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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 19 June, 2019
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Liveblog

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As per usual, it would give us great pleasure to hear your thoughts on tonight’s game. You can tweet @thescore_ie, email ben@thescore.ie or jump onto Facebook and drop us a comment. Or there’s always the section at the bottom of this page.

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Full-time: Wigan 0 Manchester City 1

Nice of you to join us. We’ve Premier League action tonight as Wigan host Premier League leaders Manchester City.

Team news from the visitors is in – Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko start up top together while David Silva has recovered from the ankle injury which forced him off in the defeat to Liverpool last week and is included.

Micah Richards is also dropped for Pablo Zabaleta.

Wigan: Al Habsi, Alcaraz, McCarthy, Caldwell, Crusat, Moses, Gomez, McArthur, Rodallega, Stam, Figueroa. Subs: Pollitt, Gohouri, Watson, Di Santo, McManaman, Boyce, Sammon.

Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Savic, Lescott, Clichy, Milner, Barry, Nasri, Silva, Aguero, Dzeko. Subs: Pantilimon, Johnson, Kolarov, Hargreaves, Onuoha, De Jong, Rekik.

Big test for young James McCarthy in the Wigan midfield. Yaya Toure may be gone to the African Cup of Nations but City’s midfield still possesses plenty of talent.

Speaking on Sky Sports, MNF pundit Gary Neville reckons Wigan will play a 4-5-1 with Hugo Rodallega as a lone striker. Sounds about right.

Quick pre-match stat: City’s Argentine hitman Sergio Aguero has scored 14 league goals this season. Between them, Wigan’s entire squad have only managed a total of 18.

Roberto Mancini: “It’s very important (City’s big players stand up and perform tonight). We were unlucky in the last game. I hope tonight we can do better.”

Also bemoaning the fact that he is missing a number of his first choice players again.

If the Latics are to have any joy tonight, Rodallega will need to put Stefan Savic under pressure at every opportunity. The Montenegrin has been fairly shaky while deputising for the suspended Vincent Kompany.

This tweeter is particularly optimistic of the Columbian’s chances. Seconds from kick-off.

City begin and are immediately looking dangerous in the opening two minutes. Wigan eventually get the ball clear and Victor Moses wins a free-kick. Lively start.

Wigan’s turn to attack. Jordi Gomez goes down under a clumsy challenge from Gareth Barry in the box but it’s waved away by referee Martin Atkinson.

Savic heads over the bar after finding himself unmarked from a corner which is taken short.

Mazy run from Moses ends in the 21-year-old blazing over with his left foot. Aguero looks to be in down the other end but is pulled up by the referee assistant’s flag. Replays confirm he was off.

GOAL! Wigan 0 Manchester City 1 (Edin Dzeko)

Alcaraz concedes a free-kick by bringing down Dzeko and the Bosnian striker outjumps two defenders to head home David Silva’s delivery.

Scottish midfielder James McArthur gives Joe Hart his first real bit of work with a low strike from 18 yards out. The England keeper gets down to save well though.

The home team’s defence are finding it increasingly difficult to begin any type of meaningful play as City’s front six work their socks off to close them down.

Wigan have been more positive in the last five minutes but a poor final ball allows City to break. Aguero’s effort had plenty of power in it but was far too close to Ali Al-Habsi.

One minute of added time to be played.

HALF-TIME: Wigan 0 Manchester City 1

Mancini’s men are in the driving seat and look like they’ve plenty more goals in them. Wigan showed a fighting spirit towards the end of the half but won’t get anything from this game unless they’re next to score.

Here’s the goal that separates the sides.

It has to be said that Dzeko’s header was excellently executed and I may not have given it the credit it deserves at the time.

YouTube credit:

Television cameras catch Mario Balotelli and Micah Richards, who are both out injured, together and the Italian is giving his team-mate an ear-bashing. Would love to know the topic of that conversation!

Second half has just started.

Play is stopped because the referee’s assistant has broken his flag. And, we’re underway again…

Al-Habsi has just kept Wigan in this. An outstanding save keeps out Dzeko, then he smothers Silva’s follow-up.

Seconds later, Aguero jinks his way past a series of tackles and, struggling to keep his balance, sees his strike partner take it off his toe with a shockingly weak attempt on goal.

Gael Clichy whips a cross in from the left flank which is inches away from finding the back of the net after taking a nick off the shin of Gary Caldwell.

The resulting corner is recycled into a counter attack for Wigan but they let themselves down in the final third.

Double substitution for Wigan.

Franco Di Santo replaces Albert Crusat while Ben Watson enters the fray for James McArthur.

Was hoping Conor Sammon might get a run but looking unlikely now.

Wigan may not get a better opportunity to score than that. James Milner gifts Rodallega possession and the striker plays in McCarthy.

He takes the shot on early but the outstretched foot of Hart denies the Ireland international an equaliser.

City make a change of their own. Nigel de Jong is on to bring a bit more bite in the middle of the park.

Nasri, who has been average, leaves the action.

Another effort on goal from McCarthy is deflected out for a corner.

Wigan, whose second half display has been admirable, are going for it here but could be in danger of leaving themselves short at the back.

Nedum Onouha makes a rare appearance for the Citizens while Callum McManaman is introduced for Jordi Gomez.

Meanwhile, a rasping shot by Dzeko is diverted out off Caldwell. Seven and a half minutes of normal time remain.

Kun Aguero could’ve wrapped up the three points but has just skewed his strike across goal and harmlessly out of play.

Joleon Lescott is guilty of a foul on the edge of City’s box but they eventually snuff out the danger.

Time running out for Martinez’s side.

A moment of madness (or cuteness depending on how you look at it) from Maynor Figueroa.

The Honduran misjudges the bounce of the ball and, realising he was the last man, blatantly handles the ball. Atkinson shows him a yellow card but Mancini is livid as Aguero was through on goal, albeit from the half-way line.

Adam Johnson then replaces the Argentinian.

FULL-TIME: Wigan 0 Manchester City 1

City were far from their best tonight but grinding out results like that one will have to be done if they’re going to win the title. With Spurs to come on Sunday and United playing Arsenal, three points here were vital.

Wigan battled on to the 94th minute and will take heart from their second half performance in particular but they’re two points adrift of safety and badly need to start picking up results.

“It was really important to win tonight. We knew it would be difficult because Wigan have played well this month and Roberto Martinez is a fantastic manager,” Mancini speaking in his post-match interview.

James McCarthy watch: Solid performance. Worked tirelessly throughout and pushed on in search of a goal in the last half hour.

Showed fantastic technique and persistence to get away from a couple of City players when under pressure in the first half.

Trap take note.

Right, that’s my lot. Our next liveblog will be the meeting of Spain’s big two in the Copa Del Rey quarter-final on Wednesday evening.

Make sure to call by for that one!

About the author:

Ben Blake

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