City are through to the 5th round of the FA Cup after Andrew Cole’s 84th minute strike settled a poor cup tie.
Despite Wigan fielding a weakened lineup after their midweek Carling Cup exertions, City failed to take an early advantage. The game had all the feel of a practice match about it as neither side created a chance of note in a dour first half.
The second half offered little more in the way of entertainment until the last 15 minutes, the spark finally arriving as first Roberts forced a good save out of James before Francis hit the bar with an open goal beckoning. Both teams awakened from their slumber and realised that this was an FA cup tie not just a training excercise. The last 15 minutes was end to end with both teams creating chances. With an unwanted replay at the JJB looking more likely it was left for Wright-Phillips to slip a ball through for Cole to finish. Game, set and match and hopefully a better tie in the next round.
Psycho probably got the tactics right for this one as the result justified the means. Most people were moaning when Vassell was withdrawn but Cole’s winner justified his staying on the pitch. Riera had a good first half befor Masumpa replace him and looked lively.
Wigan made the mistake of resting key players. When they introduced Roberts, Bullard and Henchoz in the second half they looked a livlier outfit. Still they are in one cup final and are doing very well and confounding the critics. Just didn’t have the strength in depth to beat a City side low in confidence. Cheers Paul.