Skip to main content


16:43 5th March 2011


Last gasp Sammon chance almost rescues point

Silva 37


Report by Iain McMullen

Latics went down to a disappointing 1-0 defeat at big spending Manchester City today but a magnificent second-half performance meant they came away from Eastlands with their heads held high.

Roberto Martinez's men dominated the second-half and almost grabbed a stoppage time equaliser, but eventually went down to a first-half David Silva strike that leaves them rooted to the bottom of the table.

Latics started the game brightly and won a corner within the opening minute but it was the home side who created the first real chance when Mario Balotelli forced Ali Al-Habsi into a smart save as the Italian tried his luck from 30 yards.

The game flowed as both sides showed good movement with Latics more than a match for their high-flying hosts.

Tom Cleverley and Hugo Rodallega both saw chances go wide before Carlos Tevez burst into the area for City only to see Adrian Lopez make an excellent challenge to stop him.

The Argentinian had Latics in danger again on 22 minutes as he beat two players to get into the area before fizzing a shot just wide of Al Habsi's post.

Moments later David Silva fired one past the other post as Latics battled to stem the pressure applied by City, while trying to mount counter-attacks of their own.

James McCarthy blasted an effort over the bar on the half hour mark as Latics tried to find their way back into a game that was becoming increasingly frustrating for the home side as they missed a number of good chances.

The deadlock was finally broken on 37 minutes when an Adrian Lopez slip allowed Silva  to fire a low shot past Al-Habsi, who will be disappointed he did not do better to keep the ball out..

Latic's continued to fight but the sides went in at the break separated by the Spaniard's effort.

The second-half started well for Latics as they passed the ball with a sharpness lacking in the opening 45 minutes, and Antolin Alcaraz almost brought the teams levels on 47 minutes with a deft volley that beat Joe Hart but not the frame of the goal.

McCarthy was influential in the centre as he looked to find an opening for Latics, ably supported by Cleverley and Momo Diame who started to cause City problems as the game progressed.

On 60 minutes McCarthy forced Joe Hart into a spectacular save as he struck a sublime 30 yard effort which the City keeper did well to palm away for a corner.

Latics looked a different side from the opening 45 minutes as they probed the home side's defence, with City begining to look nervous under the sustained attack from Martinez's men. This frustration soon spread around Eastlands as the game's momentum swung towards the visiotrs.

The introduction of Charles N'Zogbia added to their threat as the Frenchman looked menacing down the right flank, working well with the overlapping Steve Gohouri.

Despite the much improved second-halfperformance the goal would not come and City dug in to launch more attacks of their own in the final ten minutes, trying to finish the game off.

Conor Sammon replaced Diame with seven minutes remaining, making his Latics debut but the Irishman had little time to make an impact as they pushed for the elusive equaliser.

Rodallega had a chance in stoppage time but his scuffed effort was easily stopped by Hart in the City goal, and when Sammon wasted a guilt-edged opportunity moments later it was clear it was not going to be Latics' day.

The final whistle came leaving Latics to rue the missed chances that could prove costly in the relegation battle.

Latics:Al Habsi; Lopez (Gohouri, 67), Alcaraz, G.Caldwell, Figueroa, Diame (Sammon, 83), Watson, Moses (N'Zogbia, 59), McCarthy, Cleverley, Rodallega

Subs:Pollitt, Gohouri, Gomez, Thomas, N'Zogbia, Di Santo, Sammon

Man City:Hart; Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Zabaleta, Vieira, Y. Toure, Barry, Silva (De Jong, 82), Tevez (Dzeko, 85), Balotelli (Kolarov, 67)

Subs:Taylor, Kolarov, Dzeko, Boateng, Jo, De Jong, Boyata
    Data provided by Press Association