Latics stun City at JJB
Valencia thunderbolt puts Wigan on their way
By Chris Burton. Last Updated: 29/09/08 10:36am
Valencia is mobbed after opening the scoring
Wigan moved into the top half of the Premier League table after a 2-1 win against Manchester City at the JJB Stadium.
Goals from Antonio Valencia and Amr Zaki sandwiched a Vincent Kompany strike to ensure it was the Latics that emerged on top.
A bright opening saw both sides make early inroads, but it was to be the home side that got their noses in front on 16 minutes.
City failed to deal with a scuffed corner from the left and were made to pay the ultimate price when Valencia piled a 25-yard screamer past a motionless Joe Hart.
Within six minutes, though, Mark Hughes' men were level when Kompany bundled home an Elano free-kick with his knee.
The scores remained level until the 33rd minute when Wilson Palacios' theatrical tumble under a tame challenge from Javier Garrido allowed Zaki to convert from the spot.
The second period failed to replicate the thrills and spills of the first as City battled in vain to find an equaliser.
Elano went close with a drilled effort from the edge of the box, but Chris Kirkland was rarely tested.
Wigan had the first opportunity in the 13th minute from a short corner when the ball found striker Zaki on the right edge of the penalty area, but his ambitious shot flew just over the bar.
The Latics then took the lead with a spectacular strike from Valencia three minutes later.
City failed to clear the danger from a free-kick and Valencia controlled the ball 30 yards out on the right side of the area before he lashed a shot past goalkeeper Hart into the top-right corner of the net.
The visitors almost equalised moments later after neat build-up play but Robinho's shot from the edge of the box went just past the post.
However, Hughes' side did pull level in the 21st minute from a free-kick - after Shaun Wright-Phillips had been fouled by Maynor Figueroa.
Elano whipped the dead ball into the penalty area and Belgium international Kompany was able to steer the ball home from inside the six-yard box.
Wigan were given a chance to restore their lead in the 34th minute when they were awarded a penalty by referee Steve Bennett after Garrido was deemed to have fouled Palacios inside the box.
The decision seemed debatable with Garrido having made minimal contact with Palacios and Bennett booked Robinho for his protests.
Zaki took the resulting spot-kick and confidently sent Hart the wrong way with a placed effort into the bottom-right corner of the net.
City were denied a penalty of their own just before half-time when Richard Dunne fell under pressure from Emile Heskey but Bennett waved away their appeals.
Wigan began the second period brightly and Titus Bramble went close with a header which drifted wide of the post from Valencia's cross five minutes after the interval.
Latics boss Bruce was then forced into a change in midfield when Lee Cattermole picked up an injury and was replaced by Michael Brown.
Brazilian playmaker Elano came closer to an equaliser in the 61st minute with a long-range attempt which beat the dive of Chris Kirkland but flew past the post.
Wright-Phillips forced Kirkland to make his first real save of the half when he struck a near-post shot in the 73rd minute.
The ineffective Jo was withdrawn by Hughes a minute later in favour of Ched Evans as City pressed for an equaliser - and he almost had an immediate impact.
The Wigan defence struggled to deal with a long ball and Kirkland missed his kick as he came off his line - but with the ball rolling towards goal Wigan cleared.
City continued to create a series of half-chances but the Wigan defence stood firm and frequently looked dangerous on the break.
Zaki then had a late chance to add a third in the final minute of injury-time on the counter-attack but Hart tipped his shot over the bar.
|Wigan Athletic||Team Statistics||Manchester City|
|2||1st Half Goals||1|
|4||Shots on Target||4|
|5||Shots off Target||5|
Barclays Premier League
|9||West Ham United||30||42|
|14||West Bromwich Albion||30||33|
|19||Queens Park Rangers||30||22|