Carlos Tevez scored a late winner to maintain Manchester City's slim title hopes with victory over Wigan.
City struggled at the Etihad Stadium and were grateful for a fine Joe Hart save from Wigan striker Franco Di Santo in the first half.
But Tevez slipped past Paul Scharner and Jordi Gomez before hitting a shot into Joel Robles' top corner.
City moved to within 13 points of leaders Manchester United, while Wigan remain three points from safety.
Following their impressive form of recent weeks, this was a return to the listlessness that saw City's Premier League title defence fall away in the middle phase of the season.
Argentine striker Sergio Aguero was withdrawn at half-time and there had been little spark from Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri or Tevez, with manager Roberto Mancini blaming tiredness after Sunday's 2-1 FA Cup semi-final win over Chelsea for his team's underwhelming display.
But Tevez finally struck in the 83rd minute to secure an eighth win in nine league and cup matches.
Wigan ultimately came away with nothing, but this was a performance suggesting both that it is folly to write off the Latics' hopes against City in next month's FA Cup final, and that Roberto Martinez's team must have confidence they can once again avoid relegation.
They trail Sunderland, Stoke and Aston Villa by three points and still have a game in hand over all three going into their trip to West Ham at the weekend.
Tevez and Ronaldo
Carlos Tevez now has 84 goals in 196 Premier League appearances, exactly the same record as Cristiano Ronaldo has in the Premier League.
After a ponderous opening, it took news that West Ham had taken the lead against United to galvanise the crowd but Wigan had the better opportunities in the first half.
For the hosts, Aguero skipped infield past Emmerson Boyce and Scharner and bent a shot just beyond the far post.
But the visitors passed up two clear chances to take the lead in the space of a minute.
A long ball from Di Santo caught out Joleon Lescott, and Arouna Kone failed to control when he would have been clean through on Hart.
And after Shaun Maloney flicked a Kone pass into Di Santo's path, the Argentina international drifted past Lescott and Gareth Barry before a low save from Hart denied him.
Wigan goalkeeper Robles was worked for the first time when he tipped a mis-hit cross from Aleksandar Kolarov around the post.
Mancini brought Edin Dzeko on for Aguero but it was Wigan who continued to carry the greater threat.
Maloney eased past Richards and hit a bending shot that beat Hart but was hacked away by Lescott, before Kone also sliced wide after a quick break.
An impressive sliding challenge from Vincent Kompany then blocked Kone's close-range effort after passes from Maloney and Di Santo had cut the City defence open.
Tevez dragged a shot wide as City's desperation mounted but Hart was worked again when he pushed away a Callum McManaman effort.
Home frustration was finally ended when Kolarov picked out Tevez and the Argentine beat two Wigan defenders on the edge of the area before steering a shot into the top corner for his 11th league goal of the season.
The goalscorer then missed narrowly with a free kick in added time, but his solitary strike was enough to earn City's seventh straight win over the Latics.
- 01 Hart
- 02 Richards Booked (Sinclair - 83' )
- 04 Kompany
- 06 Lescott
- 13 Kolarov
- 08 Nasri
- 14 Garcia (Milner - 59' )
- 18 Barry
- 42 Y Toure
- 16 Aguero (Dzeko - 46' )
- 32 Tevez Booked
- 30 Pantilimon
- 22 Clichy
- 28 K Toure
- 07 Milner
- 11 Sinclair
- 17 Rodwell
- 10 Dzeko
- 01 Robles
- 03 Alcaraz
- 17 Boyce
- 31 Figueroa
- 04 McCarthy Booked
- 10 Maloney (Espinoza - 89' )
- 14 Gomez (McArthur - 85' )
- 22 Beausejour
- 33 Scharner
- 02 Kone
- 09 Di Santo (McManaman - 68' )
- 26 Al Habsi
- 05 Caldwell
- 23 Stam
- 16 McArthur
- 18 Espinoza
- 11 Henriquez
- 15 McManaman
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee ends the match.90:00 +4:05 Booking
Booking James McCarthy booked.90:00 +2:37
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Aleksandar Kolarov by James McCarthy. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from Carlos Tevez.90:00 +1:25
Gareth Barry gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on James McCarthy. James McCarthy takes the free kick.89:31
Carlos Tevez decides to take a short corner.88:07 Substitution
Substitution Roger Espinoza replaces Shaun Maloney.86:01
The ball is delivered by Aleksandar Kolarov.85:13
Short corner taken by Samir Nasri from the left by-line.84:29 Substitution
Substitution James McArthur replaces Jordi Gomez.82:57
Aleksandar Kolarov provided the assist for the goal.82:57 Goal scored
Goal! - Carlos Tevez - Man City 1 - 0 Wigan Carlos Tevez fires in a goal from the edge of the area to the top left corner of the goal. Man City 1-0 Wigan.82:15 Substitution
Substitution Scott Sinclair on for Micah Richards.82:15
The official flags Paul Scharner offside. Joe Hart restarts play with the free kick.81:21
Gareth Barry gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Shaun Maloney. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Shaun Maloney.79:20
Effort from outside the penalty area by Yaya Toure goes wide left of the target.78:19
The ball is crossed by James Milner, save made by Joel Robles.77:49
Samir Nasri takes a shot. James McCarthy gets a block in.75:49
Carlos Tevez gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on James McCarthy. Joel Robles takes the free kick.75:20
Edin Dzeko takes a shot. Save made by Joel Robles.74:44
Callum McManaman takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart.
Corner taken by Samir Nasri, save by Joel Robles.70:01
Yaya Toure takes a shot. Blocked by Antolin Alcaraz.68:52
Jean Beausejour delivers the ball, Vincent Kompany manages to make a clearance.67:47 Substitution
Substitution Callum McManaman comes on in place of Franco Di Santo.67:27
Carlos Tevez has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide left of the goal.66:25
Carlos Tevez delivers the ball, save made by Joel Robles.62:57
Gareth Barry challenges James McCarthy unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jordi Gomez.62:14
James Milner delivers the ball.59:30
Samir Nasri is ruled offside. Joel Robles restarts play with the free kick.58:49
The assistant referee flags for offside against Jean Beausejour. Joe Hart takes the free kick.58:22 Substitution
Substitution (Man City) makes a substitution, with James Milner coming on for Francisco Javi Garcia.55:48
Arouna Kone takes a shot. Blocked by Vincent Kompany.54:42
The ball is crossed by Shaun Maloney, comfortable save by Joe Hart.53:16
Shot from outside the box by Arouna Kone goes wide right of the target.51:23
Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Jean Beausejour.50:53 Booking
Booking Carlos Tevez shown a yellow card.48:59
Unfair challenge on Maynor Figueroa by Carlos Tevez results in a free kick. Joel Robles takes the direct free kick.48:19
Shaun Maloney takes a shot. Aleksandar Kolarov gets a block in.45:28
Micah Richards is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Joel Robles restarts play with the free kick.45:01
The game restarts for the second half.45:01 Substitution
Substitution Edin Dzeko is brought on as a substitute for Sergio Aguero.45:00 +3:01 Half time
Half Time The whistle is blown to end the first half.45:00 +2:06
Effort from just outside the box by Shaun Maloney goes over the bar.45:00 +1:51
The assistant referee flags for offside against Carlos Tevez. Joel Robles takes the free kick.45:00 +0:28
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Aleksandar Kolarov from the right by-line, clearance by Franco Di Santo.44:36
Corner taken by Samir Nasri from the left by-line.44:18
The ball is sent over by Aleksandar Kolarov, save by Joel Robles.43:00
Carlos Tevez fouled by Paul Scharner, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Gareth Barry.41:22
Aleksandar Kolarov produces a left-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses right.40:47
Shaun Maloney is adjudged to have handled the ball. Direct free kick taken by Yaya Toure.39:29
Francisco Javi Garcia produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses wide left of the target.37:44
Shaun Maloney produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick, save by Joe Hart.37:44 Booking
Booking Micah Richards booked.37:08
Micah Richards concedes a free kick for a foul on Franco Di Santo.36:53
Franco Di Santo takes a shot. Save made by Joe Hart.35:59
Vincent Kompany gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Shaun Maloney. Franco Di Santo takes the free kick.35:46
The ball is crossed by Micah Richards.33:30
Jean Beausejour decides to take a short corner.33:13
Centre by Jean Beausejour, clearance by Aleksandar Kolarov.31:58
The official flags Sergio Aguero offside. Free kick taken by Joel Robles.31:06
The ball is sent over by Emmerson Boyce.24:52
Unfair challenge on James McCarthy by Vincent Kompany results in a free kick. Shaun Maloney restarts play with the free kick.23:41
Jean Beausejour fouled by Micah Richards, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Maynor Figueroa.21:07
Aleksandar Kolarov fouled by Arouna Kone, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Aleksandar Kolarov.20:33
Sergio Aguero produces a cross.18:40
The assistant referee flags for offside against Micah Richards. Indirect free kick taken by Joel Robles.16:29
The ball is crossed by Aleksandar Kolarov.15:02
Arouna Kone takes a shot. Blocked by Joleon Lescott.13:46
Free kick awarded for a foul by Samir Nasri on Shaun Maloney. Paul Scharner restarts play with the free kick.13:33
A cross is delivered by Aleksandar Kolarov, clearance made by Antolin Alcaraz.13:07
Unfair challenge on Aleksandar Kolarov by Paul Scharner results in a free kick. Samir Nasri takes the free kick.11:59
Carlos Tevez is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Paul Scharner.9:05
Micah Richards concedes a free kick for a foul on Jean Beausejour. Maynor Figueroa takes the free kick.5:55
Foul by Jean Beausejour on Micah Richards, free kick awarded. Aleksandar Kolarov has a direct shot on goal from the free kick.3:02
Corner from right by-line crossed in by Jordi Gomez.2:02
Outswinging corner taken by Jean Beausejour from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Yaya Toure.0:27
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Shaun Maloney by Francisco Javi Garcia. Jordi Gomez restarts play with the free kick.0:00
The referee gets the game started.
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