League One side Wigan Athletic repeated their 2013 FA Cup Final triumph over quadruple chasing Man City after Will Grigg scored his seventh goal of the competition to send the favourites sprawling.
I will always remember Ben Watson’s last minute goal to win the FA Cup for Wigan. I mean you should, it ranks as one of the greatest cup upsets of all time. Relegated Wigan beating one of the most expensive sides in the Premier League. But I don’t remember it for those reasons. I remember it because it was the last time I had a bet, and that bet was for Wigan to win 1-0.
I thought I was a sports betting genius. My friends thought it was a stupid bet. Had anyone put money on Wigan to repeat that score in last night’s Fifth Round FA Cup tie, I would have thought it was a stupid bet, and yet they went and did it again.
The 2013 win was special. It was, after all, the FA Cup Final. But Wigan was a Premier League side back then, albeit for 90-minutes. Five years later and Paul Cook’s team are an English Football League (EFL) League One side who entered the DW Stadium on a run of back-to-back defeats for the first time this season.
And Man City?
Man City is the best team in the world, chasing the incredible possibility of the quadruple, and with the best manager in the world to boot.
There could be only one winner.
And it was a siege.
The Citizens enjoyed 83% possession, had 29 shots and 15 corners. Unusually, for the Blues, they only had five shots on target. A wasteful return epitomised by a Fernadinho blast over the bar from six yards out just before half time.
Moments after the Brazilian’s glaring miss, City was down to ten-men under controversial circumstances. Fabian Delph clattered into Max Power in a typical midfield munch, and as Power lay squirming on the floor, the Wigan masses surrounded referee Anthony Taylor demanding retribution.
Taylor, who is one of the best referees in the Premier League, initially pulled out a yellow card, but then seemingly changed his mind, reached for a red, and Delph headed down the tunnel resulting in a heated discussion between the two managers.
It was a bonus for Wigan, but nothing more. City is more than capable of beating a League One side with ten men. But there was a hint of something in the air last night, and we had a knee-trembling sniff with 11-minutes remaining.
Kyle Walker allowed the ball to squirm under his foot on the halfway line. Will Grigg reacted quicker than anyone else. The #9 raced into the box as a trio of City players came in for the kill, and before they could reach him, he slid on the ground and sent the ball careening past the City keeper.
It was Wigan’s only shot of the second half.
It was Grigg’s seventh FA Cup goal in seven games making him the tournament’s leading scorer.
It was also the goal that knocked the FA Cup favourites out of the competition.
“All you can do is shut your eyes and pray.” Said Cook after the match.
One person who will be delighted with this result is Mauricio Pellegrino. The Southampton boss was expecting to face Man City in the quarter-finals but will now take on the League One side knowing a victory sends them to Wembley for the Semi-Final.
Results in Full
Leicester 1 v 0 Sheff Utd
Chelsea 4 v 0 Hull
Sheff Wed 0 v 0 Swansea
West Brom 1 v 2 Southampton
Brighton 3 v 1 Coventry
Huddersfield 0 v 2 Man Utd
Rochdale 2 v 2 Spurs
Wigan 1 v 0 Man City
Sixth Round Draw
Wigan v Southampton
Leicester v Chelsea
Man Utd v Brighton
Sheff Wed or Swansea v Rochdale or Spurs
FA Cup Odds (Courtesy of Bodog)
Man Utd 9/4
Sheff Wed 100/1