Wigan 1 – 1 Man City
By Mandeep Sanghera
Martin Petrov fired in an equaliser for 10-man Manchester City as they earned a battling draw at Wigan.
Charles N’Zogbia had put Wigan ahead when he beat Wayne Bridge to the ball and slotted in after keeper Shay Given had parried a Hugo Rodallega shot.
But Petrov latched on to a Carlos Tevez cross before beating keeper Chris Kirkland with a left-foot strike.
City had defender Pablo Zabaleta sent-off for two bookable offences after 65 minutes but held on for a point.
The visitors had been forced to sit back to consolidate their position after right-back Zabaleta was dismissed and will feel they could have won the game if a penalty had been awarded for a Maynor Figueroa challenge on Shaun Wright-Phillips.
Wigan performance pleases Martinez
But referee Alan Wiley, whose fitness was criticised by Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson earlier this month, waved away their appeals.
City also had Given to thank for a late save from Rodallega to preserve their point in a frantic finish to a game which had slowly stirred to the boil.
The match was a test of City’s steel as they aimed to stay firmly in with the Premier League pacesetters but, in the end, they showed their character in dealing with adversity.
A durable Wigan, who have not lost at home against City since 1998, had stifled their opponents as they chased and harried them all over the park before taking the lead.
Wigan so far this season have proven either insipid or inspirational having beaten Chelsea and lost to Hull in their last two games. This time they were more of the latter.
They blended the neat passing manager Roberto Martinez is striving for with a determined work ethic and N’Zogbia’s opener sparked the game into life.
Given did well to parry a well-struck Rodallega shot only for N’Zogbia to pounce and slot in the loose ball.
City took only 63 seconds of the second half to equalise when Petrov let a low Tevez cross roll across him before guiding in a shot.
The visitors had come out with more purpose after the break and, after an excellently-timed tackle by Titus Bramble prevented striker Emmanuel Adebayor getting a shot off, Kirkland tipped over a follow-up strike by Wright-Phillips.
Hughes pleased with point at Wigan
However, City’s prospects suffered a setback when Zabaleta was dismissed and this allowed Wigan to take the game to City.
Mohamed Diame sent a shot inches just high of the City goal, while Martinez brought on the creative Jordi Gomez to try to unlock the visitors.
But, despite Rodallega having a far post stabbed shot saved late on, City fended off the Latics to stay fifth in the Premier League table.
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez:
“Not getting the three points is the only disappointment. The attitude of the players and approach towards the game was very good.
“I thought the level of performance was worthy of a win.
“When you say that playing against a team like Man City it speaks volumes. You can see the progress and every game is a step forward – that’s pleasing.”
Manchester City boss Mark Hughes:
“The ball was just toe-poked out of play (in the penalty incident) so the referee thinks it was the defender.
“It was Shaun who got the last touch and the guy has just taken him out. That should have been a penalty.
“Going down to 10 men made things more difficult. We showed quality in getting men behind the ball and making sure we got something out of the game.”