Football

Wigan’s Will Grigg shocks Manchester City and ends quadruple dream

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola refused to blame his players after the runaway Premier league leaders, reduced to 10 men at half-time, were knocked out of the FA Cup by third tier Wigan Athletic.

FA Cup Fifth Round - Wigan Athletic vs Manchester City

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City were beaten 1-0 by Wigan Athletic in FA Cup. Photo: Reuters


Monday’s 1-0 fifth round defeat at the DW Stadium, a repeat of the 2012-13 final won by Wigan when the Latics were in the top tier, ended City’s hopes of an unprecedented league and cup quadruple this season.

“Congratulations for Wigan for the qualification,” Guardiola told BBC radio. “We did absolutely everything, we made a mistake and this kind of game is like a final. OK, we accept the defeat,” added the Spaniard.

“Wigan won, congratulations to them and now we rest to prepare for the League Cup final.” City play Arsenal in the final of that competition at Wembley next Sunday.

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Manchester City fans start to launch advertising hoardings on to the pitch and in the direction of the police after the final whistle in a dark reminder of the in 1970s. Photo: Carl Recine/Action Images via Reuters

The overwhelming favourites against opponents fighting for promotion from League One, City were always wary of Wigan’s proud reputation as a ‘bogey team’ in the world’s oldest and most romantic domestic cup competition.

Apart from beating them the 2013 final, Wigan had also dumped them out at the quarter-final stage of the competition at the Etihad Stadium a season later just as City were heading for the league title under Manuel Pellegrini.

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Pep Guardiola and Paul Cook clash after Fabian Delph is sent off. Photo: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

City started with their Argentine top scorer Sergio Aguero, and had Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne waiting on the bench but neither were able to make the most of their side’s dominant possession.

In the end, the match turned on the sending off of Fabian Delph on the stroke of half-time with the City midfielder shown a controversial red card for a sliding tackle as team mates crowded around the referee in protest.

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Wigan Athletic’s Jay Fulton celebrates with fans on the pitch after the match. Photo: Andrew Yates/Reuters

Wigan’s prolific goalscorer Will Grigg then fired in a 79th minute winner.

Despite his obvious anger at the time, Guardiola steered clear of criticism of the official after the final whistle. “Red card. It was the decision,” he said. “They had one shot on target, I don’t have regrets with the way we played, the performance, the heart,” continued the manager. “I judge my players on intentions and not results and the intentions were good.”

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Will Grigg celebrates with Ryan Colclough. Photograph: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images


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