2013 FA Cup Final: Manchester City vs Wigan Athletic

Manchester City 0 - 1 Wigan Athletic

  • Manchester City
    • No Goals.
  • Wigan Athletic
    • Watson 90 +1'
    • (Flicked header into the far top-left corner from an outswinging corner kick)

Wembley Stadium, London, Saturday 11th May 2013, 17:15 GMT

Attendance: 86,254

Match Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)

Entertainment Rating: 4.5/5

Team Line-ups:

Manchester City (Light Blue Strip)

  • GK 1Joe Hart
  • RB 5Pablo Zabaleta
  • CB 4Vincent Kompany (c)
  • CB 33Matija Nastasic
  • LB 22Gael Clichy
  • RM 21David Silva
  • CM 42Yaya Toure
  • CM 18Gareth Barry
  • LM 8Samir Nasri
  • CF 16Sergio Aguero
  • CF 32Carlos Tevez
  • Substitutes
  • GK 30Costel Pantilimon
  • DF 6Joleon Lescott
  • DF 13Aleksandar Kolarov
  • MF 7James Milner
  • MF 14Javi Garcia
  • MF 17Jack Rodwell
  • FW 10Edin Dzeko

Manager:

Roberto Mancini

Wigan Athletic (Black Strip)

  • 1 GKJoel Robles
  • 17 RBEmmerson Boyce (c)
  • 33 CBPaul Scharner
  • 3 CBAntolin Alcaraz
  • 18 LBRoger Espinoza
  • 4 RMJames McCarthy
  • 16 CMJames McArthur
  • 14 LMJordi Gomez
  • 15 RFCallum McManaman
  • 2 CFArouna Kone
  • 10 LFShaun Maloney
  • Substitutes
  • 26 GKAli Al-Habsi
  • 5 DFGary Caldwell
  • 25 DFRoman Golobart
  • 8 MFBen Watson
  • 20 MFFraser Fyvie
  • 9 FWFranco Di Santo
  • 11 FWAngelo Henriquez

Manager:

Roberto Martinez

Road to Wembley:

  • 3 – 0 vs Watford (H)
  • 1 – 0 vs Stoke City (A)
  • 4 – 0 vs Leeds United (H)
  • 5 – 0 vs Barnsley (H)
  • 2 – 1 vs Chelsea (Wembley)
  • 3rd Round
  • Replay
  • 4th Round
  • 5th Round
  • Q/Finals
  • S/Finals
  • 1 - 1 vs Bournemouth (H)
  • 1- 0 vs Bournemouth (A)
  • 1 – 0 vs Macclesfield Town (A)
  • 4 – 1 vs Huddersfield Town (A)
  • 3 – 0 vs Everton (A)
  • 2 – 0 vs Millwall (W)

Match Highlights

Match Breakdown

Two football clubs from the North West of England were to contest the 2013 FA Cup Final but their geographical proximity was where the similarities ended for Manchester City and Wigan Athletic. It would be City's tenth FA Cup Final and they were currently on the verge of finishing 2nd in the Premier League (as the domestic season was still ongoing) which was putting pressure on manager Roberto Mancini, such were the lofty expectations of the club's billionaire owners. In contrast, it was to be Wigan Athletic's first ever FA Cup Final and they were on the verge of relegation to the Championship (although, ironically, their manager Roberto Martinez had the full support of his superiors which clearly reflected the differing ambitions of the two clubs).

When multi-millionaire Dave Whelan bought his beloved Wigan Athletic in 1995, they were a Division Three team and hidden in the sporting shadow of the town's more famous Rugby League team, Wigan Warriors. Within ten years, Whelan's generous investment and clever managerial appointments had taken his hometown club to the top division in English football, the Premier League. Solidly performing amongst the elite clubs for several years, they unfortunately started to struggle in 2012-2013 domestically but played with a much more carefree nature on their route to Wembley. Their 3 – 0 win away to Everton in the Quarter-Finals being the particular highlight.

Manchester City were disappointed not to win the league title in 2013 as their super-rich Middle Eastern ownership had set astronomic standards with their massive investment over the previous few years. Their squad strength was mightily proven in the FA Cup as they eased into the Semi-Finals without conceding a single goal before beating their fellow billionaire rivals Chelsea 2 – 1 to achieve a spot in the Final. Showcasing top-class footballers such as Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Yaya Toure, their tag of favourites was fully justified and not many bookies or media pundits were giving Wigan Athletic any hope on the day itself.

Roberto Martinez's Wigan side did not have any star names but was filled with plenty of young talent in Scotsman Jame McArthur, Irish tough-tackler James McCarthy and pacy English winger Callum McManaman (who had been very impressive in their Semi-Final win over Millwall). However, their central defensive pairing of Alcaraz and Scharner did not fill the Wigan fans with confidence from a mobility viewpoint and were expected to be tested by the speed of the City forward line throughout throughout the 90 minutes and maybe beyond.

The late kick-off of 17:15 (now becoming a regular feature of the FA Cup Final, much to the annoyance of the 'purist' fans and those that had late-in-the-day train travel commitments) finally arrived and the match began at a blistering pace with some terrific hold-up play from The Latics' Ivorian striker Arouna Kone. Every time the ball was played up to Kone, he showed strength and poise to hold off the City defenders and pass it into his fellow team-mates sprinting through to make life as difficult as possible for Mancini's men. McManaman and Maloney were terrorising Clichy and Zabaleta on the wings and should have really taken the lead as McManaman curled a great chance wide of Hart's post after only nine minutes.

It was soon apparent though that City would counter-attack forcefully when the opportunity arose as Tevez was denied by a great diving save from the leg of Robles in the 30th minute. The young Spanish keeper proceeded to make further saves from Barry and a stinging long-range shot from Nasri to keep Wigan in the match at the end of the half. It was becoming a pulsating match and in-between Man City's chances Espinoza had a penalty appeal turned down by referee Andre Marriner despite vociferous claims from his team-mates. Perhaps the best chance of the first 45 minutes fell again to McManaman who, clean through on goal after a great pass from Jordi Gomez, turned the Light Blue shirts inside-out before having his shot saved by a Zabaleta block. The game was finely in the balance as the whistle blew for the break.

Fifteen minutes later and the cue a similarly fierce beginning to the second half as the energy levels from Manchester City now increased to match Wigan's effortless vivacity. This improvement nearly paid dividends straight away as Aguero's backheel effort was diverted away from danger by Boyce at the near post. However, the effervescent McManaman seemed to have mile upon mile of running pumping through his veins and was once again threatening the City backline as Zabaleta made a rash challenge on him in the 60th minute to earn himself a yellow card.  Martinez looked the happier of the two Roberto's whereas Mancini rung the changes and brought on his English substitutes, Milner and Rodwell, to try and bring some spirit to the City team.

The amendments were not having the desired effect though as Wigan almost took the lead when Shaun Maloney's excellently taken free-kick rebounded off the crossbar. Wigan's ascendency in the match had caused Man City to slow the game down and keep possession, stifling the free-flowing passing as the pace of the game finally calmed down with only ten minutes remaining. Martinez reacted by bringing on Ben Watson in the 82nd minute to try and inject some positivity but it was that man Mcmanaman once more taking aim at the City defenders. The winger sprinted onto a pass from Kone but was cynically fouled by Zabaleta who was given a second yellow card as the Argentinian became only the third player to be sent off in over 130 FA Cup Final's. Five minutes to go.

As the match slowly trickled towards extra-time the undeniable magic of the FA Cup finally revealed itself as Wigan created history against all the odds and won the famous trophy in the 1st minute of stoppage time. Maloney swung a corner from the right and Ben Watson, who Martinez had brought on to make a difference, made a perfect run towards the near post to connect with the ball and glance a header across Hart and into the top corner.

The celebratory scenes were fantastic as Wigan knew that there was hardly any time remaining for City to respond. It was truly the biggest FA Cup Final upset since unfancied Wimbledon had beaten Liverpool in 1988 and as Boyce, alongside club captain Gary Caldwell, lifted the trophy, neutral football fans around the world were applauding The Latics triumph in unison.