And here come Wigan to collect their trophy. They're led up the Wembley steps by Emmerson Boyce. What a preposterous team. Beaten by Swansea reserves on Tueday night, winners of the FA Cup on Saturday evening. You've gotta love 'em. You've got to love this. The FA Cup is lifted by Emmerson Boyce and Gary Caldwell. Emmerson Boyce and Gary Caldwell. Wigan. Good old Wigan. They might go down next week. They truly are the most absurd team of all time. Thanks for reading and emailing. Sorry I couldn't use them all. Farewell.
The camera focuses on a couple of young Manchester City fans. One has his head in his hands; the other is repeatedly shouting "eff" and "cee". And well he might. City were an abject disgrace. You wonder how much this morning's reports about Roberto Mancini played a part in that. Not to take anything away from Wigan, but this was a seriously shabby performance from City, who have surely hammered the final nail in Mancini's coffin. In pouring rain, they're up to collect their losers' medals.
"The Argentine commentators have come up with a fantastic nickname for Wigan's goalscorer: Big Ben Watson," says Pierre-Louis Le Goff. "I hope it sticks."
Ben Watson, Wigan's matchwinner, has just been interviewed. Summary: he's emotional. Callum McManaman? "I'm made-up."
Khaldoon Mubarak is having a private conversation with a City lackey. He's covering his hand with his mouth. I imagine it's something along the lines of "Bring me Roberto Mancini's head. Now."
Dave Whelan can't believe it. On the pitch, Roberto Martinez is hugging anything that dares move, though not before a dignified handshake with his City counterparts.
Full time!!! Manchester City 0-1 Wigan Athletic
WIGAN ATHLETIC HAVE WON THE FA CUP! There's your romance. What a story. Ben Watson will never have to buy a pie in Wigan again. Footballl? Bloody hell.
90 min+4: City are pressing. It's manic. This is amazing. I can't believe it. Espinoza boots it away.
90 min+3: Joel has been booked for wasting time over a goal-kick. Edin Dzeko is on for City.
90 min+2: Wigan, though. Those were some celebrations. You should have seen the reaction in this office. What a header too. Hart didn't have a chance. There will be time added on to the three minutes of stoppage time.
GOAL!!!!!!! Manchester City 0-1 Wigan (Watson, 90 min+1)
This is unbelievable! Ben Watson has surely won the FA Cup for Wigan Athletic. I'll say that again: Ben Watson has surely won the FA Cup for Wigan Athletic. And they don't care about not getting that penalty now. Maloney whipped the corner to the near post and Watson darted in front of Rodwell and glanced a brilliant header past Hart and into the far corner!
90 min: Has Andre Marriner bottled this? McManaman steams past Clichy again on the right and reaches the byline, before tumbling under his challenge. No penalty. It's a corner - and...
88 min: Watson's tame free-kick is blocked by the wall. Moments later, Maloney produces a jink and a shot which Kompany blocks.
87 min: Now Barry is booked after bringing down down Maloney. It's in a similar position to where McManaman was fouled.
87 min: James Milner has moved to right-back.
86 min: Maloney whips the resulting free-kick over the bar.
PABLO ZABALETA IS SENT OFF!
84 min: Pablo Zabaleta becomes the third man to be sent off in FA Cup final and Manchester City are down to 10 men! Vincent Kompany was played into trouble by a square pass from Clichy, who knocked it into the centre circle where Kone was waiting. Kone got there first and shuffled it through to McManaman. His touch was heavy but he beat Zabaleta to the ball 30 yards from goal and was sent flying. He wasn't the last man but he was on a booking. Out came the yellow, then the red. Oh me, oh my! Zabaleta follows in the footsteps of Kevin Moran and Jose Antonio Reyes.
81 min:Ben Watson replaces Jordi Gomez. "First final since 1963 that both managers shared the same first name," says Richard Oldale. "Matt Gillies and Busby. That's how bored I've been."
79 min: Yaya Toure's drive from the edge of the area is deflected wide for a corner on the left. There is still no way through. Wigan's defending has been magnificent.
76 min: Maloney hits the bar! He didn't mean to, but that's what happened! It actually looked like he had woefully overhit and misdirected his cross but it dipped at the last moment and bounced off the top of the bar, much to Hart's amazement. He was expecting it to sail behind harmlessly.
75 min: Nor is McManaman v Nastasic. The youngster bursts past him just outside the area on the right and is shoved to the floor. Nastasic is booked. Both City yellow cards have been for fouls on McManaman.
74 min: McManaman v Clichy isn't remotely a contest. "Poor Gus doesn't know what's happening, both in the game and in the announcer's booth," says Scott Bassett. "When his partner said Wigan's keeper "flapped at the ball," Gus said flatly "What does that mean?" He start-stops sentences, hoots and howls at the wrong moments, growls and emotes for no reason. It reminds me of the Simpsons when Smithers somehow snags a job as the announcer for the race track and asks, on mic, "The people are already here, we don't need to keep hustling them like this do we?" Except, Johnson thinks we do need to keep hustling them and every sentence ends with an exclamation mark (or question mark)."
72 min: Espinoza clips Milner on the right to concede a soft free-kick. That said, most of City's set-pieces have been appalling. Milner whips it in and Rodwell rises highest to plant a header straight at Joel.
70 min: Prediction: Edin Dzeko will come off the bench to score a late winner.
69 min: Carlos Tevez, wearing as perplexed smile, is replaced by Jack Rodwell. Big call. "Amazing the poor Wigan fan can't watch the FA Cup Final in Brittany as I'm watching it here in Argentina!" says Paul Hobson.
68 min: Jack Rodwell is being readied by City and it sounds like Tevez will be replaced. Curious.
66 min: Callum McManaman is such a talent. With Wigan pressing hard, he's found on the right by McCarthy. He goes past Silva as if he wasn't there before brushing Clichy inside. He's more or less in Ricky Villa territory now and this would be one of the all-time great FA Cup final goals, only for Vincent Kompany to deny him with an exceptional last-ditch challenge. The spoilsport.
64 min: Maloney and Kone work the ball between themselves neatly enough before Gomez sends one over the bar from 25 yards out. There's not a lot going on in an attacking sense at the moment and the tension is growing.
61 min: City have improved since the introduction of James Milner. He's played into the Wigan area on the right and he scuffs a cross-shot across the face of the six-yard box. It's begging to be tapped in at the far post by Silva but he's on his heels.
60 min: Zabaleta picks up the first booking of the afternoon after cynically checking McManaman on the halfway line as Wigan broke at pace from a City corner. He knew. "Jacob I am a Wigan supporter who foolishly booked a holiday before the end of the season," says Tom Coulton. "As such I am in Brittany, a land which appears to reject the notion of the FA Cup. You and the bbc website on my phone are my only hope. If City score, please omit to mention it if only to save the French from witnessing a grown Wiganer cry. (The same applies to the MBMer vs arsenal and villa!)."
58 min: Another penalty appeal, this time for City. Silva's pass through wasn't actually going to reach Aguero but Scharner, falling over, made sure of that by clipping the striker's heel. He might just have got away with that. That said, Aguero was offside. So that's some sort of justice. "Even the shadows cast by the spangly roof don't suit a 5.15pm kick off," says Brad McMillan. "Wake up FA, this is just all wrong. Well played Wigan though, I didn't expect this scoreline after an hour."
56 min: They've had to defend for a few minutes but here come Wigan again. McManaman again torments Clichy on the but he can't get his cross past Kompany. They get a corner, though, and proceed to make a cack-handed mess of it. It's taken short and eventually worked over to Espinoza on the left. He runs it out expertly for a throw-in.
55 min: Milner on, Nasri off. Mancini resists the temptation to belt the Frenchman in the mouth as he walks past him.
54 min: David Silva floats in a diagonal pass towards Tevez, who tries to score with a bicycle kick. He doesn't. "Just watching the second half kick-off and wondering what possible reason there could be for Tevez's shoes to say "Floppy"?" says Jack Painter. It's in honour of his favourite rabbit.
53 min: James Milner is going to come on for City in a minute. He's receiving his final instructions from Mancini. I think it was something like "Do good crossing, running and shooting".
52 min: "45th-minute commenter and Rhyming-Slang-in-Waiting, Peter McMurry, couldn't be more Rong about Wright," says Mac Millings. "He spent 30 seconds straight telling us that he didn't know what "dead leg" means. He got so bad that I - and this is true - turned off the television and went outside to watch my son add to his dirt collection.*
"* This is not a bongo euphemism. He's five."
51 min: This is an escape for Wigan. Another corner is floated in by Barry and Joel gets nowhere near it. Kompany can't make proper contact either and the ball plops on the roof of the net. It seemed to come off a Wigan defender but a goal-kick is given. Magic of the cup, you see.
50 min: Kone loses the ball in his own half, allowing Tevez a free run at Scharner on the right. He beats the Austrian with ease and fires a dangerous low cross towards Aguero at the near post. He tries to flick it on but Boyce is alert to the threat and he deflects it wide with Joel stranded. The first corner is headed behind for another.
48 min: Tevez knocks a pass out to Nasri on the left. He runs at McArthur and then wafts a cross into the stands. That kind of sums it up at the moment. It's hard to believe how poor City's star players have been, give or take a couple of threatening moments every so often. "Contrary to Peter McMurry, I'm enjoying the Fox commentary as pure comedy," says Justin Kavanagh. "Gus Johnson is clearly bewildered by Ian Wright's cockney lingo, innee? So far he's asked him what “leggy” means, what “dead legs” are, as well as a few awkward pauses when he's clearly trying to figure out what Wright has just said. It's a bit like Pygmalion in reverse. The boy Johnson could be in a righ' pickle in the second alf!"
47 min: Wigan pick up where they left off. Maloney tees up McCarthy but he cuts across his drive and it goes miles wide. "Warren Barton on the aforementioned Fox coverage just said Joel's save was the best ever in a Wembley final," says Simon Rose. "It was a great save but he is obviously forgetting Jim Montgomery 40 years ago! He should have read the great Jonathan Wilson piece on that final in yesterday's Guardian."
It wasn't as good as Pepe Reina's in the last minute of the 2006 final.
46 min: And so begins the second half. City will need to get their gamefaces on; I'm guessing that Roberto Mancini read them the riot act after their first-half lethargy. "Uhhh...which club is is fighting relegation and which one 2nd in the greatest most hyped marketed league in the world?" says Paulo Toledo. "City turgid and lethargic, while Wigan tiki taka-ing around the field. Should be 2-nil to Martinez's side, but what do I know...and yes, i am from the yoo-es-say.."
Half-time: Manchester City 0-0 Wigan
It's fair to say that Wigan have morally won that half but Manchester City can easily step it up from here. It hasn't happened yet, though. The likes of Silva, Tevez and Aguero have been subdued. I'm feeling the romance.
45 min+1: One minute of the added stuff.
45 min: City are turning the screw a bit as the half draws to a close. Nasri diddles his way in from the left and thumps one goalwards from 20 yards out. Joel dives to his left and spoons it away. "I would appreciate it if you could impress upon your non-USA readers how fortunate they are not to be listening to the USA broadcast," says Peter McMurry. "I am currently watching non-HD Spanish-language coverage instead of the HD English language version solely to avoid Gus Johnson - I don't speak Spanish. Other commentator is Ian Wright, who I kind of like for his accent ("aw fink ee's off 'iz 'ed"), but he's no Gary Neville."
43 min: A lull. This half demonstrates why City need a top-class winger. They've struggled to stretch Wigan. "Roberto Martinez's Purple Neon Undercrackers," says Phil Sawyer. " Sorry, just testing Simon MacMahon's theorem."
42 min: "I actually feel you’ve been too kind on that bloke from Amore’s jacket," says
Gok Wan Anthony Ashworth. "It’s a disgrace to him, his family, the F.A. and the F.A. Cup. What in God’s name was he thinking of? And why do we need anybody to sing the national anthem anyway?"
41 min: Tevez to Zabaleta. His shot is blocked but the ball runs to Barry, in space on the right of the City area. He opens up his body and curls the ball into Joel's, who makes a bit of a meal of the save.
40 min: Kone's shot from the left is deflected up by Kompany and into Hart's hands. "In the spirit of ESPN's first Paraguayan, first Honduran etc. to appear in an FA cup final facts," says Craig Trainor, "is Roger Espinosa the first man to appear who looks like he could be the evil overlord of a South American drugs cartel? In which case Marriner definitely should have given that penalty."
39 min: Having seen the Espinoza penalty appeal again, it was a bit of a dive. There was contact from Zabaleta but it seemed to be instigated by Espinoza, who surely could have stayed on his feet and even scored.
38 min: Nasri twists and turns on the left but his cross towards the near post is glanced away from goal by Silva, who didn't get enough on his header.
36 min: Incredible! Alcaraz - the centre-back, for crying out loud - suddenly starts another Wigan attack, striding majestically through the middle like a Paraguayan Franz Beckenbauer. He then spots the run of McManaman and sends him through on goal, the young winger's touch taking him around Nastasic's desperate lunge. He's forced wide on the left though and he has little support. He cuts back inside as Hart makes himself big, leaves another defender on the floor but with a throng of blue shirts back, his shot is blocked by Zabaleta. There was only one other Wigan attacker - Kone - in the box.
34 min: Gomez coaxes a pass inside Zabaleta for Espinoza to chase into the City area. He gets the wrong side of the City right-back and then tumbles under his challenge, but he seemed to be looking for it. Andre Marriner waves away his appeal for a penalty. "Mr Jacob you have won the Nigerian lottery," says Simon McMahon. "Always wondered whether the subject line has any influence on whether an email gets opened and / or published on the MBM?" Ones from Ryan Dunne simply say "I wuv woo".
33 min: Gomez's shot from 25 yards out is blocked by Kompany.
31 min: "Edwin Van der Sar was pretty good, Jacob, and he was 6' 6"," says Sean Moore. Wikipedia says 6ft 5in. I don't know what to believe any more.
30 min: Another chance for Tevez, although this was far more difficult. A deflection ran kindly for him on the right but he blasted the ball over the bar from the corner of the Wigan area.
29 min: For all Wigan's pretty passing, there hasn't been a chance to get excited about since McManaman's early sighting and the feeling has persisted that City will carve them open at some point. Fortunately for Wigan, Joel was equal to them when they did. Nasri and Silva combined beautifully on the left and the Spaniard cut the ball back into the area where Tevez arrived unmarked. He was just stretching though and his bobbling effort was somehow turned over the bar by Joel's boot. What a save.
28 min: "Another reason to lambast the FA over this kick off time is that it means Dr Who has been put back until later on," says Phil Sawyer. "Although it does mean that we can now legitimately call them Time Bothering Space Adventurer Frustrators, which is something you don't get to accuse them of being every day."
27 min: And then there's James McArthur, who I've just realised is playing as some sort of quasi right-back. Move over, Cox and Wilson. Kone holds the ball up well, shielding it so McArthur can burst on to it as the City defence handily opens up for him. He just overruns it though and the chance disappears.
26 min: It's not hard to see why James McCarthy is being linked with a big move away from Wigan. He's running the show in the middle of the park.
25 min: "How about Thibaut Courtois?" says Peter Raleigh. "He's 6'6" and seems rather excellent. I believe he's more or less tied up La Liga's Zamora trophy this season." True, but saying his name makes you're trying to say Sybill and have a lisp.
24 min: Nastasic tries to score from 35 yards out. No. "Over here in the States we're being treated to the cup final on Fox," says Mike Craig. "Not on any of the 100+ dedicated sports channels, but regular Fox. Mind you, they just told us it's being played at Wimbledon." Superb. Has anyone asked why there isn't a big net spanning the halfway line yet?
22 min: Wigan are ridiculous. On Tuesday they were beaten at home in a must-win match by Swansea reserves. Four days later and they're taking the piss out of Manchester City at Wembley. City can't get near them. Maloney turns deftly away from Barry and shoots from 30 yards out. Hart isn't bothered.
21 min: "Why are there so many empty seats near half-way?" says Roderick Stewart. "Have these people just found out about the "official home appliance partner of the FA Cup" and nipped out to buy an unnecessary fridge-freezer." I'm not sure. Probably sponsors having a well-earned fifth lunch.
19 min: Wigan go straight up the other end and Kone plays a one-two with Maloney - who's scythed down by Zabaleta - before racing away down the left. He cuts inside and tries to curl one towards the far post. He can't get it past the City defender. Moments later, Gomez tries to play McManaman in but Hart is out quickly to smother the ball.
18 min: Silva twinkletoes into the Wigan area from the right but his left-footed curler is easily blocked.
17 min: City go up the other end and appeal for a penalty as Aguero slithers past Alcaraz on the right before being bumped over by the Wigan defender. Nothing doing. That was City's first attack for a while.
16 min: This has the potential to be a splendid game of football. Wigan are here to play and City haven't been able to stop them doing so yet. On the left, Espinoza breezes past Nasri and wheeches in a cross which Maloney tries to volley past Hart on the edge of the area. It's blocked, there's a shout for handball, play continues, City get it clear.
15 min: Wigan are bossing this at the moment. On the left, it opens up for Espinoza on the edge of the area after he's set up by Kone but he takes too long to shoot and has to lay it off. Eventually the ball is worked out to McManaman on the right and he wins a corner off Clichy. Scharner heads over.
13 min: "Can anyone think of a really top-class goalkeeper that was really, really tall?" says Christopher Faherty. "It's like there's some sort of natural barrier that kicks in around the 6'5'' mark. Zeljko "Spider" Kalac was useless and while Pantilimion isn't bad, he's clearly not as good as Hart." I was going to suggest Francesco Toldo but he was 6ft 5in.
12 min: Wigan are enjoying a decent spell of pressure now. A loose pass spoons through to McManaman on the right but his cross is blocked. "I would say that dropping Pantilimon says more about a lack of trust in the rest of the team than a lack of trust in the keeper," says Matt Dony. "I mean, surely Mancini believes Aguero, Tevez, Silva et al can knock a few past Wigan, and in Kompany and Nastasic he has two of the most accomplished defenders in the league. Hell, play me in goal, and they'd probably win..."
10 min: Wigan missed so many glorious chances at the Etihad last month and were ultimately punished by Tevez. They've picked up where they left off. They can't miss many more like that.
9 min: What a chance for Callum McManaman. Wigan really have settled down now. The young winger is released down the right by a fantastic pass from the left by Kone, who looks dangerous already. McManaman has space on the right of the City area but maybe felt he was a bit too wide to shoot first time. Instead he cut back inside on to his left foot, allowing Nastasic to close down the angle, and his curler from around eight yards out drifted wide of the far post.
8 min: Wigan are settling into a bit of a groove. They looked really nervous in the opening minutes, which was perhaps to be expected, but are starting to get rid of the butterflies now.
6 min: "I don't quite get the Dave Whelan animosity, Jacob," says Davey Fallon. "Can you elaborate why that cuddly old millionaire upsets you so?" I don't feel much animosity towards him today, it's just amusing how we keep being reminded about 1960 and all that. That said, if I did want to bring up one of his lighter moments...
5 min: That rendition of Abide With Me hasn't been met with much praise. That's Amore! "What the hell was that?" says David Wall. "How hard is it to not butcher a simple hymn, it's hardly the (notoriously un-singable) American national anthem. Seems the FA's general selectorial competence extends to hiring the band as well. You wouldn't want them organising your stag-night."
4 min: Sergio Aguero stands in front of Joel, looking to unnerve Wigan's Spanish keeper, even if he's offside. The ruse doesn't really work, though. Tevez's free-kick is easily blocked by the wall but the ball falls to Toure, whose rasping drive from the edge of the area is brilliantly pushed away by Joel. Aguero picks up the rebound. But, er, he's offside.
3 min: If City play their best football, Wigan don't have a prayer, and this already looks ominous. Just outside the area Aguero, all low centre of gravity, wriggles through a couple of challenges and is bumped over just outside the area by Alcaraz. This is a great chance for Tevez.
2 min: This is a good start from City. Zabaleta, who has had an outstanding season, breaks clear down the right flank, Espinoza having gone missing. Zabaleta's cross takes a slight deflection and falls to Silva, whose volley is charged down by McArthur. Wigan could do with waking up.
It's 5.16pm so that can only mean one thing: it's time for the FA Cup final to kick off. Well done, Football Association. Well done, you terrible bastards. Anyway by now both sets of fans seem not to care. They're making quite the racket as Wigan, kicking from right to left, get the game underway. City's fans are still singing about Mancini. Are you listening, Mr Mubarak?
City's fans are making a rather big point about singing Mancini's name lustily.
Amore are back. They're going to sing the national anthem now. One of the female members of the cost is really dominating. I couldn't hear the others. They were totally irrelevant. I predict friction. "Katherine Jenkins needs to speak to her people," says Elliot Carr-Barnsley. "A sporting event and she isn't doing the national anthem? As blessed as we are, she must be fuming somewhere."
The special guest today is the blind five-a-side England footballer Dave Clarke. He's joined by FA chairman David Bernstein as they meet the teams. "The Annual Butchering of Abide With Me," sings Adam Hirst. "Stupid opera singers singing all over the simple melody. Just get a choir in there and have it done properly, always gets the lump in the throat."
The teams are in the tunnel. But first a man in a uniform, accompanied by two small boys, walks out with the trophy and places it on the plinth. And that's the cue for the teams to emerge. City, led out by Roberto Mancini for now, are wearing snazzy blue tracksuit tops. Wigan are in pretty cool black tracksuit tops and they're led out by Roberto Martinez and Dave Whelan, who has a big dumb grin plastered all over his face.
Time for Abide With Me. It's going to be sung by the singing quartet Amore, who are accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. How lovely. It's delivered with real warbling aplomb, too; they really hit those notes. My compliments to the chef, even if one member of the band is wearing the most ludicrous suit of all time. It's a grey number - and it's covered in red polka dots. Move over, Spice Boys, there's a new fashionista in Wembley Town.
"For me," says Roy Keane and everyone goes quiet, "football is all about glory and winning trophies." And yet Wigan could win this and go down on Tuesday. Then what?
Roberto Mancini is standing alongside City's chairman, Khaldoon Mubarak, by the Wembley pitch. They're not speaking, rather they're just staring determinedly into the middle distance. Mancini is wearing a wry sort of smile on his face. "When I was younger I was amazed that my Dad knew all of the scores and scorers in cup finals from 1945 to 1966 but that he remembered very little from the 70s," says Martin Widdicks. "I now realise that I can do the same from 1985 until around 2002 but could not tell you who won last year's final without some serious thought. So I think that, honestly, some of the disillusionment with the FA cup is a result of getting older."
Here's Roberto Mancini speaking about his decision to drop Costel Pantilimon. "I decided this because I wanted this for this game but it doesn't change anything," he said. "We know Costel is a good keeper." But not good enough, though.
Arouna Kone is having a massage on his thigh on the pitch. Let's hope it's not because of anything serious and that I steer clear of making a joke about a happy ending.
"I am a fan of a club that has an FA Cup pedigree of three quarter finals in 130 years of existence, so I don't have much to offer in terms of direct involvement in days like today," says Richard Woods. "But I feel a little sad that my neck hairs still stand on end watching the Ricky Villa show, and I feel truly nostalgic about the Neil Young final, and sorrow for his passing, but I can't even remember the Cup Final of two years ago. Is it me or is it them?"
It's them. I haven't properly watched the final outside of work for a few years now.
"What do you make of the Pelligrini to city stories, Jacob?" says James Galloway. "And is it ever possible for a club to do the manager switch before a big game like this at the end of the season? In my view, short of a - how do you say - ménage a trois? it just can't be done." I doubt it will affect City today, as there's always talk about Mancini, but I don't think he'll be their manager next season. Pellegrini is a sound choice if it is him.
"It's Saturday, 5.15, league matches still to be played, must be the FA Cup final," says Simon McMahon. "How long before the blazers decide to actually play the final on a Thursday morning and then just show it 'as live' on Sunday night? 'This FA Cup final was recorded in front of a live studio audience...' But hey, enough of my cynical yakking, it's the FA Cup final. Lets boogie!!!"
"Jacob, your long list of FA Cup Final legends includes a horse, a man with a broken neck, and a 70s striker with football's worst perm," says Justin Kavanagh. "But no Liam Brady? I am outraged!"
"Although I'm not quite as excited about the match today as I used to be as a lad, I'm still watching all the adverts, I mean build-up to the final on ITV," says Steven Pye. "Although as an Arsenal fan, I'm a bit annoyed that they've shown the 1978 and 1980 finals as examples of upsets. These games should have been wiped from the archives years ago. As for today, I dearly hope Wigan win to boost the old competition. We need a good old-fashioned underdog triumph today, sorry City fans."
Meanwhile a quick run-through of Wigan's previous finals:
GRAINY BLACK AND WHITE FOOTAGE CORNER
Let's take a look at Manchester City's previous FA Cup finals. In 1904 they won their first, beating Bolton but then lost to Wanders 22 years later. Bah!
Seven years later, though, there was disappointment against Dixie Dean's Everton.
But it was all better a year later, Portsmouth the unlucky losers.
Woe against Newcastle in 1955, though.
But joy against Birmingham a year later. Although not for City's goalkeeper, Bert Trautmann, who somehow played on despite breaking his neck.
There followed victory over Leicester in 1969. City dressed as Milan.
Alas, Ricky Villa stole the show for Tottenham in 1981.
And there followed 30 years of hurt, until Yaya Toure monstered Stoke two years ago.
So Wigan's players are wearing grey suits. Amateurs. Everyone knows there's only one way to announce yourself before an FA Cup final.
Man City, complete with Joe Hart instead of Po' Pantilimon: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy; Yaya Toure, Barry, Silva, Aguero, Nasri; Tevez. Subs: Pantilimon, Kolarov, Lescott, Javi García, Rodwell, Milner, Dzeko.
Wigan, boosted by the returning Alcaraz but without Dave Whelan, who broke his leg in 1960: Joel; Boyce, Scharner, Alcaraz, Espinoza; McArthur, McCarthy, Gomez; McManaman, Kone, Maloney. Subs: Al Habsi, Caldwell, Watson, Di Santo, Henriquez, Fyvie, Golobar.
Referee: Andre Marriner.
The talk is that Costel Pantilimon, who is 6ft 8in, will not get the nod ahead of Joe Hart. Pantilimon has played in all of City's Cup matches so far, but Mancini isn't about to go all sentimental on us this afternoon. Meanwhile Wigan's players - wearing grey suits - are out on the pitch, soaking it all up.
Good afternoon. Fans of both sides have managed to make it down to London from the north, either by using the method of travel travel or automobile propulsion, and so it's time, ladies and gentlemen, to put your hands together for the 132nd FA Cup final. Sorry, the 132nd FA Cup final with Budweiser. At 5.15pm. Mustn't upset the sponsors or anyone from the football family or the makers of Britain's Got Talent. Even so, it's the FA Cup final - the FA Cup final!!! - and they're not going to ruin our fun, not this afternoon.
After all, and this bears repeating, it's the FA Cup final! In no particular order that means Abide With Me, Keith Houchen, John Aldridge v Dave Beasant, Lawrie Sanchez, Norman Whiteside, Kevin Moran, Bert Trautmann, Alan Sunderland, a White Horse, Stanley Matthews, Ian Rush, Ricky Villa, Jim Montgomery, Alan Taylor, Eric Cantona, David Elleray, Ray Parlour, Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard, Roberto di Matteo, Roberto di Matteo again, Didier Drogba, Didier Drogba again, Didier Drogba again, Didier Drogba again (didn't he ever get bored?) and now Manchester City and Wigan Athletic. There, now you're in the mood.
Actually you should have been in the mood since roughly 8am. ESPN have been on air since then and haven't stopped jabbering away for the last eight hours. Seriously. It all began with Football Weekly stars James Richardson and Kevin Kilbane having a breakfast-off, setting a new high in the history of sport on TV.
Anyway this promises to be a doozy of a match. This is Wigan's - Wigan!!! - first ever FA Cup final and at the very least they're aiming to make sure it doesn't go the same way as their previous appearance in a major final, when they were beaten 4-0 by Manchester United in the League Cup in 2006. But that was in Cardiff. This is Wembley and they've already got experience of winning at Wembley, having beaten Millwall in their semi-final last month. This is going to be rather more difficult though. Not only do they still have a relegation battle to think about, to seal their place in history, they're going to have to beat Manchester City, who saw off Chelsea to get here. It's only Yaya Toure, David Silva, Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero standing in the way of a Wigan side potentially missing a number of their key players. But still, what a journey it's been since they made their league debut 35 years ago.
It's going to be a tall order against this City side though. Although Wigan were unfortunate to lose against them in the league last month, going down to a moment of magic from Carlos Tevez, overall their record against City is miserable. Wigan have lost their last seven matches against City, failing to score a single goal, and haven't beaten them since a 2-1 victory in September 2008. Antonio Valencia and Amr Zaki got their goals that day. Vincent Kompany scored for City.
In typical City fashion, though, this hasn't been the perfect build-up. Last night there were reports that they're close to parting company with Roberto Mancini in order to appoint
Sir Alex Ferguson the Malaga manager, Manuel Pellegrini, which hasn't given off the impression that all is well at City. It doesn't matter that Mancini is on the verge of winning his second FA Cup in three years, or that he won the title last season, he's on his way out. It's going to be interesting watching him this afternoon.
But not as interesting as watching Wigan. Wigan! Wigan! WIGAN! WIGAN! THE FA CUP FINAL!
Kick-off: 5.15pm, the optimal time for all classic football matches. Just another 75 minutes to go!