Underdogs Wigan Athletic Defeat Manchester City to Win First FA Cup Trophy

Wigan AthleticYet again the underdogs have triumphed in a cup final after Wigan beat Manchester City 1-0 through a 90th minute goal from Ben Watson. This is the first time Wigan have won the FA Cup in their 81-year history.

No-one can say that Wigan didn’t deserve the trophy today. Manchester City started the game with some fast, flowing football and were obviously looking for an early goal. They had a couple of chances in the first 10 minutes but nothing that really troubled Joel, the Wigan keeper, too much. Just before the 10 minute mark though, Wigan really started to get into the game with a lovely move on the 9th minute which left McManaman with a great opportunity that just went wide.

McManaman was involved in nearly every Wigan attack in the match and ultimately should have scored. He and Maloney on the wings really troubled the Man City full-backs, especially Clichy, who struggled to handle McManaman throughout the game.

Throughout the first half, City had short bursts of attacks but most of the football was played by Wigan. They controlled the match during most the first 45 minutes and started to look like the favorites to win. Manchester City struggled to really get into the game and looked very nervous with the ball.

Yaya Touré repeatedly tried to get something going in midfield, but the City attackers failed to turn chances into goals. Samir Nasri had an especially average game in attacking midfield. He failed to get involved in the attacks and his passing was a bit off. City were trying to play down the wings, but unfortunately, Nasri isn’t exactly a winger, but more of a playmaker who prefers to play in the middle. Mancini had pushed him on the right though, while Tevez played in the middle as a deep lying forward behind Aguero.

As the half time whistle was blown, Wigan will have been walking down the tunnel feeling pretty confident about the next 45 minutes. They finished the half with more attempts and slightly more possession against a team who finished second in the league. Many expected City to come out much stronger and grab a couple of goals during the second half as the first half simply wasn’t good enough. Before the match, there were reports Mancini would be replaced by Malaga coach Pellegrini, and a bad performance or failing to bring back the trophy could result in a sacking.

Manchester City 0-1 Wigan AthleticSo the second half started and Wigan continued to dominate and attack the City back four. But after about 10 minutes, City decided to finally get into the game and had a couple of decent attacks. Nasri finally came off in the 55th minute for Milner, and in what could have been a sigh of relief to most City fans, the Frenchman failed to impress.

Just after the arrival of Milner, there was a penalty appeal for City as Scharner seemed to clip Aguero’s heels. Fortunately for Wigan though, nothing was given and the replay seemed to show Aguero offside anyway. Milner seemed to also improve the quality of City’s attacks with a couple of good crosses and even a chance of his own on the 60th minute.

But again Wigan began to press and a couple of McManaman’s runs helped to create some more chances. The Wigan youngster managed to dribble past Silva and Clichy easily at one point to give himself a chance on goal, but Kompany managed to stop him with a last-ditch tackle.  The City captain dealt with most Wigan attacks during the second half and looked like one of the more assured Manchester City players on the pitch.

The match continued in the same way for the majority of the second half with Wigan pressing and Man City having a couple of their own attacks. The match became more even and both teams looked like they could score at any point. But then in the 84th minute Zabaleta prevented McManaman from striding through on goal and received his second yellow. Wigan now had a real chance against 10-man City. Milner then moved into right back, which gave Wigan less to worry about on the right wing so they continued to attack, beginning to believe they could win this game in normal time.

It was now the 90th minute and Wigan had a dangerous corner. Maloney whipped it in for substitute Ben Watson to head past the helpless Joe Hart. Wigan fans and players went wild as they had surely won the FA Cup but there were still 4 added minutes of time. City attacked, but failed to find anything and finally Andre Marriner blew his whistle, and Wigan Athletic were the 2013 FA Cup Champions.

Written by Elliot Bourdais