Manchester City v Wigan - as it happened | Nick Miller

Wigan repeated their remarkable FA Cup final win by beating Manchester City 2-1 to make it through to face Arsenal in the semi-final

Thanks to you all, sorry for the e-mails that didn’t make it through, congrats to Wigan and don’t get too giddy, Arsenal.

The last word to Jacob Steinberg, at the Etihad

Probably worth drawing attention to this, in the preamble, before anyone else does:

...don’t put too many shekels on Wigan beating Manchester City...

That isn’t likely to happen again, with City still doing well in the league, without a dead man walking for a manager and with a collection of players that, unless we’re very much mistaken, all seem to more or less like the guy they’re working for.

Plus, they’ve got better players now and Wigan have got worse players. Sometimes, football really is that simple.

Well holy, holy hell. You wonder who’s happier about that one - Wigan or Arsenal, who will meet in the semi-final at Wembley. No excuses for not winning a trophy now for the Gooners.

Hats off to Wigan, who were superb, particularly in defence as City threw everything they had at them for 40 minutes. Remarkable scenes.

FULL-TIME! Manchester City 1-2 Wigan

They’ve done it! They held on!

90 min +5: Keeper in the box!

90 min + 4: City try to pick their way through again, but they come up against a wall. The Wigan wall. Might not catch on , that.

90 min + 3: And they waste it, the cross far too deep to the far post. Bafflingly, some City fans are leaving.

90 min +2: Espinoza gets a booking for taking out Garcia, giving away a free-kick in a dangerous position on the right.

90 min + 1: Fortune pulls Demichelis’ pants down again, goes through on goal and fires straight at Pantilimon. Tense, tense, tense.

90 min: Wigan in the City half ! Again! McClean does well to win a thrown, and of course they’re taking their time. Five minutes added time.

89 min: Tick...tock...tick...tock.

88 min: Dzeko is back on, not that it will do City much good, going on previous evidence.

86 min: Wigan are in the City half! Genuinely the first time that’s happened in ten minutes or so. It doesn’t last very long, mind.

85 min: Couple of bookings - Carson for time-wasting, and Dzeko for complaining after McArthur accidentally catches him in the face with a flailing arm.

84 min: Another chance - Nasri puts a cross over from the right, Dzeko heads and it surely,surely must go in, but doesn’t, flying just wide of the post.

83 min: Plenty of nerves in Wigan now. Milner is the latest to try a shot, and once again it’s blocked.

81 min: What defending from Boyce. The ball is fired across goal and it looks like Dzeko has skied an open goal, but on closer inspection the Wigan man had got there just before him. Great defending.

80 min: The City penalty area is beginning to look like Saving Private Ryan, the amount of bodies strewn in it. Dzeko and Nasri both try shots from the edge of the box, both are blocked.

79 min: Liam Blizard writes: “I once followed the MBM whilst at wembley watching the Hudderfield v Sheffield Utd League 1 play off final in 2012. If you’d been at the game you’d have been looking for something else to hold your interest as well.”

77 min: As a few people have pointed out, there was more than a hint of offside about the City goal, as Lescott was standing right in front of Carson, blocking his view rather.

76 min: Milner goes in high on Espinoza and gets a booking, but the crowd aren’t happy as it looked like the Wigan man had handled it moments earlier. Good game, this.

75 min: Aguero is in on goal again, his shot bobbles towards goal but just goes wide. And it wouldn’t have counted anyway as the flag was up.

74 min: City are piling it on now, and they nearly draw level from a fluke, as Aguero charges down a clearance and it almost loops over Carson.

72 min: Oh Fortune, you silly sausage. He collects the ball from a suicide square pass in the City defence, and instead of playing McClean clean through on goal, he tries a shot from 25 yards, and it sails harmlessly over.

71 min: Silva lifts a ball over the top looking for Aguero, but it’s just too strong for the forward and goes through to Carson.

69 min: Oooh, Richards goes close to another with a Toure-esque swept shot from the right corner of the box.

68 min: A corner comes over from the left, it eventually drops to Nasri on the edge of the area and he shoots low and left-footed into the bottom corner.

GOAL! Manchester City 1-2 Wigan (Nasri 68)

Well, that’s one back.


67 min: Change for Wigan - Roger Espinoza is on for McEachran.

66 min: Another decent effort, as Aguero meets a cross on the volley and it goes straight at Carson.

64 min: Close! Clichy swings a cross over from the left, Dzeko meets it at the back stick, heads back across goal and it hits the post, rebounding just away from David Silva, looking for the rebound.

63 min: The camera keeps cutting to Dave Whelan in the crowd. You can’t hear what he’s saying, but it’s almost certainly the story of how he broke his leg in the FA Cup final in 1960.

62 min: Critique of Pellegrini’s style from Noz:

60 min: Aguero tries a shot from range that is blocked. Without wishing to jinx them, Wigan are coping pretty well with this so far.

58 min: Second sub for Wigan - James McClean is on for McManaman.

57 min: Matt Dony makes a reasonable point:

“Right, so ‘Alex’ is following the MBM despite being at the game, because you get replays and he doesn’t? And then he writes in to tell you that you’re wrong? Good chutzpah.

55 min: Yikes. Milner almost makes an immediate impact, dispossessing McEachran then putting a low cross into the six-yard box, but Perch is there to dash back and clear before any lingering City attackers can capitalise.

54 min: Ally has a prediction. (Follow him on Twitter by the way. He’s grand.)

53 min: And here is that triple change - Navas, Negredo and Toure are off, with James Milner, Edin Dzeko and David Silva on in their stead.

52 min: The rest of this game is likely to be something of a siege. Navas starts it off by cutting in from the right and firing a left-footed shot over.

50 min: Toure pretty lucky not to get another booking for another foul in midfield. Meanwhile, a triple sub for City is brewing.

49 min: Ooof, Wigan close to another as Fortune gets behind the City defence and hits the post, but the offside flag goes up that time. Still looking rather shaky back there.

48 min: Toure goes into the book for a horrible, petulant kick on McManaman. Getting to them a bit, this.

47 min: Well, what a shambles at the back that is. ANother mistake by Demichelis was in there somewhere, but Clichy must take the blame at the back post there, after allowing Perch to get to a low cross and force it home. Lordy.

GOAL! Manchester City 0-2 Wigan (Perch 47)

Holy sh*t.

46 min: And we’re off again. Pellegrini is sticking with the hoodie, you’ll be delighted to learn.

Anyway, enough of all that. The teams are out for the second half. A change for Wigan - Leon Barnett (a specialist centre-back) replaces Chris McCann, who had been filling in there somewhat.

Simon ‘First of the moaning Gooners’ Huxtable moans:

“Can I be the first Arsenal fan to moan that, assuming Man. City go on to complete a 3-1 victory in the second half, across the three cup competitions, Arsenal have drawn the teams lying 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th and 7th in the English league and the teams lying 1st and 2nd in the German league ... Can I also be the first to stamp my foot and say ‘it’s - not - fair!’?”

Adam Fraser, who promised to buy me lunch some three months ago but hasn’t yet delivered, asks:

‎“Is the ‘casual’ in a tribute to Manuel Pellegrini’s hoodie? I do hope so. He’s probably on if you want to say hello.”

Paul Turp isn’t impressed with the St Vincent song posted before the game:

“Just had a listen, mostly out of curiosity as to what music a grown man would describe as ‘just lovely’. The answer is twee, art-school, brass-band bollocks.


Well, since you asked so nicely, here it is again Paul, just for you.

Julia M has another explanation: “Cause it’s that good. enjoy the compliment.”

Of course, I couldn’t possibly comment. Other than to say you’re quite right, it very much is.

Alex explains why he’s checking the MBM while at the game: “Because you get replays and we don’t.”

Fair enough.

Half-time: Manchester City 0-1 Wigan

Well, well, well. What have we here? What we have here is Manchester City losing to Wigan. Just like in the FA Cup final last season! Remember? Remember when Manchester City lost to Wigan in the FA Cup final last season? It might be happening again!

45 min + 2: Another smashing corner from Gomez, and the ball eventually goes out for one more, with feeling.

45 min + 1: Gomez whips the first corner into the near post, which Clichy just heads out. And repeat...

45 min: Two minutes of added time, as Wigan embark on a rare foray into City territory, and win a corner.

43 min: McCann is limping, but looks like he’s going to try and run it off. Quick reminder that Stuart Pearce once tried to ‘run off’ a broken leg.

42 min: A hold-up in play as Richards and McCann come together in a crunching 50/50. Perhaps unsurprisingly the Wigan man comes off a little worse.

40 min: Negredo just reaches a ball ahead of Boyce, the Spaniard crumples to the floor and everyone demands harsh justice on the Wigan man, but referee Anthony Taylor reacts appropriately by just giving a free-kick. Sensible refereeing from yer man there.

39 min: Richard Woods says a bad word: “Surely being at the game and still getting published on the MBM is the ultimate selfie?”

38 min: A minor rumpus just inside the City half, as McManaman objects to a three-pronged foul on McEachran. And quite rightly so too, but the young man has a pretty short fuse.

37 min: Carson is astonishingly lucky as he very casually passes out of his own area, only just evading Negredo.

36 min: Nasri slaloms into the penalty area, is held up by Boyce then slices a cross out for a goal-kick.

35 min: Rosler has just been shouting ‘BOYCEY!’ across the pitch. Sounds a bit odd in his accent.

34 min: Samir Nasri offers a lesson in impotent frustration by booting the ball away for no reason, and is thus, of course, booked.

33 min: “Suits your narrative, but a clear dive in front of us at the ground,” writes Alex Sargent. “DeMichelis not brilliant but he’s not rubbish. Shouldn’t have been turned mind you.”

Why on earth are you following a MBM if you’re at the game?

32 min: Careless play by Clichy, who loops a pass in the air towards Navas, when a five-yarder along the floor would have done fine, and a City attack falters.

30 min: Fortune runs at the City defence again, causing no small amount of panic. He really should not be causing a team like City so many problems.

29 min: Sunderland fans will presumably offer some caution to any Latics getting too excited just yet.

28 min: Pantilimon sort of just half drops to one knee, allowing Jordi Gomez to gently play the ball to his left and into the net. If you haven’t guessed, Martin Demichelis was the man who gave away the pen.

GOAL! Manchester City 0-1 Wigan (Gomez 27)

Well, well, well.


26 min: Fortune is fouled, and you probably don’t need to know which City player was the offender.

25 min: Nasri curls a ball over the Wigan defence and finds Negredo, but it’s a little high for him.

24 min: Aguero toys with McCann like a cat with a rubber mouse, but can’t find the room to get away a proper cross, and the attack ends.

23 min: Some wonderful football from City eventually plays in Navas, but his low cross is half cut-out by Ramis, and Carson gathers.

21 min: A song about Uwe Rosler is being sung. Difficult to tell which set of fans it is, mind.

19 min: Josh McEachran plays about the most careless simple pass you could ever see, playing out of touch with Crainey waiting for the pass.

18 min: Toure plays a bit of a Hail Mary pass over the top which finds the run of Clichy, but the offside flag goes up.

16 min: City claim a penalty after Ramis’ foot is high on Negredo, but nothing is given. Looked a tad iffy.

15 min: Oh Costel, you card. Pantilimon gets the ball in his own area with Fortune bearing down on him, and he tries a little shimmy to get round the Wigan forward. He would’ve looked a right plum if that had gone wrong.

14 min: Navas gets down the right and finds himself without much support, but does well to win a corner by just smacking the thing into the shins of the defenders in front of him. Not nuanced, but the best he could do in that situation.

12 min: “Wow! Did old boy Manuel here feel the pang of Alan Pardew’s “old c*nt” jibe, all that time after the deed?” ponders Mark Teodorcevic. “Trying to be all youthful and hip Randy Marsh style?”

10 min: Wigan seem to be playing three a the back here, with Chris McCann slotting in on the left of the centre-backs.

9 min: The ball falls to Micah Richards from a corner, but it takes him by surprise a little and he handles it. Peeep peeep peeep, goes the referee’s whistle.

8 min: The Manchester City Twitter feed described Javi Garcia as ‘in form’ earlier, which might be a little generous, but he did just pull off a textbook five-yard pass to Gael Clichy.

6 min: Aguero drives through the middle, feeding Jesus Navas who jinks down the line, but his cross is cleared. Why does one drive through the middle but only jink on the wing? Hmmm?

4 min: Manuel Pellegrini is wearing a hoodie on the touchline. Is it a symbol of Manchester City taking this game to casually? Well, no, almost certainly not. He looks very comfy.

2 min: Wigan are really going for this early doors. McManaman runs at Lescott, puts in a low cross which is half-cleared by Martin Demichelis straight to Jordi Gomez, but he shanks his shot over the bar.

1 min: And we’re off. And the first thing that happens is Callum McManaman trying to run directly through the City midfield from kick-off, but is halted with gusto by Javi Garcia. Free-kick within four seconds.

Javi Garcia’s new baby daughter is with him on the pitch. Is this a thing now? It’s a thing, isn’t it?

That sound you can hear is millions of Gooner voices suddenly crying out in terror, and suddenly silenced.

Semi-final draw

Hull v Sheffield United
Manchester City/Wigan v Arsenal

The teams are in the tunnel but just seem to be standing around and having a chat at the moment. Might be waiting for the semi-final draw. Oh, and here that comes...

Uh oh

They’re interviewing Joey Barton on the touchline at the rugby. Of course they are. Of course they are.

Let’s just take a moment to analyse the photo currently adorning the top of this MBM. So many things to enjoy there, from Ben Watson’s surprise that he’s holding the cup, despite having just recently scored the goal that won it, to Joel Robles’ velociraptor impression, to Roberto Martinez looking like he’s being...erm, well, ‘invaded.’ Just lovely stuff.

Or perhaps you’d like something to listen to - perhaps this by St Vincent, which is just lovely.

Perhaps while you’re waiting for this one to start you’d like something else to read - perhaps this piece by Hillsborough survivor Adrian Tempany on how football lost touch with its young fans.

About 25 minutes to go of the Hull v Sunderland game - follow the remainder with Toby Moses here. He’ll also bring you news of the draw for the semi-finals, which is due after the match.

A blow for fans of narrative, lazy or otherwise, as Ben Watson is not among the Wigan team - he broke his leg against Barnsley the other week, but he’ll still be with them in spirit, according to Uwe Rosler:

Ben has been somewhat our talisman in this competition so far this season. He’s been involved in every round and scored in the last two rounds, it’s appropriate really considering the impact he made in the cup final last year.

Ben has been a crucial player for us, we’ll miss him and any team would miss a player like Ben Watson.

All credit has to go to my players for the way they have reacted to the injury, and credit has to go to those who have stepped in.

We can’t afford to have excuses about players not being available for games, but we’ll be thinking about Ben a lot that’s for sure.

Our man Jacob has one man on his mind.

Team news

Manchester City

Pantilimon, Richards, Demichelis, Lescott, Clichy, Navas, Toure (C), Garcia, Nasri, Negredo, Aguero, Subs: Hart, Kompany, Kolarov, Rodwell, Milner, Silva, Dzek.


Carson, Perch, Boyce, Ramis, Crainey, McCann, McArthur, McEachran, McManaman, Gomez, Fortune. Subs: Al Habsi, Rogne, Barnett, Holgersson, Espinoza, McClean, Maynard.


And so, the romantics/purists/TV presenters looking for an easy angle will be frankly engorged at the prospect of this one, a repeat of last year’s FA Cup final with a chance of another big old upset.

However, don’t put too many shekels on Wigan beating Manchester City, because quite apart from the obvious, that game was something of a perfect upset storm. A team heading south in the league who were after one last hoorah before tumbling into the Championship against a collection of players who could barely disguise their contempt for their manager, a manager who everyone knew was on his way out anyway, and was blaming everyone from his players to the City press officer for their relative failure that season. Everyone, that is, apart from himself, obviously.

That isn’t likely to happen again, with City still doing well in the league, without a dead man walking for a manager and with a collection of players that, unless we’re very much mistaken, all seem to more or less like the guy they’re working for.

Plus, they’ve got better players now and Wigan have got worse players. Sometimes, football really is that simple.

Still, even if the First-Choice Narrative of a Wigan win and plucky cup upset ends up in the bin, there is at least a Second-Choice Narrative, specifically that City might be on for an unprecedented domestic treble, the thought of which is enough to make the testes of Manchester United fans everywhere disappear inside them.

Wigan are on a good run in the league at present, creeping up on the playoffs since Uwe Rosler’s (fun fact: he named his child after Manchester City hero Colin Bell) appointment, but they probably won’t have enough to beat City.


Nick will be here shortly

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