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Etihad Stadium
  Manchester City v Wigan Athletic
Premier League
Saturday March 1st 2008, 5.15pm
Alan Parker
(Wigan Athletic fan)

We went to the Man City v. Wigan game on March 1st. Really looking forward to going as we went two years ago (Wigan won 1-0 then), it is a great stadium and we were quietly confident of a 'result' there.

We spent the day in Manchester (evening 5-15 kick off)  Parked all day at Victoria station (4 for 12 hours) We were then able to see a show in Manchester that evening. We walked to the ground, it takes about 30 minutes from the city centre, it is well signposted, although a little quiet in some streets. We also walked back, although by then it was pouring with rain.

We had lunch in the city centre, there is a huge choice of cafes and restaurants. We don't go to pubs on match days so cannot comment. Lots of banter with City fans during game, very good natured. No problem after the game. You have to make a longish detour as an away fan round a fence to head back to Manchester. No problem on the way back. Lots of City fans moaning about their team's performance, as you do after dropping points at home (0-0)

The ground is very spectacular from the outside and as you approach. The concourse area is pretty much as any other, concrete and drab. Inside the stadium it is aesthetically very pleasing, seating all the way round, curved tops to the side stands, all seats in blue. We were in the lower deck of the away section, only a few rows back, excellent view, legroom not bad.

0-0 draw, but we did not think it at all drab, as most newspaper reports had it. City won the first half on points, Wigan the second. City played some nice, neat football without a real cutting edge. Wigan's back four have been playing very well and today was no exception. Wigan finished the match the stronger and did have chances to win the game. Palacios was outstanding. A pretty good atmosphere in the stadium but ground not full (38,000, lots more than at Wigan, however!)

A lot of stewards around the away fans, as ever. And you are not far from the home fans, there is just some netting over a few row of seats. There was over-zealous stewarding at the end when Melchiot came to our end and wanted to throw his shirt to the crowd. The stewards tried to stop him, he did throw it, but I'm not sure what happened to it. I couldn't see what there was to object about his behaviour. We don't usually eat food at matches. Toilets adequate, not going to win loo of the year, but no worse than at any other ground.

As I said, getting away was no problem. Overall, a great experience, a great stadium to visit. I hope we are still in the Premier league next season so we can visit again.

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