Mark Hughes feels that an heroic rearguard action by City deserved three points against Wigan on Saturday.
The Blues played the last 40 minutes with 10 men after Richard Dunne’s sending off for lashing out at Zaki, who missed an open goal with a headed chance towards the end.
It was City’s first win over Wigan in the Premier League, and the Manager rates it as one of the best displays of the season in the circumstances.
Mark says, “We’ve had some good ones and we have had some indifferent ones, we are quite honest about that, but given the circumstances of the game we were excellent.
“We felt a little bit aggrieved at half time because I felt we had done enough to get our noses in front. We had two or three good chances in that opening 20 minutes, but got the goal after the break.
“It was a great strike from Pablo, who I thought had an excellent game in that midfield position. From that point I thought we would go on and win the game quite comfortably, but we lost Dunnie to the sending off and the game changed. We had to show different qualities, but we showed them in abundance. I thought we were excellent.
“We had to dig in and a lot of players had to be tenacious. Wayne Bridge has settled in quickly, we all know he is an outstanding left back and his qualities were evident today.
“I felt quite comfortable when we went ahead – until the sending off about a minute later!”
City’s skipper will now miss four league games for his second sending off of the season, which the boss had no complaints about.
“We have no arguments about the dismissal. Dunnie has put his hands up afterwards, he has reacted to a challenge from Zaki, he said it was the second time he had clashed with him and got a bang on the face. He retaliated and the referee has penalised that, rather than the initial challenge.”