Edin Dzeko’s first-half header helped Manchester City reestablish their three-point lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League as they defeated Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium.
Dzeko, without a goal in his last 11 outings for City, rose highest from David Silva’s free-kick mid-way through the first half.
Wigan came close to an equaliser when Joe Hart saved from James McCarthy, the England stop standing firm to help gift his side all three points, amid some woeful finishing from City at the other end.
City began the evening looking to restore their three-point lead at the top of the Premier League and improve on a recent run of one win in their last five, while Wigan had the opportunity to drag themselves out of the bottom three.
The visitors began much the better of the two sides, with Sergio Aguero a constant threat in the early stages, but it was the Argentine’s striker partner, the returning Dzeko, who gave the league pacesetters an early lead.
Silva’s inch perfect free kick found the head of the Bosnian hitman, whose flicked header drifted past Ali Al-Habsi.
With Roberto Mancini’s side having won every league game in which Dzeko had scored, the writing appeared to be on the wall for The Latics, but in the form of Victor Moses, who was a threat all night, the hosts fought back into the contest.
The second half began with Roberto Martinez’s side on the front foot, but it was their Lancashire based counterparts that were creating the openings.
First, Dzeko was thawrted by Al Habsi, before the stopper held Silva’s effort.
Aguero’s tricky run then saw him slalom past three Wigan defenders, but when faced with just Al Habsi to beat, saw Dzeko take the chance for himself, which he scuffed into the arms to the Omar international.
As City continued to spur opportunities, the home faithful’s belief that a point could be salvaged grew, with only the leg of Hart denying McCarthy from drawing the hosts level.
But Martinez’s men couldn’t break through at the death, leaving City three points clear at the top going into the crunch fixture with third placed Tottenham Hotspur.