City just about worthy of a point

Wigan 1 Manchester City 1

Ten-man Manchester City needed a brilliant late save from Shay Given to earn them a point at Wigan. The dismissal of Pablo Zabaleta for two bookable offences condemned the Blues to a difficult last 25 minutes.



And Hugo Rodallega thought he has profited with a close-range volley a minute from time, only for Given to deny him. Wigan might grumble, although City were just about worthy of a point.



Not that it will save them from a few harsh words from manager Mark Hughes, who must have been disappointed with a poor first-half display, in which Charles N'Zogbia put the hosts in front before Martin Petrov levelled at the start of the second period.



For once, City were vying for the pre-match headlines, with Alan Wiley of all people after Sir Alex Ferguson's ill-advised attack on the Staffordshire official a fortnight ago.



At Old Trafford there had been no obvious sign of the referee lacking fitness, as Ferguson claimed - comments he has subsequently apologised for and will surely get punished for when the FA announce whether the Scot will face a charge tomorrow.



And again, Wiley appeared to be up with play at all the crucial points, getting all the big decisions right, including Zabaleta's red card.



Hughes was probably glad attention was diverted away from his team, who struggled to express themselves and were let down too often by Petrov's poor set-piece delivery.



Emmanuel Adebayor forced Chris Kirkland into one decent save and Carlos Tevez did not react fast enough when Maynor Figueroa nudged a header into his path. But there was a paucity of chances for the visitors that did not sit easily with the growing feeling they will be involved in the title shake-up.



In contrast, Wigan, limited as they were, always gave the impression of a side pushing themselves to the limit.



In Rodallega they had an obvious danger man and he brought an excellent save out of Given with a dipping 25-yard strike.



Still, a goalless opening period was drawing to a seemingly inevitable conclusion when Rodallega, set up by the industrious Jason Scotland, went for the far corner with an angled drive.



Given did well to keep it out. But the Republic of Ireland star, named skipper in the absence of Kolo Toure, could only push the ball into N'Zogbia's path.



That the former Newcastle man beat Wayne Bridge as he slid home in will do nothing to dispel the theory that England's second-choice full-back has been one of Hughes' big disappointments this term.



Chelsea have been beaten on this ground, while Manchester United recorded a five-goal win, so the result was not going to be a reliable guide to City's progress.



Nevertheless, having no doubt implored his side to do better, Hughes must have been delighted the Blues took just 65 seconds to level.



Not unusually, Tevez was the creator but Roberto Martinez will wonder why Mohamed Diame over-ran the Argentine's square ball from the touchline after Shaun Wright-Phillips had missed it.



Diame's error left Petrov with a clear sight of goal and he found the bottom corner with a precise shot.



The Blues should have been in front moments later, with Tevez again the architect, playing a superb ball through the Wigan defence for Adebayor.



Although Titus Bramble slid across to make a fine tackle, the loose ball rolled perfectly for Wright-Phillips, whose goalbound effort looped over off Adebayor, who was still on the floor.



City's increased threat and Wigan's desperation to get something from the contest brought an edge to the game, which Adebayor did not do much to quell with a cynical tackle he was fortunate to get away with after the game had already been stopped.



But with challenges flying in, there was a risking of someone's afternoon ending early. Zabaleta turned out to be the man, although his fury as Wiley produced red for a tackle on Scotland was not really matched by the reality, which was the full-back missing the ball completely as he lunged in.



Not that Figueroa would have had any defence either if Wiley had got a proper view of his penalty-box challenge on Wright-Phillips.



Wigan were more likely winners at the end. But Given was equal to Rodellaga's late volley, which seemed certain to end in the net, to preserve a point for the visitors

Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Voices
A man shoots at targets depicting a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a shooting range in the center of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv
voicesIt's cowardice to pretend this is anything other than an invasion
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
Al Pacino in ‘The Humbling’, as an ageing actor
filmHam among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
News
Fifi Trixibelle Geldof with her mother, Paula Yates, in 1985
people
Arts and Entertainment
Downton Abbey fans rejoice, series five returns later this month
TV
Arts and Entertainment
booksExclusive extract from Howard Jacobson’s acclaimed new novel
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor