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FA Cup

  • 9 March 2014
  • • 21:35
  • • Etihad Stadium, Manchester
  • Referee: A. Taylor
  • • Attendance: 46824

Manchester City 1-2 Wigan: Lightning strikes twice as Perch stuns Pellegrini's men

Manchester City 1-2 Wigan: Lightning strikes twice as Perch stuns Pellegrini's men

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The FA Cup holders knocked the Manchester giants out of the competition for the second year running after the Latics took full advantage of lacklustre defending from the hosts

Wigan Athletic again proved Manchester City's FA Cup scourge by following last season's final triumph with a 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium in the quarter-finals.

In one of the biggest upsets in the recent history of the decorated competition, Ben Watson grabbed the only goal as Wigan - who would go on to suffer relegation from the Premier League - triumphed over big-spending City in May last year.

By Peter Staunton

This was nothing less than Manchester City deserved and the same goes for Wigan.

From the get-go, when Callum McManaman dribbled towards the City goal right from kick-off, Wigan's game plan was clear. They were bright, energetic and inventive and that went for the man on the sidelines too.

Uwe Rosler, a folk hero in this parish, has instilled a fine work ethic and tactical discipline in the FA Cup holders since moving from Brentford and they did not let him down on their biggest day of the season. This was a far different performance from the disspiriting 5-0 hammering they took in the Capital One Cup but as good as Wigan were, City were poor.

Manuel Pellegrini risked things from the outset by leaving out Vincent Kompany and keeping the central defensive berths to Martin Demichelis and Joleon Lescott. Wigan gave that duo the treatment it merited.

The inevitable onslaught came but Wigan did not have to ride their luck, one strike of the post aside. This was what they came for and on they march. For City, the quadruple ends here and not Camp Nou.
Watson was not available this time around having suffered a broken leg last month but his spirit was invoked by the Wigan players, who wore shirts bearing his picture and the slogan, 'We can do it! For Ben' in the warm-up and went on to spring another sensational shock.

They were given a helping hand, too, by the much-maligned Martin Demichelis, who was arguably at fault for Wigan's two goals.

In a moment akin to when he earned a red card that set up a Champions League defeat to Barcelona a couple of weeks ago, Demichelis gifted the visitors a penalty - which Jordi Gomez dispatched - with a clumsy challenge on Marc-Antoine Fortune.

Things then went from bad to worse for the defender, whose dreadful positioning aided James Perch's strike.

Demichelis' blushes appeared set to be spared when Samir Nasri pulled one back with 22 minutes remaining, but Wigan held on to book a semi-final clash with Arsenal at Wembley and complete a happy return to Manchester for City legend and Wigan boss Uwe Rosler.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini, chasing a domestic treble in his first season at the helm having overseen a Capital One Cup win at Wembley last week, fielded his strongest XI, with the exception of resting midfielder Fernandinho and playmaker David Silva ahead of the midweek second-leg tie with Barcelona.

Yet it was Wigan who edged the opening exchanges as City struggled to break down a team determined to sit back and counter-attack.

The visitors' patience paid dividends in the 26th minute as Gomez sent Costel Pantilimon the wrong way after Demichelis felled Fortune, having been beaten for pace by the striker.

City's frustration increased thereafter as patient build-up play failed to yield openings of any note. Their annoyance grew considerably at the start of the second period when Wigan grabbed a second.

James McArthur found space on the left wing and crossed for Perch to slide home ahead of Gael Clichy at the back post.

Pellegrini turned to the bench for answers, bringing on Silva, James Milner and Edin Dzeko in a triple change.

It almost paid immediate dividends as a Dzeko header struck the inside of the post from Clichy's cross.

City did score soon after, though, as Nasri volleyed home from the edge of the area, his effort controversially going through the legs of Joleon Lescott, who appeared to be stood in an offside position.

The sides traded golden opportunities thereafter, Micah Richards curling just wide before Fortune blazed into the stands instead of sliding in James McClean.

Wigan's goal then came under siege, with Emerson Boyce's last-gasp challenge denying Dzeko before Scott Carson kept out Sergio Aguero at full stretch, but Rosler's men held on for another famous win.