Latics overturn Citizens in Cup Shock
Written By: Robert Halter
The romance of the F.A. Cup saw underdogs Wigan Athletic contest their first final in the club’s eighty one year history against a Manchester City side that had appeared in the showpiece event on nine occasions as the Citizens had already won the cup two seasons ago but the Latics were looking to re-write the script and etch their name on this famous trophy as the match got underway early Saturday evening under the arches of Wembley Stadium on 11th May 2013. A foul by Wigan captain Emmerson Boyce on Sergio Aguero gave the Citizens a free kick on the edge of the box in the third minute which was driven into the wall by Carlos Tevez but Yaya Toure reacted to the rebound as his low drive was kept out at full stretch by Latics keeper Joel Robles. In the eighth minute, Wigan spurned a golden opportunity as Arouna Kone opened the door for Callum McManaman but with the goal gapping, McManaman curled the ball past the far post. Although on twenty eight minutes, City were a whisker away from taking the lead when Samir Nasri cut inside from the left for David Silva to deliver a low ball across to Tevez, whose low strike was turned away off Robles’s leg to avert the danger. Nasri went close in the forty fourth minute, after his well driven shot from outside the area was kept out by an instinctive save from Robles, who was fully alert to stop the shot hitting the target. Four minutes into the second half, Boyce came to Wigan’s rescue as he deflected behind a goal bound strike from Aguero, after a telling ball in from Tevez. In the first change, Roberto Mancini replaced Nasri for James Milner before introducing Jack Rodwell in favour of Tevez. In the seventy first minute, Rodwell was in the thick of things to head the ball into Robles’s reach from a well delivered free kick by Milner, who had been fouled by Roger Espinoza. The Latics won a free kick of their own after Matija Nastasic had pulled down McManaman four minutes later and Shaun Maloney’s high delivery cannoned off the top of the crossbar. Ten minutes from normal time in his first switch, Roberto Martinez brought on Ben Watson for Jordi Gomez. But in the eighty fourth minute, the Citizens were reduced to ten men as Pablo Zabaleta received a second yellow for dissent towards referee Andre Mariner having been booked previously for a foul on McManaman. Incredibly in the ninetieth minute, the Latics struck gold when from Maloney’s pitch perfect corner, a bullet header by Watson crashed into the back of the net, to create history for Wigan Athletic. In stoppage time, Eden Dzeko appeared for Gareth Barry but it was a lost cause for the Citizens as remarkably against the odds Wigan Athletic finally got their hands on the F.A. Cup to form part of the history in the 132nd edition of the competition that started way back in 1871.