Posted by News Express | 20 February 2018 | 1,813 times
Wigan Athletic ended Manchester City’s hopes of a clean sweep of trophies with a stunning upset in their FA Cup fifth-round tie.
The League One side survived virtually constant pressure from the Premier League leaders, eventually capitalising on Fabian Delph’s controversial first-half red card when Will Grigg struck 11 minutes from time.
The striker’s low finish capped a night of drama at the DW Stadium, with City’s Fernandinho wasting a fine chance shortly before Delph was dismissed for a heavy challenge on Max Power.
The incident led to a heated argument between City boss Pep Guardiola and opposite number Paul Cook in the tunnel at half-time.
And there were unedifying scenes at full-time, too, with City striker Sergio Aguero involved in an altercation with one of the many home fans who invaded the pitch.
City threw everything at their hosts both before and after Grigg’s goal – a guided shot from 20 yards – and Danilo’s header was gratefully held by Christian Walton in the game’s final attack.
Spirit of 2013 lives on
The full-time whistle sparked scenes of celebration from the home fans. City supporters, in contrast, were visibly angered – and objects were thrown onto the pitch from the away end once the players had departed.
That could not tarnish Wigan’s night, though, as they beat City in this competition for the third time in six seasons.
The Latics may have been relegated twice since beating the Blues in the 2013 final at Wembley, but they remain something of a bogey side for them.
City had 83% of possession and spent long spells in the Wigan half, with home right-back Nathan Byrne producing a standout performance as the visitors regularly raided down the left.
Chey Dunkley made 13 clearances – more than the entire City team – while his fellow centre-back Dan Burn marshalled the defensive unit superbly.
Grigg’s task as a lone striker appeared thankless as he touched the ball less than any player who completed 90 minutes.
But one of those 19 touches will live long in the memory – his placed finished past Claudio Bravo.
City’s defeat means three Premier League sides have been knocked out of this year’s FA Cup at the DW Stadium.
Another – Southampton – visit in the next round next on the weekend of 17-18 March. Mauricio Pellegrino’s men will be fully aware the spirit which carried Wigan all the way to victory at Wembley five years ago lives on. (BBC)
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