Manchester City 0
Liverpool 0 Record Attendance
but no goals
Sunday December 30th 2007 : Daniel
Taylor for GYKO at the COMSTAD
One day to go before
the transfer window swings open and it is easy to
understand why Sven-Goran Eriksson and Rafael
Benítez are eager to get down to business.
Manchester City and Liverpool would like to believe
it will be a productive 2008 but the only logical
conclusion from a prosaic scoreless draw here was
that there is an awful lot of work to be done first
- and that both managers may need to pull a couple
of rabbits out of the hat in the mid-season sale.
For City the focus must be on bringing in an
accomplished forward, or maybe a couple, because
Darius Vassell playing on his own in attack is not
going to get them into the Champions League and nor
is Rolando Bianchi, the £9m Italian who seems
destined to be remembered as one of Eriksson's few
mistakes in his time in Manchester.
Liverpool, on the other hand, cannot go on relying
on Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres to win them
matches. The shortcomings of both sides were
apparent to all on a disappointing afternoon and,
until they are remedied, City can forget about
making up the fifth component of a new "Big Five"
while Liverpool, once again, will have to grit their
teeth and accept that the league title is not coming
back to Anfield.
Benítez will certainly be frustrated that his
players could not see off a team who have suddenly
started to look jaded and at times, going forward,
bankrupt of ideas. For long spells Liverpool were
comfortably the better side, driving forward with
great purpose and desire, and it needed a splendid
save from Joe Hart, followed by a goal line
clearance from Richard Dunne, to stop Dirk Kuyt
winning the game with a header four minutes from the
end of normal time.
For all that, it was a laboured performance lacking
any real fluency and, even on a weekend when
Manchester United lost to West Ham United at Upton
Park, it was difficult to believe that this
methodical, often predictable Liverpool side have
serious aspirations to depose the reigning
The result leaves Liverpool 10 points behind
Arsenal, albeit with a game in hand, and Benítez may
come to regret his side's failure to make their
domination count, even if he did declare himself
reasonably satisfied. "We had 17 attempts against a
side that has a fantastic record at home, so I can't
say anything critical," he said.
"We may be 10 points behind but if we continue to
play like that we will win a lot of our future
games. The players worked really hard, they had
plenty of possession, controlled the game and
created a lot of chances. We must find the
positives, which are that we deserved to win. We
cannot think about the negatives."
His team certainly highlighted the fact that
Eriksson may need several more of Thaksin
Shinawatra's bags of gold before City get their wish
to expand the Premier League's Big Four. This was
not a good day for Eriksson's more creative players
and, with Stephen Ireland and Elano both subdued, it
does not reflect well on Eriksson's team that they
went through the whole game without managing a shot
on target. José Reina, the Liverpool goalkeeper,
left the pitch with barely a scrape of mud on his
At the other end Hart's reflex save to deny Kuyt at
the end demonstrated why Eriksson has installed him
as his first-choice goalkeeper ahead of the Sweden
international Andreas Isaksson. Yet Hart, from a
Liverpool perspective, had little to do otherwise,
with Dunne and Micah Richards immovable figures at
the heart of City's defence.
Dunne, in particular, nullified the threat of
Torres. "He was everywhere," enthused Eriksson, who
also paid tribute to the 34-year-old Dietmar
Hamann's expertise in the holding midfield role. "I
just wish I had him when he was 20 years old," said
Eriksson could reflect on two headed opportunities
inside the opening quarter-hour for Vassell and
Dunne but the game thereafter became a story of
Liverpool pressure. Even then, however, the visitors
often lacked fluency in attack, with neither Gerrard
nor Torres anywhere close to his best. Yossi
Benayoun was lively on the right but it is
bewildering that Benítez persists with Harry Kewell
on the left when he has Ryan Babel on the bench.
Kuyt is a willing runner but is this really a
striker to win the league?
The evidence points towards another season of
what-ifs at Anfield but at least Benítez seems to
have been given permission by the club's American
owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, to strengthen
his squad during the January transfer window. "We
are getting close to some players," the Liverpool
Eriksson also has the backing to bring in "two or
three new players" although the depressing news for
City is that Chelsea appear to have overtaken them
in the chase for Nicolas Anelka of Bolton Wanderers.
Anelka, undoubtedly, would fit perfectly into this
City side and until Eriksson brings in a striker of
that order they may have to continue looking at the
top four through envious eyes.
"It would be nice if there was a Big Five like in
the jungle," the City manager mused. "But fifth
doesn't get you a Champions League place."
On a closing note, great praise
must go for the excellent performance from the often
controversial, Uriah Rennie who refereed the
game with little allowing it to flow at a decent
Man City: Hart, Onuoha,
Richards, Dunne, Ball, Ireland (Gelson 61), Hamann,
Corluka, Petrov, Elano (Bianchi 70), Vassell
Subs Not Used: Isaksson, Garrido.
Liverpool: Reina, Finnan, Carragher, Arbeloa,
Aurelio, Benayoun, Gerrard, Mascherano, Kewell
(Babel 74), Torres, Kuyt.
Subs Not Used: Itandje, Riise, Voronin, Alonso.
Ref: Uriah Rennie (S Yorkshire).
Man City 2 Blackburn
Rovers 2 Rovers
27th December 2007 : Dan Shearing at the COMSTAD
Manchester City lost their
100% home record in the Premier League this season as
in-form striker Roque Santa Cruz bagged a brace for
City went ahead when the inspirational
Martin Petrov crossed for Darius Vassell to nod in, before
Cruz headed a Bentley free-kick to equalise. Another Petrov
cross was put into his own net by Ryan Nelsen (see picture
right), before Santa Cruz popped up to salvage a draw.
The Paraguayan has now scored a
remarkable seven goals in his last four games and he denied
City fourth place in the league in the process.
After a subdued opening, the game came
to life with the first real chance after 21 minutes - and
how City striker Rolando Bianchi will live to regret not
putting his side in front. Petrov played a gorgeous one-two
with Stephen Ireland and hit the left byeline, picking out
Bianchi perfectly, only for the Italian to completely miss
the ball in front of an open goal.
That extraordinary moment was the
signal for the game to explode - and three goals in three
sizzling minutes brought Eastlands to life. Petrov beat the
offside trap and raced down the left once more, this time
expertly clipping the ball to the far post for Vassell to
Only 61 seconds later Blackburn were
level as Santa Cruz bagged his sixth goal in four games by
heading home Bentley's wickedly inswinging free-kick from
But two minutes later City restored
their lead when Petrov caused yet more mayhem and rifled the
ball across goal, only for Blackburn captain Nelsen to
inadvertently put the ball into his own net.
With the main action out of the way,
the game reverted back to the patchy affair it had been
before the three goals in three minutes and 26 seconds.
Rovers brought on Benni McCarthy at half-time and he was
close to being sent clean through, only for David Dunn to
overhit his pass to the South African.
Blackburn were beginning to get on top
and a cross from the right fell to Morten Gamst Pedersen,
who hit a powerful effort that Nedum Onuoha did well to
City sent on Elano to try to finish
off the match and the Brazilian nearly did so in majestic
fashion, chesting the ball down and lashing in a cracking
volley from 25 yards that flew inches wide. But with eight
minutes to go, Santa Cruz reacted quickly to get his head on
the end of a Bentley cross from the right and earn his side
a crucial point.
Man City: Hart, Onuoha, Dunne,
Richards, Ball, Corluka, Gelson, Ireland (Garrido 78),
Petrov, Bianchi (Elano 64), Vassell.
Subs Not Used: Isaksson, Geovanni, Hamann.
Goals: Vassell 27, Nelsen 30 og.
Khizanishvili (McCarthy 46), Nelsen, Samba, Berner, Emerton,
Reid, Dunn (Kerimoglu 90), Pedersen, Bentley, Santa Cruz
Subs Not Used: Brown, Olsson.
Goals: Santa Cruz 28, 84.
Ref: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire).
Aston Villa 1-1 Manchester
Saturday 22nd December 2007 ; Chris Pilling for
GYKO at Villa Park
Rolando Bianchi wheels away after
putting Man City ahead at Villa
Rolando Bianchi gave City the lead from Martin
Petrov's cross after 11 minutes, but John Carew's deflected shot put
Villa level three minutes later. Villa took control, with City
keeper Joe Hart turning Carew's shot on to the post and Elano
clearing Gabriel Agbonlahor's effort off the line.
City's Petrov wasted a good chance to seal a
win late on, shooting wide from substitute Vedran Corluka's cross.
City's rejuvenated striker Bianchi capped a fine start by the
visitors with the opening goal after 11 minutes. Petrov took massive
credit with a classic left-wing cross that simply invited the
Italian to slide it home from eight yards.
The Villa Park crowd had already grown
restless, but Martin O'Neill's side equalised in slightly fortuitous
fashion three minutes later. The giant Carew ran on to Wilfred
Bouma's pass and got ahead of Richard Dunne to send a deflected shot
beyond City keeper Hart.
City suddenly went into their shell and Villa
dominated for the rest of the first half, with Carew's stature
causing major problems. Villa were a real threat at corners, and
thought they had taken the lead after 24 minutes. Agbonlahor bundled
Ashley Young's corner towards goal, and it needed a last-ditch
clearance from Elano to save City, despite appeals from Villa that
the ball had crossed the line.
Television replays proved inconclusive,
although the Villa players were clearly angered by the failure to
give a goal although I felt it was well cleared.
Carew almost got his second after 30 minutes,
when Hart turned his 20-yard shot on to the post - although City
made justified claims for both offside and handball.
City managed to stem the flow of Villa attacks
after the break, but were struggling to get their own match-winners
Petrov and Elano into the game. The Brazilian had a chance with an
angled free-kick from 20 yards, but he could not find his usual
accuracy and curled his effort well over.
It was Elano's final contribution, the
talismanic midfield man looking short of full fitness, and he was
replaced by Javier Garrido with 15 minutes left. Petrov had a
glorious chance to put City in front after 80 minutes when he was
found unmarked at the far post by substitute Vedran Corluka, but he
swept a poor finish off target.
Nigel Reo-Coker then led a Villa
counter-attack, but delayed with Agbonlahor waiting unmarked and
City defender Michael Ball recovered to clear. Hart was then alert
to race out of his area to block Agbonlahor as he raced through.
Aston Villa: Carson, Mellberg, Knight,
Laursen, Bouma, Maloney (Petrov 75), Reo-Coker, Barry, Young,
Subs Not Used: Taylor, Harewood, Davies, Gardner.
Booked: Barry, Reo-Coker.
Goals: Carew 14.
Man City: Hart, Onuoha, Dunne,
Richards, Ball, Vassell, Hamann (Corluka 70), Gelson, Petrov, Elano
(Garrido 76), Bianchi (Etuhu 85).
Subs Not Used: Isaksson, Geovanni.
Booked: Hamann, Gelson, Ball, Vassell.
Goals: Bianchi 11.
Ref: Lee Mason (Lancashire).
Manchester City 0
Tottenham 2 Feeble League Cup Exit
Tuesday 18th December 2007 : Get
Your Kits Out at the COMSTAD
Ten-man Tottenham ended
Manchester City's 100% home record to reach the semi-finals of the
Carling Cup. Tottenham took the lead when Jermain Defoe rounded off
a neat passing move by steering home Aaron Lennon's cross.
City struggled to respond before Spurs had Didier Zokora sent off
after 20 minutes for a lunge on Elano.
City came forward but Paul Robinson saved from Darius Vassell and
Rolando Bianchi before Steed Malbranque's breakaway goal
(pictured right) sealed Spurs' victory.
The home side had won all 10 of their previous matches at Eastlands
this season but they showed precious little evidence of that form
here. It was Tottenham who were on the front foot early on, with
Dimitar Berbatov at the fulcrum of their best moves. The Bulgarian
was involved in Defoe's goal after five minutes, releasing Lennon
who sprinted away from Javier Garrido before crossing for his
England team-mate to sweep the ball home. Berbatov was a constant
menace, using his strength to hold up the ball and his skill to lay
off clever passes behind City's defence for Defoe and Lennon to run
But that attacking threat was diminished in the 20th minute when
referee Steve Bennett showed Zokora a red card for his lunging
tackle on Elano - a decision that incensed Spurs assistant boss Gus
With Tottenham down to 10 men, a visibly unhappy Defoe was replaced
by Teemu Tainio, who slotted into a reshuffled back-line.
Having an extra man did not help City much at first, and they were
grateful to Vedran Corluka when he deflected a Berbatov shot over
the crossbar. Elano missed from close range for the home side and
Michael Johnson fired just over the bar as Tottenham were forced to
defend at last. And in the early stages of the second half a repeat
of City's stirring comeback against Bolton on Saturday looked on the
Robinson had to tip over Vassell's header and Martin Petrov volleyed
over when well placed before the Tottenham keeper parried a Bianchi
effort. City also felt they should have had a penalty when Pascal
Chimbonda tangled with Richard Dunne inside the area.
But Tottenham's tireless work, despite being a man down, meant they
saw out the storm.
And, although City kept attacking, they were looking vulnerable on
the break and Malbranque duly punished them with eight minutes to
go. Substitute Jamie O'Hara played the Frenchman in, and he rode
Dunne's tackle before firing past Joe Hart to ensure his side's
Man City: Hart, Corluka, Richards, Dunne, Garrido (Ball 77),
Vassell (Mpenza 69), Johnson, Hamann (Geovanni 59), Petrov, Elano,
Subs Not Used: Isaksson, Gelson.
Booked: Dunne, Johnson, Elano.
Tottenham: Robinson, Chimbonda, Zokora, Kaboul, Lee, Lennon
(O'Hara 72), Jenas, Boateng, Malbranque (Huddlestone 88), Berbatov,
Defoe (Tainio 23).
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Taarabt.
Sent Off: Zokora (20).
Booked: Chimbonda, Malbranque, Jenas.
Goals: Defoe 5, Malbranque 82.
Ref: Steve Bennett (Kent).
Manchester City 4
Bolton Wanderers 2 The Ideal Home Show
Manchester City do not attract the same headlines as England, but
the original foreigner in charge of the national team is making a
bold bid for Premier League attention.
Thanks to late goals from Darius Vassell and the promising Kelvin
Etuhu, Sven-Goran Eriksson will now reach Christmas with a perfect
home league record. Nine games, nine wins. Beat that, Fabio. No one
was predicting such a thing in August, although no one was
predicting Bolton would need to be revived by Gary Megson, either.
On this evidence the revival is not fully complete, though for well
over 80 minutes Bolton looked anything but a team threatened by
relegation. They just could not match City's consistency and
determination to keep going, and who would have predicted that? 'I
told the players they looked like losers at half time, but we showed
very good morale in the second half,' Eriksson said.
Bolton gave as good an account of themselves as City in the opening
minutes, only to present an early goal to their opponents with an
unforced defensive error. Ricardo Gardner had an opportunity to
clear under no particular pressure from Vassell, but misjudged the
flight of the ball and let his man in behind him. Vassell might have
done better than strike his shot straight at the goalkeeper,
although once the ball had rebounded back off Jussi Jaaskelainen at
least he had the presence of mind to find Michael Johnson, whose
first-time pass left Rolando Bianchi (pictured above)
with a simple tap-in . If it was a sloppy goal for Bolton to
concede, City's willingness to get forward could not be faulted.
Johnson and Bianchi were both up in support before the Wanderers
defence could get back to cover.
The visitors threatened mostly from set pieces, as is their wont,
although Nicolas Anelka was always dangerous and grazed a post with
a shot from a tight angle after 25 minutes. Two minutes after that,
Nicky Hunt sent over a deep cross from the right that Kevin Davies
not only reached but knocked down for Anelka, not quite accurately
enough for an effective shot. Still, City had been warned, and could
not say Bolton's equaliser just after the half-hour was undeserved
or unexpected. It was actually the result of one of the best bits of
interpassing in the first half, with El Hadji Diouf moving the ball
out to Davies in space on the right, then continuing his run into
the area to sweep a low cross into the net.
With Vassell lapsing back into disappointing mode and Bianchi
failing to bother Jaaskelainen again before half time, Bolton saw an
opportunity to turn round in front and took it. Gardner made up for
his earlier mistake by skipping around Vedran Corluka on the left,
doing well to keep the ball in play and when Dietmar Hamann
attempted to cut out the cross, the City midfielder succeeded only
in teeing it up for Kevin Nolan. The Bolton captain looked up as if
amazed at the amount of unprotected goal he could see and lost no
time in poking a shot into the generous gap.
City were back on level terms three minutes into the second half
following a good run and cross from Etuhu, immediately adding more
punch down the right than Vassell or Fernandes Gelson, who he
replaced, had managed. Bolton survived the initial danger without
fully clearing the ball and when improvisation from Johnson retained
possession for City, a retreating Hamann sent in a hopeful shot that
Lubomir Michalik inadvertently touched past his own goalkeeper.
Both sides appeared to think that was enough scoring for a cold
winter's afternoon and the game was becalmed for 25 minutes until
incident returned suddenly with a chance at either end. The quiet
though ominously threatening Anelka brought a sharp save from
Andreas Isaksson in the City goal after good work by Diouf and
Davies, then, within seconds, Vassell held the ball up at the other
end long enough for Johnson to stroke a shot against a post.
City's crucial third goal was considerably scruffier than either of
those opportunities, though Vassell will not mind in the slightest.
He was in the right place at the right time to meet Martin Petrov's
cross and though his contact was not the cleanest, a stranded
Jaaskelainen was powerless to prevent the ball trickling over the
line off an upright.
'We left a massive hole and chucked away a result,' Megson said. 'We
can't keep doing that. We only start defending about 10 seconds
after we should.'
Bolton were all over the place chasing an equaliser by the time
Etuhu added a last-gasp fourth, though, from Javier Garrido's cross,
he took his opportunity coolly. 'He did two excellent things and
then he scored a goal,' Eriksson said. 'He's not ready yet, but he's
got pace and he's a talent.'
Man City: Isaksson,
Corluka, Richards, Dunne, Ball, Gelson (Etuhu 46), Hamann, Johnson,
Petrov (Garrido 83), Bianchi (Mpenza 87), Vassell.
Subs Not Used: Hart, Geovanni.
Goals: Bianchi 7, Michalik 48 og, Vassell 77, Etuhu 90.
Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Hunt (McCann 85), Meite, Michalik,
Gardner, Nolan, Campo (Giannakopoulos 86), Guthrie, Diouf, Davies,
Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Samuel, Speed.
Goals: Diouf 31, Nolan 40.
Ref: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire).
2 Manchester City 1 City slip up again
Sunday 9th December 2007 : Rob
Ashton for GYKO at White Hart Lane
Jermain Defoe showed Juande Ramos why
he should be a first-team regular when he came off the bench to net
the crucial winner for Tottenham Hotspur against Manchester City.
With Robbie Keane serving a three-match ban, Ramos opted to start
the game with Darren Bent alongside Dimitar Berbatov. The move
looked to have paid off when Pascal Chimbonda fired the home side
into the lead in controversial circumstances on the stroke of
half-time as he appeared to use his hand to direct the ball past
Andreas Isaksson whilst in an offside position.
City substitute Rolando Bianchi grabbed an equaliser midway through
the second half and it looked as if Tottenham had thrown away
another victory at White Hart Lane. But when City midfielder Stephen
Ireland was shown a red card for a reckless 82nd-minute challenge on
Young-Pyo Lee, it was left to substitute Defoe to steal the
headlines when he grabbed the winner 60 seconds later.
Tottenham started the game brightly and could have opened the
scoring on nine minutes when Berbatov played Bent through on goal,
but his shot was kept out by the legs of Isaksson.
The home side went close to breaking the deadlock again on 12
minutes when Berbatov's ball fell to Steed Malbranque, but the
Tottenham winger's shot deflected off Richard Dunne and flew inches
past the post.
Tottenham finally took the lead when they scored on the stroke of
half-time. Jermaine Jenas played his free-kick into Berbatov who
back-heeled the ball towards goal for Chimbonda, who looked as if he
used his hand to direct the ball past Isaksson and into the back of
City equalised on 61 minutes when Martin Petrov's corner fell to
Bianchi. He pulled away from Bent and flashed a stunning header past
Paul Robinson and into the top corner of the net.
The game completely changed on 82 minutes when Ireland was dismissed
for a two-footed challenge on Lee.
The home side made the extra man count just one minute later when
Malbranque's shot came back off the post and Defoe was on hand to
fire the rebound home.
Dejected Manchester City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson admitted: "It
was a bad result but we played one of our better away games. We were
brave and tried to win. It was a very open game.
"I am not happy with the defeat but I am with how we behaved. If we
play like this I don't think we will lose many games. "I have no
complaints about the red card. It was the right decision and we have
to learn. Maybe their goal was offside, maybe it was handball but
sometimes you get them and sometimes you don't."
Chimbonda, Dawson, Kaboul, Lee, Lennon (Boateng 67), Jenas, Zokora,
Malbranque, Berbatov (Tainio 90), Bent (Defoe 77).
Subs Not Used: Cerny, O'Hara.
Booked: Defoe, Jenas.
Goals: Chimbonda 45, Defoe 83.
Man City: Isaksson, Corluka, Richards, Dunne, Garrido,
Ireland, Johnson, Etuhu (Bianchi 58), Gelson, Petrov, Vassell
Subs Not Used: Hart, Jihai, Onuoha.
Sent Off: Ireland (82).
Booked: Garrido, Dunne, Gelson.
Goals: Bianchi 61.
Ref: Mark Halsey (Lancashire).
Wigan Athletic 1 Manchester City 1
The big yawn....
Saturday 1st December 2007 :
Mackay for GYKO at the JJB Stadium
Steve Bruce's reign got off to an encouraging
start as ten-man Wigan Athletic showed their fighting qualities to
stop the rot after eight straight defeats and deny Manchester City
the chance to move ahead of rivals United in the Premier League
former Birmingham boss had to endure an instantly forgettable first
minute when City were gifted the lead before they battled back to
level before half-time.And he could have lived without the late red
card for skipper Mario Melchiot who now faces a three-match ban.
Sven-Goran Eriksson's side was missing influential Brazilian star
Elano who picked up a hamstring injury in training, but Geovanni was
back in the starting line-up.
Wigan had Chris Kirkland, Antonio Valencia and Melchiot back after
injury and Emile Heskey, who was on the bench at Arsenal last week,
was in from the off partnering Marcus Bent up front with Antoine
The welcome applause for Bruce had hardly died down when City
grabbed the lead after a terrible blunder by Titus Bramble.
The big centre-back made a total mess of getting the ball clear when
there appeared to be no danger.
The slip let Geovanni in and the Brazilian nipped round Kirkland to
slot it into the empty net after just 35 seconds to make it a
nightmare start for the Latics and their new manager. (see
But Wigan bounced back to level it up when Jason Koumas pounced on
Vedran Corluka's clearing header to pick out the unmarked Paul
Scharner with the cross, and the Austrian midfielder headed in the
The Latics threatened again just before half-time when Koumas
hammered one over the bar and a Kevin Kilbane throw-in bounced
dangerously in the box, but no-one took advantage of the chance.
Ryan Taylor replaced Heskey and the former Tranmere player went
close to firing Wigan into the lead.
Scharner set up the strike and City keeper Andreas Isaksson reacted
superbly to push it wide.
Wigan had a handball appeal against Micah Richards turned down as
Valencia chased into the box and there was more controversy when
Michael Ball was robbed of possession just inside the area, and ref
Mike Riley blew for a free-kick.
But the match ended on a sour note when the Latics were reduced to
ten men for the last three minutes after Melchiot was sent off for a
two-footed challenge on Stephen Ireland.
And the Latics were denied again in stoppage time when the ball
appeared to strike Kelvin Etuhu on the hand inside the area.
New Latics boss Steve Bruce said: "I remember
my debut for Norwich against Liverpool. "I had just gone there from
Gillingham and wanted to make a big impression. I headed one into my
own net inside the first 30 seconds. "It was as bad as that. I
certainly could not have imagined a worse start. It was horrific and
in fairness the lads could have folded, but they had the courage to
make a fist of it after that."
As for City, their fans drifted away disappointed that - after that
explosive opening - they failed seriously to trouble Kirkland again.
But at least it was better than last season. Then, their 4-0 defeat
was their worst performance of the season and left real fears of
relegation hanging over them. This time, the fear was that they had
missed a golden opportunity to climb, however briefly, into second
spot. What Bruce would give for such a dramatic turnaround in
fortunes. City's Sven-Goran Eriksson added: "One point is always
good in a way, but inside I have a feeling we should be doing a
little bit better in games like this. "We were a bit lucky with our
goal because it was a mistake, but it was also a mistake from us for
their goal. "We have lost three times away from home before this, so
one point is okay. I don't have the answer to why we play better at
home than away, but I wish we could."
Wigan: Kirkland, Melchiot, Bramble,
Boyce, Kilbane, Valencia, Scharner, Landzaat, Koumas, Bent, Heskey
Subs Not Used: Pollitt, Granqvist, Cotterill, Skoko.
Sent Off: Melchiot (88).
Booked: Bramble, Scharner.
Goals: Scharner 25.
Man City: Isaksson, Corluka, Dunne, Richards, Garrido (Ball
36), Ireland, Hamann, Gelson, Geovanni (Etuhu 69), Petrov, Samaras
Subs Not Used: Hart, Jihai.
Booked: Hamann, Ball.
Goals: Geovanni 1.
Ref: Mike Riley (Yorkshire).