Carlos Tevez opened his account for the season as City trounced West Brom but manager Roberto Mancini claimed the title race dead despite this win and Manchester United’s defeat at Wigan.
The former skipper linked up with two-goal Sergio Aguero as the Sky Blues put their recent woes behind them.
David Silva also signalled his own return to form with a strike as Mancini’s side moved back within five points of Manchester United. More…
Arsenal strengthened their grip on a Champions League spot as 10-man Wolves slipped ever closer towards the relegation trapdoor.
The Gunners wasted no time in moving five points clear of fourth-placed North London rivals Spurs.
Skipper Robin Van Persie fired them ahead from the penalty spot in just 9 minutes after Sebastian Bassong was red carded for a trip on Theo Walcott. More…
Wigan stunned Manchester United with a stunning one nil victory at the D.W. stadium on Wednesday evening which blows the Premier League title race wide open and was a massive boost to Wigan’s survival hopes.
Shaun Maloney was the Wigan hero, the ex- Celtic star hit a screamer of a shot on 50 minutes to give the relegation threatened Latics a priceless three points and at the same time gave Manchester City a glimmer of hope for the League title.
Well Deserved Win
It was a well deserved win for Wigan who also had a header from Victor Moses controversially ruled out.
This was after their match with Chelsea on Saturday which saw Referees supervisor Mike Riley having to apologise to Wigan manager Roberto Martinez over a terrible offside decision which cost them at least a point.
United could argue they should have a penalty when Maynor Figueroa handled. They also reckoned Wigan was wrongly given a corner in the lead up to their goal.
I would have to say though that Wigan have deserved some good fortune after some of the decisions which have gone against them this season.
Even Reds manager Sir Alex Ferguson couldn’t begrudge them this famous victory, their first ever over United in the Premier League, which took them out of the drop zone.
He said “We did not deserve to win so I have no complaints. But it was never a corner before their goal and we should have had a clear penalty for a handball. “Sometimes you get a break and sometimes you don’t. “We got one at QPR on Sunday and in my experience these things even themselves out. “There keeper had only one save to make and we were definitely below par. “But we’ve been on a great run and still have a chance to win the league. “We were well behind but must take credit for getting back in the race. We will improve from this display.”
Whelan Highly Delighted
Wigan owner and Chairman Dave Whelan was over the moon after the match explaining to reporters that in all his time in football as a player and owner he had never beaten Manchester United ever so understandably he was highly delighted.
You get the feeling hearing Whelan talking about his manager Roberto Martinez that he looks upon him as almost like a son and has been very supportive of him even earlier in the season when Wigan looked certs for the drop.
He was quick to refute rumours circulating pre- match that whether they stay up or not Martinez would be leaving Wigan at the end of the season.
Whelan said after the match that while he accepted that Martinez will leave Wigan and on to manage at a higher level one day.
Perhaps to a bigger club in England or abroad, he was confident that in the foreseeable future his young manager was “Stuck to the club like glue.”
Whelan talked of his amazement that Victor Mose’s header was ruled out for offside after what happened to the club at Chelsea on Saturday.
He said “At half-time nobody in the director’s box or press room could understand why the ref hasn’t given that goal! “After what happened to us on Saturday where we were robbed of at least a point because of the linesman, I thought here we go again”.
Inside the mind of Roberto
But there was to be no hard luck story this time and Wigan looked brighter and hungrier than Utd who had started the night eight points clear at the top knowing they were completely in control of their destiny.
As it turned out it was Wigan who made most of the running with goals corer Maloney and James McCarthy looking particularly dangerous.
Shaun Maloney’s goal was an absolute screamer fit enough to win any game and most watching the match felt justice had been done as he took a pass from Jean Beausejour and blazed it past De Gea from twenty yards.
They looked to be fortunate when Figueroa stopped a Phil Jones cross with his arm but on the night this was a richly deserved first win over United.
So it was a very happy Wigan manager Martinez who faced the press after the game to heap praise on his team.
During the week he had spoken in depth about the pressures of management at the top level which provided a unique insight into the pressures they have to deal with everyday.
On his working relationship with owner Whelan he felt that it was important for him to work for someone he could trust. Referring to Aston Villas approach for him last June.
He explained “When we started our working relationship, the chairmen and I always spoke about a plan for three seasons. “ It was impossible to think about moving. I would never let Wigan or my chairman down.
It must make the Wigan fans very happy to know that their club is in the hands of two individuals who quite clearly have such a sound working relationship built on trust and mutual respect. All the more so in today’s modern game where hiring and firing on a whim seems to be the order of the day!
Martinez also revealed how personally he takes a defeat. “I need to watch a game probably seven or eight times and until I find all the answers and convert all the doubts into solutions, I don’t stop watching.”
“I am very bad company for anyone. It’s better for my family and friends that I don’t spend time with them. But probably that is where I find my happiness internally by focusing on the game and finding the solutions and then, so many times, it is watching other football.”
It’s safe to say this week’s viewing will be an absolute pleasure!
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez went ballistic on Saturday as blundering officials cost his side a precious point in their fight against relegation.
The normally mild-mannered Wigan boss went ballistic as linesman Dave Bryan failed to spot two Chelsea players in blatantly offside positions as Branislav Ivanovic shot home after 62 minutes to give Chelsea the lead. More…
Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish breathed a huge sigh of relief last night after a crazy night in Blackburn which saw the reds squander a two goal lead before under fire signing Andy Carroll dived to head an injury time winner for ten man Liverpool.
Worst Run Since 1953
All the talk pre match was of Liverpool’s recent record. Six defeats from the last seven Premiership games have seen Merseyside Messiah Dalglish come under fire from some ex Anfield stars and indeed it was Liverpool’s worst run of results since 1953 so the thought of having to face a Blackburn side fighting for their Premiership lives can’t have filled them with joy. More…
Arsenal may have put the final nail in the coffin after Mikel Arteta scored a late screamer to deservedly win the match for the home side. Arsenal were under pressure going into the match after Tottenham leapfrogged over them into third place after a 0-0 draw against Sunderland earlier on Saturday. Chelsea beat Wigan by two Goals to one while Newcastle won away at Swansea to cut the gap to just two points.
Manchester City on the other hand had to win to keep their title hopes alive. In the earlier kick-off, Manchester United saw off Queen’s Park Rangers and stretched their lead to 8 points at the top.
The match started off at blistering pace and Arsenal started off very well playing at a high tempo as City looked all over the place struggling to hold the ball. Arsene Wenger went with the same team that started against Spurs as Arsenal forced a series of corners in the first quarter of an hour. Arsenal should perhaps have taken the lead when a corner from Arteta was flicked on by Laurent Koscielny towards Robin Van Persie and his thumping header hit Thomas Vermaelen’s head and onto the bar.
Soon after, Mario Balotteli should have been sent off after a reckless challenge on Alex Song. Balotteli had his foot raised and could have easily broken Song’s leg but referee Mike Atkinson was denied a clear view and missed it. The Italian continued with his rash tackling, catching Bacary Sagna twice after which he was finally cautioned. Arsenal continued to dominate without creating any clear cut chances as the first half came to an end.
City started the second half brightly but didn’t look threatening as Arsenal started to find their rhythm back. Van Persie hit the post when he met a lovely dinked ball from Song before Sagna set up Theo Walcott as his scrambled shot was saved by Joe Hart who palmed it onto the post. The rebound came Vermaelen’s way and just as he was about to strike the ball he slipped and the ball trickled and hit the post again!
Arsenal finally took the lead when Arteta snatched the ball from David Pizzaro in the City half, drove forward, set himself up and unleashed a cracking shot that beat Joe Hart and flew into the bottom corner giving Arsenal a deserved lead. Balotteli was sent off later in the game after another rash tackle on Sagna as Arsenal closed out the match comfortably to end City’s title challenge and boost their chances of finishing in the top four.
In other Premier League games, Chelsea left it late to beat Wigan after Juan Mata scored an injury time winner. Fulham comfortably beat Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok as Clint Dempsey continued his fine goal scoring form. Liverpool were held by Villa at Anfield as their woes in front of goal continued. Norwich & Everton drew 2-2 in an entertaining match at Carrow Road. While WBA saw off Blackburn at Ewood Park to insure safety from relegation.
In this week’s La Liga encounters, the seemingly impossible task transformed into a huge possibility now. Barcelona were 6 points behind the league leaders, Real Madrid. The pendulum has shifted its weight a little now as Real drop 2 points against a stubborn Valencia side. More…