WIGAN Athletic have won the FA Cup!
Late substitute Ben Watson - who has missed most of the season after breaking his leg in November - scored with a superb header from a Shaun Maloney corner in the 90th minute after Manchester City had been reduced to 10-men following a second yellow card for Pablo Zabaleta.
The goal capped a gritty, skilful and tireless performance from the Latics who for most of the game played lacklustre City off the park, just as they had done at the Etihad Stadium in their recent league meeting which City won 1-0.
Captain Emmerson Boyce said: “It’s unbelieveable. A dream come true.”
Match-winner Ben Watson said: “We played Man City off the pitch. I had a gamble at the near post. Thankfully it came off. It’s been a long six months for me. It’s a dream come true.”
Roberto Martinez said: “It’s been an incredible journey. The players were fantastic today. We never lack confidence. If anything we lose games because we are brave and open. But we’ve won today with bravery and I’m so proud of them.
“It’s impossible to put into words what it means for the chairman and the fans. That’s what football is. It’s just a dream come true. Incredible. It would be an incredible script for a movie.”
Wigan had by far the better chances and made City look ordinary. Callum McManaman was outstanding and drew the challenge which led to the sending off of Zabaleta following a misplaced pass from Gareth Barry.
Wigan will do well to hold on to the twinkle-toed McManaman whose value will have rocketed after today.
In truth Wigan controlled the game, Roberto Martinez getting his tactics spot on against mega-bucks City, who simply couldn’t get going.
It was in complete contrast to the Wigan that took on Swansea on Tuesday night. They looked confident and assured from the opening whistle.
Wigan: Joel Robles, Emmerson Boyce, Paul Scharner, Antolin Alcaraz, Roger Espinoza, James McCarthy, James McArthur, Jordi Gomez, Callum McManaman, Arouna Kone, Shaun Maloney. Subs: Al Habsi, Caldwell, Watson, Di Santo, Enriquez, Fyvie, Golobart.
Man City: Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany, Matija Nastasic, Gael Clichy, Yaya Toure, Gareth Barry, Sami Nasri, David Silva, Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero. Subs: Pantilimon, Garcia, Rodwell, Milner, Djeko, Kolarov, Lescott.
READ MONDAY’S WIGAN EVENING POST FOR ALL THE BIG MATCH ACTION AND REACTION ...