1-0 Heskey 1, 2-0 Dunne (og) 3, 3-0 Camara 65, 4-0 Valancia 67
- Match reports
- 21 October 2006 00:00
- Posted by Leon Collins
Pre match news
Good news and bad news in the pre-match build up at the JJB.
Nicky Weaver returns in goal, but Sylvain Distin misses out through injury with Matthew Mills taking his place.
Michael Johnson today makes history by becoming the 20th player to come through City's Academy and appear for the first team. The midfielder replaces Hatem Trabelsi in the starting line-up with Claudio Reyna and Ishmael Miller not fit enough to be risked.
Nedum Onuoha and Darius Vassell make surprise and welcome returns to the squad, both finding a place on the bench.
Stuart Pearce looks to be employing the 4-5-1/4-3-3 line up which proved ultimately successful on the last road trip at Everton. Hopefully it will prove to be again in this early afternoon kick off.
Not so after just one minute as City went 1-0 down. Emmerson Boyce's ball in from the right wing took a deflection off Samaras, and bounced up beautifully for Emile Heskey to turn and strike the ball past Weaver in seemingly one movement.
It was to get worse with barely three minutes on the clock as the Blues conceded again. Weaver looked to have shouted to claim Skoko's free kick from the left but Richard Dunne rose and could only head the ball beyond the stranded Weaver. City 2-0 down after just three minutes.
With 25 minutes on the clock, City had looked to have steadied somewhat and began to show some neat touches when breaking. And with City beginning to boss the game, despite the scoreline, Josip Skoko's part in the game was over as he looked to have picked up a leg injury. Summer signing Denny Landzaat replaced the Australian international after half an hour.
After 35 minutes City had their best chance of the game as Sinclair's good work and ball in from the right was met by Bernardo Corradi, but the former Italian international couldn't get over the header and diverted the ball over Kirkland's crossbar.
Another chance went begging just moments later as when well-placed Corradi chose to loft his cross rather than slide in Michael Johnson. Certainly more encouraging signs for the visitors after the shaky opening.
Didi Hamann became the first man in referee Dowd's notebook in the 43rd minutes after a late challenge on Fitz Hall. City definitely ended the half better than they started it.
HALF TIME: Wigan 2-0 City
City were out early for the second half and with one change. Hamann was replaced by Paul Dickov. Latics themself made their second change of the game with Webster coming on for Hall.
The early signs were good for the Blues as they pressed hard to get back into the game they hadn't had any luck in since the bad start.
There was a massive penalty shout in the 58th minute after Dickov's attempted cross looked to have hit Baines on the arm - nothing given by either referee or his assistant.
Just short of the hour mark Darius Vassell made his return to the side replacing Matthew Mills as City could smell blood in their persuit of a way back into the game.
And with his first touch Vassell nearly pulled the goal City so deserved back. A clever ball inside the box from Johnson gave the former Villa man a sight of goal but his effort could only cross the face of goal.
Moments later and it was more bad luck for City as Jordan's failure to attack the ball saw Henri Camara steal in to make it 3-0 on 65 minutes from close range.
A fourth followed just two minutes later as Heskey set up Antonio Valencia to drill the ball past the despairing dive of Nicky Weaver.
Twice in the game City had been caught with two goals in quick succession despite their dominance of the latter stages of the first half and the same early in the second 45. They say goals change games...well they certainly do!
FULL TIME: Wigan 4-0 City