Manchester City 0 Wigan 0

  • By: Carl Markham, PA Sport
  • Last Updated: October 8 2012, 18:56 BST

Manchester City's dreadful home form continued as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Wigan.

Darius Vassell battles with Erik Edman.

Sven-Goran Eriksson's side have now gone six Barclays Premier League matches without a victory at Eastlands and this performance underlined why.

Transfer deadline day signing Benjani Mwaruwari wasted their two best chances, a lack of control allowing goalkeeper Chris Kirkland to block his first-half one-on-one and then firing Darius Vassell's left-wing cross wide from close range after the break.

The visitors started the brighter and Marlon King should have done better after turning Richard Dunne wide on the left but after cutting inside curled his shot straight at Joe Hart.

In the 15th minute Antonio Valencia broke down the right and beat both Dunne and Michael Ball at the byline before pulling the ball back to Wilson Palacios but he completely missed his kick from 12 yards.

Elano, restored to the starting line-up because of Martin Petrov's suspension, was enjoying plenty of possession for the hosts but could not find the right pass to unlock the Wigan defence.

One move involving him, Gelson Fernandes and Stephen Ireland won a corner and when it came out to the latter he curled a shot narrowly over from 20 yards.

Benjani, who had been quiet in the opening half hour, should have put his team ahead when he was put clean through by Ireland.

However, having outstripped the defence he just allowed the ball to run away from him and gave Kirkland enough of an opening to block with his body before Erik Edman cleared.

Michael Brown became the first player to be booked in the 32nd minute when he clattered into Elano after the ball had gone.

City should have had a free-kick 35 yards out but referee Steve Bennett played a good advantage but Corluka's cross was headed to safety by Edman.

In the last minute of the half Emile Heskey, who had been a virtual spectator, headed a right-wing free-kick from Jason Koumas wide from eight yards out at the far post.

As if things could not get any worse the players returned for after the interval to be greeted by light rain blowing across the pitch.

It was a sad indictment of the first half that the most interesting thing to happen came during the interval when two female fans proposed marriage to their partners via the ground's electronic scoreboard.

Elano lasted just three minutes before appearing to twist his right knee and he was replaced by Felipe Caicedo.

When Johnson curled in a 50th-minute free-kick Nedum Onuoha claimed he was pushed by Paul Scharner but referee Bennett gave a goal-kick.

Benjani's quick turn of Emmerson Boyce on the edge of the area allowed him to get off a snap-shot but Kirkland parried and then collected comfortably.

Eriksson replaced Ireland with Nery Castillo in the 62nd minute in an attempt to inject some creativity into his side.

The Swede even made a rare appearance on the touchline as he tried to get his message across to the players.

Steve Bruce made his first change by bringing on former City forward Antoine Sibierski for Marlon King in the 66th minute.

Castillo was soon into the action, forcing Kirkland into a low save from his left-footed 20-yard strike.

Benjani wasted another chance in the 71st minute when he fired wide from Vassell's driven left-wing cross.

Sibierski had a chance to silence the taunts from the home fans but scuffed Heskey's pull-back from the byline wide.

He then almost got on the end of Koumas' curling free-kick from the right.

Palacios should have snatched victory with nine minutes to go when he collected Heskey's return pass but Hart made a good low save and the midfielder fired over from the rebound.

Teams

Man City Hart, Corluka, Dunne, Onuoha, Ball, Vassell, Gelson,Elano (Caicedo 49), Johnson, Ireland (Castillo 63), Mwaruwari.

Subs Not Used: Isaksson, Hamann, Garrido.

Wigan Kirkland, Melchiot, Scharner, Boyce, Edman, Valencia,Brown, Palacios, Koumas, Heskey, King (Sibierski 66).

Subs Not Used: Pollitt, Bramble, Olembe, Bent.

Booked: Brown.

Att: 38,261

Ref: Steve Bennett (Kent).