A stunning performance from Carlos Tevez inspired Manchester City to a 3-0 victory over local rivals Wigan Athletic at Eastland`s. The Argentine sensation has received great plaudits for his whole-hearted displays, this time the in-form striker scored a terrific hat-trick that ensured City remain on target for the coveted fourth spot.
The build-up to the match was intense, the fixture would have a huge bearing on both ends of the table as the Blues were trying to keep their top four push on track, in contrast the Latics were desperate for any points to ensure them another season in the top flight. Despite the anticipation the majority of the 90 minutes was bordering on pathetic, hoping to catapult ourselves into the Champions League looked a far cry, the lacklustre play and tedious tempo was met with sighs of desperation as Wigan looked settled.
The match failed to produce any notable chances in the first half, the lack of ideas and urgency compounded more misery over Eastland`s. Wigan nullified any half chances City created with their set-up far from desirable. An away trip on a wet Monday night to Eastland`s looked particularly difficult in their quest to stay up so their intentions to shut up shop and reduce the pace of the affair were expected.
Carlos Tevez again was providing the only entertainment of the evening, his desire and undoubted ability was creating problems in the Wigan defence, but the lack of any skilful help, teamed with the building blocks of Wigan brought more frustration than delight.
The match took a dramatic turn in the second half with two major incidents. Firstly, Craig Bellamy was added to the occasion, City were in great need of his tenacity and ability. Secondly, referee Atwell reduced Wigan to 10 men after a lunge from Caldwell. Roberto Martinez looked aggrieved and a sense that the pendulum would certainly be in our favour was accurate.
Finally a sense of urgency, a crispness, and fluidity about our play was back, Tevez was at the heart of everything good and his link up play with Bellamy was very impressive. However, Wigan weren`t sitting back and admitting defeat, they found themselves on the end of two excellent chances that were disappointingly hooked wide. The 12th man of the home crowd was proving more than Wigan could handle, City had their edge back and were creating several glorious opportunities. The breakthrough wasn`t far from coming and the man who got it was hardly a surprise, Carlos Tevez reacted instinctively to a defensive mix-up and was on hand to net his 17th Premier League goal of the season.
City now sensed blood, Wigan were looking shaky and their tension was growing ever faster. Tevez looked to have galvanised his distant team mates and the neat interchanges were becoming more frequent. Bellamy was also providing a major threat, him and Johnson were turning their respective full backs inside and out. Despite waiting what seemed an age for the first goal, only 3 minutes later the perfection that is Tevez, latched onto a dangerous pass scoring his second of the game and all but sealing the outcome of this match.
There was still more to come, but only from the Majestic Tevez. His new found love that he shares with the fans has greatly improved his confidence and desire and his second hat-trick of the season certainly put the icing on the cake. His third was uncompromising as he darted his way into the box, wrong footed the keeper and caressing the ball into the far corner.
Despite a far from impressive encounter we left pleased and galvanised as a set up. Tevez was remarkable and the charge for fourth is still in reach, cue the remainder of the season.
Had no notable contributions to make.
Another whole-hearted display from Zab who ran from the first whistle to the last. Great energy and desire thwarted Wigan attacks and his bursts forward were helpful.
Another reasonably satisfactory performance from the Centre back. Not the long term answer.
A strong committed performance that showed glimpses of him at his best. Aware, strong and clever Kompany ensured we kept the clean sheet.
A settled performance with no real effect.
Possibly the worst professional performance i have ever witnessed, how he lasted only God knows.
The combative Defensive midfielder was at his bullish and destructive best. Biting in every tackle, not allowing any room of freedom for Wigan aided our cause.
Certainly a shadow of his best. Looks far to predictable and lost.
Provided some inspirational moments on both the left and right flank. Some decent crosses also helped his performance
Off the pace and lacking desire summed up his performance. He failed to win any aerial duels and was on the floor for the majority of the game. Lacks close control.
Who else, the irrepressible front man was again at his deadly best netting a much needed hat-trick. Apart from his finishing, his desire, tenacity and team play urged major plaudits.
Injected a much needed pace and desire into a very lacklustre match. Will be looked upon due to Tevez’s goals but played a major role.