Latics will feel they let three points slip away as they contained Manchester City and had much the better chances in a hard fought game that saw City defender Zabaleta sent off.


Charles N’Zogbia (45)

Martin Petrov (47)

Latics again will rue their cutting edge in front of goal as the team carved out more than enough chances to win this game convincingly, whilst the midfield and defence contained any threat from the £300+ million team constructed by Mark Hughes.

Things were made even easier for Latics as Pablo Zabaleta got himself sent off for two very silly fouls (how it wasn’t De Jong is beyond me, what a bad player he is). Towards the end of the game I feel Martinez should have taken the opportunity to get the flagging Scotland off and Sinclair on, but hey ho, I guess that is why he’s the gaffer.

Latics got into their game really quickly, stamping their mark on a game they knew they had to perform in. Rodallega and Scharner were linking up well and it was the Colombian that got the first sight of goal. Scharner fed Scotland who in turn laid off to Rodallega, but his shot was charged down.

Diame is proving his worth more and more each game and he was on good form again today as he dominated the midfield, showing Barry what he should be doing. After a scrappy mid half in which neither team could keep hold of the ball it was Charles N’Zogbia that started to come into the game and swung the game back in to Latics favour.

Time and again N’Zogbia beat his man only to be thwarted by a magnificent Shay Given or last gasps tackle from Lescott and Zabaleta. Scotland was being menacing but there is something lacking with that i can’t put my finger on. Twice he had a chance to put a killer pass in to Scharner or N’Zogbia but chose to hold on and wait for more bodies.

With ten minutes to go Rodallega had a fantastic 25 yards drive saved by Given and that set up 1he scene for the scenario that would bring us our goal right on the stroke of half time. It was yet another 20 yard strike from Rodallega that tested the full stretch Given, but the Irish stopper could only parry the shot into the path of the chasing N’Zogbia who calmly planted the ball into the open goal.

The second half didn’t exactly start off to plan as almost straight from the kick off Figueroa lost the ball on the half way line and Tevez fed Wright-Phillips who in turn passed to Petrov who turned Bramble and curled the ball around the helpless Kirkland. 1-1 and it seemed to knock the stuffing out of as we allowed City a bit of possession.

We weathered the storm and then got back to the swing of things again, Diame ripped De Jong to bits as he put Scotland through on goal, but as the striker turned Lescott the City defender got luck as his trailing leg knocks the ball into touch. City managed to clear the corner and counter, but Kirkland was always going to win the battle with Adebayor to catch ball even though the Blues frontman stuck an arm in on him.

Kirkland though had to go off the pitch for treatment as it looked like he dislocated his finger in the altercation. The physio manipulated it back into place and the England hopeful continued the game. Scotland was holding the ball up well, almost Hesky-eque, but he just couldn’t seem to find the killer pass or shot.

With 25 minutes to go, Latics were given an even easier task as Zabaleta got his second yellow card and walked. This prompted more possession for Latics but all the efforts of N’Zogbia (who had a goal disallowed after Barry fell over), Rodallega, Diame and Scotland were thwarted by a very impressive Given and a rock solid defending performance.

Substitute Gomez showed exactly why he is now a sub as when he got his chance to score he shot straight at Given’s legs instead of picking his spot and grabbing the three points. Four minutes of added time were shown and why Sinclair was not on the pitch by then was beyond me, a fresh pair of legs against this flailing City team could have proved decisive, but the match ended with our first draw of the season and only the 5th in the Premier League.

Report by Jayt

Cockney Latic Man of the Match: CHARLES N’ZOGBIA
Attendance: 20,005
1 Chris Kirkland 1 Shay Given
25 Mario Melchiot 3 Wayne Bridge
17 Emmerson Boyce 5 Pablo Zabaleta
19 Titus Bramble 19 Joleon Lescott
31 Maynor Figueroa 2 Micah Richards
27 Mohamed Diame 18 Gareth Barry
14 Charles N’Zogbia 34 Nigel de Jong
7 Paul Scharner 25

Emmanuel Adebayor

9 Jason Scotland 32 Carlos Tevez
6 Hendry Thomas 8 Shaun Wright-Phillips
20 Hugo Rodallega 17 Martin Petrov
12 Mike Pollitt 12 Stuart Taylor
3 Erik Edman 16 Sylvinho
30 Marlon King 33 Vincent Kompany
5 Cho Won-Hee 7 Stephen Ireland
15 Jordi Gomez 6 Michael Johnson
10 Jason Koumas 40 Vladimir Weiss
16 Scott Sinclair 14 Roque Santa Cruz
26′ Yellow Card Hendry Thomas    
33′     Yellow Card Pablo Zabaleta
39′ Yellow Card Maynor Figueroa    
45′ Goal Charles N’Zogbia    
47′     Goal Martin Petrov
65′     Yellow Card Pablo Zabaleta
65′     Red Card Pablo Zabaleta
70′     Player Off Emmanuel Adebayor
Player On Vincent Kompany
72′ Player Off Paul Scharner
Player On Jordi Gomez
82′     Player Off Shaun Wright-Phillips
Player On Stephen Ireland
82′     Player Off Carlos Tevez
Player On Roque Santa Cruz