The Bosnian rose headed home David Silva’s left wing free kick to end an 11-game goal drought and put Robert Mancini’s side back ahead of rivals Manchester United in the title race. The Red Devil’s had drawn level on points after beating Bolton on Saturday but Dzeko recovered City’s advantage over the reigning champions ahead of their clash with Tottenham at the weekend. They were made to sweat for victory by plucky Wigan who missed out on the chance to lift themselves off the bottom and leapfrog Blackburn who moved out of the relegation zone on Saturday. Despite defending resolutely they made hardly any impact in the final third of the field as the league leaders recorded their first away win since the start of November.
Consecutive cup defeats had left City reeling going into this game but were boosted by the sight of Silva taking his place in the starting lineup following a stint on the sidelines with an ankle injury. The Spaniards influence was evident from the first whistle and he was involved heavily in most of the visitors play as zipped the ball around the DW although it was Wigan who looked the more likely to score in the opening exchanges. Hugo Rodallega failed to capitalise on a mistake from Joleon Lescott before Jordi Gomez was up in arms after being denied a penalty following a nudge from Gareth Barry in the penalty area. James McArthur then saw his strike deflected wide as City rode an early storm dominating possession. Dzeko headed an early chanced wide from Gael Clichy’s cross but wasn’t to be denied a second time nodding in Silva’s free kick mid-way through the first half for his 13th of the season. The Latic’s did have their moments with Victor Moses firing over and McArthur stinging the palms of Joe Hart although their endeavours forward left them open at the back.
Sergio Aguero couldn’t put the finishing touches to a breathtaking City counterattack just before the break before Ali Al Habsi kept his side in the game with some superb goalkeeping in the second half. The Oman international pulled off a superb double save to keep out Dzeko and then Silva before Aguero dribbled into the box but failed to get an effort away. Wigan were far but out of the game and came close to equalising once again only for Hart to too James McCarthy’s strike wide after he was played through by Rodallega. The killer second goal just wasn’t going to come for the leaders though as Aguero and Dzeko wasted late chances to put the game beyond doubt. It didn’t matter though as they held on to move clear at the top once again leaving rivals United to play the chasing game.