half-volley from 20 yards.

Wigan also sent on Charles N'Zogbia in their search for an equaliser as the City fans started to lose patience with their underperforming stars.

Balotelli was replaced by Aleksandar Kolarov as City manager Roberto Mancini tried to shake things up. He later brought on Edin Dzeko and Nigel De Jong.

And while the replacements did not stir the game up, City did hold out for victory even though Wigan had two great chances to level matter late on.

First Rodallega had more time than he realised and rushed his shot, tamely side-footing straight at Hart from 12-yards.

Then in injury time Sammon played a one-two with Rodallega but fired wide from close range with only Hart to beat.

The chances came at the end of a poor final 20 minutes that was bereft of invention, action and intensity.

It was the 11th time this season Wigan have failed to score and they will have to find some cutting edge quickly if they are not to be relegated.

In fact the game was excellently summed up by Pearce who added: "Wigan were deserving of a second-half goal but it just didn't happen for them. It was a desperately disappointing affair."

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Barclays Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Man City 1-0 Wigan FT
(HT 1-0)
  • Silva 38

    Man City

    Substitutes

    Wigan

    Substitutes

    Ref: AttwellAtt: 44,864
    MAN CITY
    WIGAN

    Possession

    • Man City 44%
    • Wigan 56%

    Attempts on target

    • Man City 3
    • Wigan 5

    Attempts off target

    • Man City 4
    • Wigan 7

    Corners

    • Man City 4
    • Wigan 6

    Fouls

    • Man City 17
    • Wigan 8
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+5:02 The referee signals the end of the game.
    • 90:00+3:52 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Patrick Vieira by Maynor Figueroa. Direct free kick taken by Patrick Vieira.
    • 90:00+3:23 Close range effort by Conor Sammon goes wide of the left-hand post.
    • 90:00+1:13 Patrick Vieira fouled by Charles N'Zogbia, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Joe Hart.
    • Correction - 90:00+0:09 Hugo Rodallega takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart.
    • 90:00+0:09 Hugo Rodallega takes a shot. Joe Hart makes a save.
    • 85:06 James McCarthy fouled by Carlos Tevez, the ref awards a free kick. Ali Al Habsi restarts play with the free kick.
    • 85:06 Substitution Edin Dzeko joins the action as a substitute, replacing Carlos Tevez.
    • 83:02 Substitution Conor Sammon comes on in place of Mohamed Diame.
    • 82:41 Substitution (Man City) makes a substitution, with Nigel De Jong coming on for David Silva.
    • 81:45 Charles N'Zogbia has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand post.
    • 80:27 Short corner taken by Aleksandar Kolarov.
    • 78:42 The referee penalises Gnegneri Toure Yaya for handball. Direct free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.
    • 76:15 Aleksandar Kolarov takes the outswinging corner, Header on goal by Patrick Vieira from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.
    • 76:02 David Silva produces a drilled left-footed shot from 12 yards. Gary Caldwell gets a block in.
    • 74:34 Aleksandar Kolarov takes a shot from 18 yards. Blocked by Steve Gohouri. Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Aleksandar Kolarov.
    • Correction - 69:28 Foul by Pablo Zabaleta on Steve Gohouri, free kick awarded. Gary Caldwell restarts play with the free kick.
    • 69:28 Foul by Pablo Zabaleta on Steve Gohouri, free kick awarded. Ben Watson takes the free kick.
    • 68:56 Unfair challenge on Ben Watson by Gareth Barry results in a free kick. Antolin Alcaraz restarts play with the free kick.
    • 67:44 Hugo Rodallega is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Joleon Lescott.
    • 67:44 Substitution Adrian Lopez leaves the field to be replaced by Steve Gohouri.
    • 67:44 Substitution (Man City) makes a substitution, with Aleksandar Kolarov coming on for Mario Balotelli.
    • 64:58 Tom Cleverley takes a shot. Blocked by Gareth Barry.
    • 64:13 Short corner worked by Ben Watson.
    • 63:20 Hugo Rodallega has an effort at goal from 20 yards. Vincent Kompany gets a block in. Adrian Lopez concedes a free kick for a foul on Mario Balotelli. Direct free kick taken by Gnegneri Toure Yaya.
    • 61:39 Gnegneri Toure Yaya fouled by Charles N'Zogbia, the ref awards a free kick. Joe Hart takes the free kick.
    • Correction - 60:53 James McCarthy takes a shot from 20 yards. Save by Joe Hart. Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Ben Watson.
    • 60:53 Shot from 20 yards by James McCarthy. Save by Joe Hart. Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Ben Watson.
    • 60:07 Foul by Carlos Tevez on Ben Watson, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed right-footed by Ben Watson from right channel.
    • 59:01 Substitution Victor Moses leaves the field to be replaced by Charles N'Zogbia.
    • 55:16 Vincent Kompany challenges Tom Cleverley unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ben Watson produces a cross, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Gary Caldwell goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
    • 55:16 Booking Vincent Kompany is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.
    • 51:03 Victor Moses sends in a cross, clearance by Vincent Kompany.
    • 49:07 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Ben Watson from the right by-line to the near post, Antolin Alcaraz produces a right-footed shot from inside the area and hits the post.
    • 48:10 Corner taken right-footed by Ben Watson, Gnegneri Toure Yaya makes a clearance.
    • 47:33 Free kick awarded for a foul by James McCarthy on David Silva. Direct free kick taken by Gnegneri Toure Yaya.
    • 46:33 The assistant referee flags for offside against Carlos Tevez. Antolin Alcaraz takes the indirect free kick.
    • 45:01 The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+2:15 The match has reached half-time.
    • 45:00+1:02 Tom Cleverley fouled by Vincent Kompany, the ref awards a free kick. Tom Cleverley takes the free kick.
    • 45:00+0:27 Booking Gary Caldwell is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.
    • 45:00+0:01 Gnegneri Toure Yaya delivers the ball, save made by Ali Al Habsi.
    • 44:16 A cross is delivered by David Silva.
    • Correction - 37:50 The assist for the goal came from Gnegneri Toure Yaya.
    • 37:50 Patrick Vieira provided the assist for the goal.
    • 37:50 GOAL - David SilvaMan City 1 - 0 Wigan David Silva grabs a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Man City 1-0 Wigan.
    • 36:59 Free kick awarded for a foul by Mario Balotelli on Gary Caldwell. Ali Al Habsi restarts play with the free kick.
    • 35:56 Unfair challenge on Carlos Tevez by Gary Caldwell results in a free kick. Gareth Barry restarts play with the free kick.
    • 33:54 Handball decision goes against Victor Moses. Joe Hart restarts play with the free kick.
    • 33:12 Short corner worked by Ben Watson.
    • 31:22 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Hugo Rodallega by Gareth Barry. Maynor Figueroa takes the free kick.
    • 31:22 Booking The referee cautions Gareth Barry for unsporting behaviour.
    • 29:42 James McCarthy has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.
    • 28:56 Unfair challenge on Mohamed Diame by Gareth Barry results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.
    • 26:20 Pablo Zabaleta concedes a free kick for a foul on Victor Moses. Adrian Lopez takes the free kick.
    • 24:58 Unfair challenge on James McCarthy by Gareth Barry results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Adrian Lopez.
    • 23:46 Shot from just outside the box by David Silva misses to the right of the goal.
    • 22:48 Effort from inside the area by Carlos Tevez misses to the left of the target.
    • 21:47 Adrian Lopez fouled by Gnegneri Toure Yaya, the ref awards a free kick. Gary Caldwell takes the direct free kick.
    • 21:08 The assistant referee signals for offside against Victor Moses. Indirect free kick taken by Joe Hart.
    • 17:18 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Micah Richards by James McCarthy. Patrick Vieira restarts play with the free kick.
    • 16:20 Foul by Micah Richards on Tom Cleverley, free kick awarded. Antolin Alcaraz restarts play with the free kick.
    • 16:20 Booking Micah Richards goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.
    • 15:12 Mohamed Diame fouled by Patrick Vieira, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Ben Watson.
    • 14:45 Free kick awarded for a foul by Ben Watson on David Silva. Gareth Barry takes the direct free kick.
    • 14:04 Hugo Rodallega is caught offside. Vincent Kompany restarts play with the free kick.
    • 13:21 Gnegneri Toure Yaya concedes a free kick for a foul on Gary Caldwell. Gary Caldwell takes the free kick.
    • 13:15 The ball is delivered by David Silva, Gary Caldwell makes a clearance.
    • 11:52 Hugo Rodallega takes a shot. Blocked by Joleon Lescott.
    • 10:51 Unfair challenge on Hugo Rodallega by Vincent Kompany results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Maynor Figueroa.
    • 9:57 Tom Cleverley has an effort at goal from outside the area which goes wide right of the goal.
    • 5:21 Carlos Tevez concedes a free kick for a foul on Victor Moses. Free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.
    • 3:26 Mario Balotelli takes a shot. Ali Al Habsi makes a save. Corner taken left-footed by David Silva.
    • 3:06 Maynor Figueroa crosses the ball, clearance made by Joleon Lescott.
    • 0:27 Corner taken by Ben Watson, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Hugo Rodallega goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
    • 0:00 The referee gets the game started.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    Barclays Premier League table snapshot

    As it stood on 5 Mar 2011 23:59 UK

    Position Team P GD PTS
    1 Man Utd 28 35 60
    2 Arsenal 28 30 57
    3 Man City 29 20 53
    4 Chelsea 27 25 48
    5 Tottenham 27 7 47
    6 Bolton 29 2 40
    7 Liverpool 28 1 39
    8 Sunderland 29 -2 38
    9 Newcastle 29 3 36
    10 Everton 28 0 36
    11 Fulham 29 1 35
    12 Stoke 29 -6 34
    13 Aston Villa 29 -13 33
    14 Blackburn 29 -12 32
    15 Blackpool 28 -13 32
    16 West Brom 29 -15 32
    17 West Ham 29 -13 31
    18 Birmingham 27 -12 30
    19 Wolves 28 -15 28
    20 Wigan 29 -23 27



    see also
    Saturday football as it happened
    05 Mar 11 |  Football
    Saturday's football photos
    05 Mar 11 |  Football


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