I said to myself before this game, “I’d be happy with a point”. Well, that’s what we got, but am I happy with it? Reasonably.
You see, Manchester City are everyone’s tip to break into the top four this season, and I would not be at all surprised if they did so – they certainly have the players for it, and a top boss to boot. On this basis, you’d say a point would be a good-ish result, nothing special but alright, for a side with aspirations of mid-table – a win would be great, but y’know, we’d settle for a point.
As it turned out, the DW crowd were once again robbed of a tight, enthralling finish by a sending off. That’s not to say Pablo Zabaleta shouldn’t have been given his marching orders – looked like a second booking from where I was sat, but I’ll have to check the MOTD replays because I sure as heck can’t remember the first yellow card he picked up. My mind’s all foggy, a bit like the pre-match conditions.
Unlike the Chelsea match, though, City played out the remaining twenty minutes or so relatively happy at one apiece, so there weren’t quite the chances of three weeks ago. Latics definitely saw a lot more of the ball than previously, however, and carved open a couple of close chances, but it was not to be.
Earlier, Charles N’Zogbia had poked Latics ahead on the stroke of half time, only for City to equalise just two minutes of play later. Hmm. Remind you of a certain other match at the DW this season? In many ways, things panned out in a similar manner to the Chelsea game – Latics go into half time 1-0 up, concede early in the second half, gain a one-man advantage etc.
There was also a penalty appeal from City, waved away by Alan ‘You’re Too Fat to Referee’ Wiley, who on the whole didn’t have a terrible game. Heh, says a lot about the state of modern football that I judge referees on how bad their performances were, but anyway, it’s another case of ‘I didn’t see it’. Sorry to go all Arsene Wenger on you, but I really didn’t have the best view so I don’t feel qualified to comment on the penalty incident. In fact, you might ask how on earth I feel qualified to say anything at all, and you’d probably be right.
I will say that Wigan struggled to cope with the pace of Shaun Wright-Phillips, one first-half challenge in particular from Hendry Thomas — who received a booking for his sins — especially indicative of this. Going on precedent, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if replays showed Figueroa’s challenge was indeed unfair.
Penalty appeals and red cards aside, you’d have to admit it was an even match, and certainly not the overpowering many (including I) might have expected. Some might even say Latics just shaded proceedings, but damn their optimism! Everyone played terribly! Scharner’s too big for his boots! Etc. Nah, a point well earned in my (rather unreadable) book.