NO matter how many holding midfielders Roberto Mancini selects, he knows Carlos Tevez will always be there to rescue him.
But it was only the kind of generosity normally associated with Manchester City’s transfer business from Wigan’s defence that helped secure a win that moves Mancini’s side into fourth spot..
With Gareth Barry, Nigel de Jong and Yaya Toure passing square to each other, there was precious little penetration until Tevez capitalised on poor defending just before the interval and then set up a second for Toure midway through the second period.
Tevez has now scored 24 goals in 28 Premier League games and six in his last seven against Wigan.
“Carlos is there for this. He is there to score a goal, this is important,” said Mancini. “I’m very happy for him because in this moment he isn’t in 100% on form but this goal can help him.”
However Mancini warned the Argentine’s team-mates: “If we want to win something we must understand that we can play without Carlos, Yaya and other players. We must be a good team without these players or we will not improve.”
Mancini attempted to play down the row over Emmanuel Adebayor’s recent absence with a dead leg and joked: “Yes, we fought for an hour in the dressing room. As I have no marks on my face you can see that I won!”
Wigan’s shape has caused the big boys problems since Roberto Martinez took over at the DW Stadium and it proved so once again, with Franco Di Santo and James McCarthy pressing from the front.
There was so much water on the pitch, the rolling ball could be heard, along with the splashing of the players running, but despite controlling possession, City did not seem to know what to do with it.
That was until Joe Hart’s huge goal-kick glanced off Mohamed Diame’s head and passed Antolin Alcaraz to Tevez, who clipped the ball over Ali Al Habsi.
Steve Gohouri almost gifted City a second with a slack pass but Tevez shot straight at Al Habsi. However, another Wigan defensive mix-up soon helped City to their second.
Maynor Figueroa headed Pablo Zabaleta’s cross back into trouble and Gohouri cleared only as far as Tevez, who clipped across goal for Toure to touch over the line.
“It was defensive errors again,” said Martinez. “You don’t mind if the opposition work extremely well to score a goal but the softness of the two goals we conceded is a disappointment.’’
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