London - Substitute Ben Watson scored an injury-time winner to give Wigan
Athletic a sensational 1-0 win over Manchester City at Wembley Stadium
on Saturday in the biggest FA Cup final upset in 25 years.
extra time beckoning, Watson met a Shaun Maloney corner with a near-post
header to stun 2011 cup winners City and give Wigan the first major
trophy in their 81-year history.
Victory represented a fairytale
moment for the modest northwest club and their chairman, Dave Whelan,
who punched the air with delight at the final whistle, after a shock
that stands comparison with Wimbledon's 1988 success over Liverpool.
VIDEO: FA Cup Final - Wigan v Man City - highlights
had earlier led the team onto the pitch, having broken his leg while
playing for Blackburn Rovers in the 1960 FA Cup final in an incident
that ended his top-level football career.
Beneath driving rain,
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez celebrated with his players on the pitch,
as the Latics temporarily forgot their perilous fate in the Premier
League, where they are on the brink of relegation.
"You could see the goal coming -- the performance was magnificent. We deserved it," said Martinez.
dream of playing at Wembley and winning. The underdogs played with
incredible bravery and belief and fought the odds again. That's the FA
Watson said: "Unbelievable. The boys were fantastic and they
deserve it. To come on and score the winner in the FA Cup final is a
City captain Vincent Kompany admitted his team had been out-played.
"Wigan deserved to win it, so congratulations to them but we'll have occasions to win it again," he said.
goal completed a miserable season for City and their manager, Roberto
Mancini, who awoke on Saturday to media reports that he is about to be
replaced by Malaga manager Manuel Pellegrini.
last year, City will finish the season without a trophy after being
burnt off by Manchester United in the league and crashing out of the
Champions League in the group phase.
City were overwhelming
pre-game favourites but Mancini showed how seriously he was taking the
game by starting with Joe Hart in goal, despite having previously vowed
to persevere with deputy Costel Pantilimon.
Wigan welcomed back
Antolin Alcaraz following a hamstring problem, but Maynor Figueroa, Ivan
Ramis, Ronnie Stam and Jean Beausejour all missed out out through
True to expectations, City started on the front foot, with
Wigan goalkeeper Joel Robles forced to parry a dipping Yaya Toure
half-volley in the fourth minute after Carlos Tevez hit the wall with a
Wigan refused to be cowed, however, and City soon found themselves on the back foot.
McManaman should have done better than curl wide from seven yards after
cutting inside Matija Nastasic from Arouna Kone's sweeping pass, while
Gareth Barry had to produce a carefully timed challenge on McManaman
right on the edge of the City area.
It was not until the 29th
minute that City showed signs of life as an attacking force, with Robles
narrowly diverting an effort from a sliding Tevez over the bar with his
foot following a cut-back by David Silva.
City ended the half
strongly, with Robles saving from Barry and then springing to his left
to fist away a well-struck curler from Nasri.
remained on the front foot in the second period and Emmerson Boyce had
to produce a timely block to prevent Aguero from turning in Tevez's low
cross at the near post.
Mancini introduced James Milner and Jack
Rodwell from the bench and the pair nearly combined for the opener in
the 72nd minute when Rodwell got his head to Milner's free-kick, only
for Robles to save.
Wigan had been subdued, but with 15 minutes to
play, Maloney almost broke the deadlock with a cunning free-kick from
wide on the right that bounced off the top of the bar.
given further reason for optimism in the 84th minute, when Pablo
Zabaleta was shown a second yellow card for felling McManaman as he bore
down on goal.
Maloney whipped the resulting free-kick wide, but
Wigan had the momentum and in the first minute of injury time, Watson
glanced Maloney's corner past Hart to write his name in cup final