Game recap: City 1-0 Wigan

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 05: Ali Al Habsi of Wigan Athletic reacts after David Silva of Manchester City scored the first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Wigan Athletic at the City of Manchester Stadium on March 5, 2011 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

It may not have been as emphatic or goal-laden as some of the recent home victories, but placed in the context of results elsewhere this weekend (admittedly with Chelsea yet to play at the time of writing), coming away with all three points may well prove to have been vital.

In some respects it was a performance reminiscent of Sven-Goran Eriksson's days in charge of England: 'first half good, second half not so good...' as for once, City were unable to build on a lead as they have been wont to do en route to posting their very impressive record (W22 D3 L2 when scoring first for those counting) over 2010/11.

With having only a one-goal cushion as your lead, you are never quite comfortable in a game yet Connor Sammon's late strike aside, for all of the inability to kill the game off after the break, Joe Hart wasn't threatened with Vincent Kompany returning seamlessly into the defensive ranks and continuing where he left off, and partnered very well by Joleon Lescott it should be said.

On the whole it was a performance not of the greatest quality, lacking the intensity the side has often shown but it was still enough to be deserving of the points. Wigan looked low on confidence and perhaps the biggest surprise was that they didn't capitulate as seen on occasion this season; perhaps a second may well have opened the floodgates.

There was control in the performance though. Without being pressured or harried, Vieira and Barry are content to play the ball around at will (an easy task with Silva lying in wait of course) and it was one of Vieira's better performances of the season,  indicating that he does need a run of games as opposed to sporadic and fleeting appearances.

It was noticeable too that this City side possess a physicality that hasn't previously been present. Wigan may not be the greatest barometer in this respect but City looked far the bigger and more imposing side, winning the 50/50 challenges on numerous occasions. This will no doubt be less of a factor against the top sides but with fatigue potentially an issue, this aspect of the play should not be underestimated.

Whilst the performance was typical of a side suffering the effects of fatigue and there has been a huge reliance in particular on Gareth Barry and Yaya Toure of late, David Silva was again the fulcrum for victory. His goal of course was aided by fortune; first a defensive slip then a goalkeeping error worthy of any blooper DVD. Yet his willingness and desire for the ball was consistent throughout, and he possesses such an ability and vision to bring teammates into the game.

With Carlos Tevez looking a little off-form (more likely jaded given his playing style), it is Silva who at the moment appears to hold the key - something he appears to be relishing.

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