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PREMIER LEAGUE: Al-Habsi howler gifts Man City win over Wigan

Wigan Athletic goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi has handed Manchester City all three points at the City of Manchester Stadium in the Premier League tonight. The Omani international produced a horror howler to a first-half David Silva shot, allowing the ball to enter the goal through his legs to give City a crucial win, putting them five points clear of fourth-placed Chelsea.

It was City's first win in three league matches and their fifth victory in their past six matches at home - it was also a fourth win in their last five meetings with the Latics.

From the Wigan side of things, they were unlucky to lose the match which extended their winless streak to three and notched up their fifth match away from DW Stadium without a win. They have now not beaten City in the league since September 28, 2008.

Manchester City: 1 (David Silva 38') Wigan Athletic: 0

Venue: City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester Crowd: 44,864 Referee: Stuart Attwell Yellow cards:MC - Micah Richards 16', Gareth Barry 31', Vincent Kompany 56' WA - Gary Caldwell 45'

Wigan had an early chance when Hugo Rodallega headed over the top from the penalty spot after being found by Ben Watson's corner before City's Mario Balotelli let fly from outside 20 yards only to see Ali Al-Habsi parry wide.

Both midfields could not maintain possession in the opening 25 or so minutes as City begun to work their way into proceedings with two close efforts from Carlos Tevez and David Silva before Mohamed Diame found space in the area down the other end but put his effort wide in what was a huge let-off for the home side.

GOAL In the 38th minute, City were able to take the lead due to an absolute howler from Al-Habsi after a Silva shot from an angle. The Spaniard cut back onto his left, forcing Adrian Lopez to slip, before shooting toward the near post where Al-Habsi somehow allowed it in through his legs - a disastrous result for a Latics side who had more than held their own in the first half.

Wigan had the better of Roberto Mancini's early in the second term, pressing forward and gaining plenty of incentive from a sloppy City outfit.

James McCarthy was inches off leveling for the visitors when he drove powerfully toward goal in the 62nd minute but Joe Hart produced a top save as the Latics went about restoring parity.

City started to have more control over things as the second half progressed but Rodallega's injury time attempt called Hart into action before debutant Conor Sammon went inches wide with a nice piece of play but in the end it was City's day thanks to a fair amount of fortune.

Starting Line-Ups

Man City Joe Hart (gk) - Micah Richards, Vincent Kompany, Joleon Lescott, Pablo Zabaleta - Patrick Vieira, Gareth Barry, David Silva (De Jong 84'), Yaya Toure - Mario Balotelli (Kolarov 69'), Carlos Tevez (Dzeko 86')

Subs - Stuart Taylor (gk), Aleksandar Kolarov (69'), Nigel De Jong (84'), Edin Dzeko (86'), Jerome Boateng, Jo, , Dedryck Boyata

Wigan Ali Al-Habsi (gk) - Adrian Lopez (Gohouri 69'), Gary Caldwell, Antolin Alcaraz, Maynor Figueroa - Ben Watson, Mohamed Diame (Sammon 84'), Victor Moses (N'Zogbia 60'), James McCarthy, Tom Cleverley - Hugo Rodallega

Subs - Mike Pollitt (gk), Charles N'Zogbia (60'), Steve Gohouri (69'), Conor Sammon (84'), Hendry Thomas, Franco Di Santo, Jordi Gomez

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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