Man City upset by Wigan

Manchester City was upset 2-1 at Wigan with both beaten sides unhappy with penalty decisions.

updated: September 29, 2008 16:44 IST
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Portsmouth (England):

Portsmouth strikers Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch inflicted a 2-0 loss on Tottenham to deepen the turmoil at their former side, while newly enriched Manchester City was upset 2-1 at Wigan with both beaten sides unhappy with penalty decisions.

Defoe scored from the penalty spot in the 34th minute yesterday for his 13th goal in 18 games since being sold by Tottenham.

The victory was sealed in the 66th by Crouch, who was let go by Spurs in 2000 without making a competitive appearance.

But Tottenham, which is off to its worst league start in 53 years, departed Fratton Park with a sense of injustice after referee Mike Dean refused to award a penalty when Lassana Diarra blocked Aaron Lennon's cross with his hand in the 54th - despite Jermaine Jenas being penalized for the same offense in the first half.

City felt similarly aggrieved at Wigan, with manager Mark Hughes branding referee Steve Bennett's decisions "erratic'' and "mystifying."

City, which trounced Portsmouth 6-0 last weekend, was fuming at a contentious penalty decision that let Amr Zaki score the winner for Wigan. There appeared to have been minimal contact when Bennett ruled that Javier Garrido brought down Wilson Palacios in the 34th.

City captain Richard Dunne then thought he should have been awarded a spot kick when clipped by Emile Heskey before the break.

Antonio Valencia put Wigan ahead in the 16th, but Vincent Kompany leveled from close range five minutes later.

City, which was embarrassingly eliminated from the League Cup on Wednesday by third-tier Brighton, has now lost both games since the completion of a takeover by an Abu Dhabi investment group.

A shapeless Spurs side lacking confidence and invention is lodged at the bottom of the league with just two points from its first six matches - one more than its previous worst start to a season in 1955.

"It's true we're in a complicated situation," manager Juande Ramos said through a translator. "Right now when things are going badly nobody seems to help us. The match was fairly evenly balanced until the penalty decision and then in the same type of incident we were denied a penalty ... In critical moments in the game we weren't getting any kind of help."

Former manager Martin Jol was fired by Spurs last October, but Ramos doesn't fear for his future despite making a worse start than the Dutchman, whose Hamburg side currently leads the Bundesliga.

"That's something that doesn't really depend on me," Ramos said. "We have board and chairman to decide on that sort of thing ... everyone is aware of the delicate situation we are in and we are working together to try and resolve it.

Ramos' decision to replace Russia striker Roman Pavlyuchenko with Darren Bent in the second half prompted chants of "You don't know what you're doing" from the fans.

Taunts of "Going down" came from Pompey fans as their side bounced back from last weekend's 6-0 loss and a 4-0 elimination from the League Cup by Chelsea.

The London fans were given a reminder of Defoe's abilities in the third minute when he found the net from Crouch's flick only to be ruled offside.

Weak efforts from Jonathan Woodgate and Jamie O'Hara were all Spurs could muster until Jenas threw an arm at Portsmouth winger Glen Little's cross in the 34th, paving the way for Defoe to convert the penalty. Lone striker Pavlyuchenko had the most threatening chance with a header which went wide in the 49th in an afternoon when he was frustrated by former Spurs captain Sol Campbell, who was jeered and abused from the away fans.

"He was fantastic. I don't think anybody likes filthy abuse," Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp said. "He's been great for us since he came (from Arsenal) and today he was back to his best."

Although Portsmouth had to soak up considerable Tottenham pressure and was lucky not to concede the penalty, the hosts seemed to be biding their time. Despite Heurelho Gomes doing well to block a fierce low shot from Armand Traore, Crouch was lurking to head home the rebound.

Diarra was sent off for a second yellow card offense in the 88th for a late challenge on Benoit Assou-Ekotto.

City struggled to break down Wigan despite British record signing Robinho and Shaun Wright-Phillips returning to the side after being rested at Brighton.

Three minutes after Zaki shot over from a similar position, Valencia let fly with a spectacular swerving strike from 30 yards which floated into Joe Hart's top right corner.

Robinho was jolted into action, shooting wide before Kompany equalized in the 21st by steering Elano's free kick home from six yards (meters).

But Hughes blamed the referee after his team could find no way back after conceding the penalty and being denied one of its own.

"He was in good positions to make key decisions but he got the penalty wrong, it was just a coming together and their lad (Palacios) dived theatrically - then he missed Richard Dunne when he was clearly impeded (by Heskey) in their box," Hughes said.