FA Cup final: Manchester City 0-1 Wigan Athletic
Wigan Athletic claimed the first major trophy in their 81-year history when Ben Watson's last-minute goal won the FA Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley.
Roberto Martinez's side produced a performance full of attacking intent and verve to fully deserve this historic win against firm pre-match favourites City, who had Pablo Zabaleta sent off six minutes from time.
Substitute Watson, who has missed much of the season after breaking his leg in November, sent Wigan's fans into ecstasy with a near-post header from Shaun Maloney's corner at the very moment the board went up to signal three minutes of stoppage time.
The goal was just reward for Wigan, whose drive and intensity was in sharp contrast to the desperately lacklustre display served up by City as last season's Premier League champions end this campaign empty-handed.
It completed a miserable day for manager Roberto Mancini, which began with reports that was about to be sacked and replaced by Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini and ended with a defeat that left City's hierarchy looking on stone-faced from the Royal Box as Wigan celebrated.
Opposite number Martinez is also at the centre of speculation about his future as he has been linked with the forthcoming managerial vacancy at Everton - and his stock will have risen markedly now he has the FA Cup against his name.
And when this final is remembered, the performance of Wigan's Callum McManaman will be recalled alongside Watson's goal after a magnificent, and close to unplayable, display of wing play which gave City defender Gael Clichy a harrowing afternoon.
It was also a moment of sheer joy for Wigan chairman Dave Whelan, who broke his leg playing for Blackburn Rovers in the 1960 FA Cup final against Wolves at Wembley. He led the team out, then watched in delight as they lifted the treasured trophy.
Once the delight has died down, Wigan must focus on what Martinez insists has always been their main priority, ensuring they stay in the Premier League as they remain in the relegation zone with only two game remaining.
Mancini made one surprise selection decision as he replaced Romanian Costel Pantilimon - City's FA Cup goalkeeper throughout their run to Wembley - with first choice Joe Hart.
It was his opposite number Joel Robles who was into the action first as he saved from Yaya Toure after Carlos Tevez's poor free-kick had been charged down.
After this uncertain start, however, Wigan visibly grew in confidence and produced a first-half display of real composure and enterprise, exemplified by the excellence of McManaman and James McArthur.
McManaman had the opportunity to put Wigan ahead after only nine minutes but chose to cut inside when a first-time shot might have been the better option, curling a left-foot effort wide.
For all Wigan's trademark comfort in possession, it was their keeper Robles who was busier in that first half. He used an outstretched leg to save Wigan as Tevez looked certain to score after he was set up by Samir Nasri and David Silva eight yards out.
McManaman was a threat once more as he evaded Hart and weaved his way around the area, only to see his goalbound effort blocked by Zabaleta.
City's threat was sporadic but Robles was still being made to work and he saved from Gareth Barry and Nasri as an entertaining first 45 minutes came to a close.
The favourites had more of a spring in their step in the moments after half-time and it took a crucial touch from Latics defender Emmerson Boyce to divert Sergio Aguero's glancing effort at the near post following good work by Tevez.
Mancini was visibly unhappy with some of City's work and he wasted no time in making his first change, sending on James Milner for Nasri after 53 minutes.
The noise levels among the Wigan support rose every time the exciting McManaman got on the ball and it took a superb block from City captain Vincent Kompany to end another jinking run into the area.
Mancini made another, somewhat surprising, change with 21 minutes left when Jack Rodwell came on for Tevez and swiftly had a header that was clutched by Robles.
Wigan, to their immense credit, were refusing to take a backward step and gave City another anxious moment when Maloney's angled free-kick glanced off the bar.
City, who had struggled for rhythm all afternoon, were reduced to 10 men with six minutes remaining when Zabaleta was dismissed. It was a simple decision for referee Andre Marriner when the Argentine, played into trouble by Barry's careless pass, hauled down McManaman having earlier received a yellow card.
Then came the moment that will be recalled in Wigan forever. Watson escaped from Rodwell at the near post to meet Maloney's corner and history was made.
- 01 Hart
- 04 Kompany
- 05 Zabaleta Dismissed after an earlier booking
- 22 Clichy
- 33 Nastasic Booked
- 08 Nasri (Milner - 54' )
- 18 Barry Booked (Dzeko - 90' )
- 21 Silva
- 42 Y Toure
- 16 Aguero
- 32 Tevez (Rodwell - 69' )
- 30 Pantilimon
- 06 Lescott
- 13 Kolarov
- 07 Milner
- 14 Garcia
- 17 Rodwell
- 10 Dzeko
- 01 Robles Booked
- 03 Alcaraz
- 17 Boyce
- 04 McCarthy
- 10 Maloney
- 14 Gomez (Watson - 81' )
- 16 McArthur
- 18 Espinoza
- 33 Scharner
- 02 Kone
- 15 McManaman
- 26 Al Habsi
- 05 Caldwell
- 25 Golobart
- 08 Watson
- 20 Fyvie
- 09 Di Santo
- 11 Henriquez
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee blows his whistle to end the game.90:00 +2:22 Booking
Booking Joel Robles is cautioned by the ref for time wasting.90:00 +0:06 Substitution
Substitution Gareth Barry leaves the field to be replaced by Edin Dzeko.90:00 +0:06
Shaun Maloney provided the assist for the goal.90:00 +0:06 Goal scored
Goal! - Ben Watson - Man City 0 - 1 Wigan Ben Watson scores a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. Man City 0-1 Wigan.90:00 +0:05
Corner taken by Shaun Maloney,88:20
Foul by Jack Rodwell on Ben Watson, free kick awarded. Paul Scharner restarts play with the free kick.87:50
Shaun Maloney takes a shot. Blocked by Vincent Kompany.86:45
Ben Watson has an effort direct from the free kick.86:45 Booking
Booking Booking for Gareth Barry for unsporting behaviour.86:40
Unfair challenge on Shaun Maloney by Gareth Barry results in a free kick.85:31
Sergio Aguero is ruled offside. Antolin Alcaraz takes the free kick.83:29
Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Shaun Maloney.83:29 Dismissal
Dismissal Red card for Pablo Zabaleta.83:21
Pablo Zabaleta concedes a free kick for a foul on Callum McManaman.81:48
Shaun Maloney is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Joe Hart restarts play with the free kick.80:30 Substitution
Substitution Ben Watson comes on in place of Jordi Gomez.79:05
Inswinging corner taken by James Milner, Joel Robles makes a save.78:51
Shot from 25 yards by Yaya Toure. James McCarthy gets a block in.77:21
Jack Rodwell has an effort at goal from 30 yards. Blocked by Antolin Alcaraz.
A cross is delivered by Gael Clichy, Paul Scharner manages to make a clearance.75:42
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Shaun Maloney by Jack Rodwell. Shaun Maloney takes the direct free kick.74:26
Free kick crossed right-footed by Shaun Maloney.74:26 Booking
Booking Matija Nastasic booked for unsporting behaviour.74:14
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Callum McManaman by Matija Nastasic.73:20
The ball is delivered by Callum McManaman, clearance made by James Milner.71:13
James Milner fouled by Roger Espinoza, the ref awards a free kick. James Milner sends in a cross, Jack Rodwell takes a shot. Joel Robles makes a comfortable save.71:06
The ball is delivered by Gael Clichy, Paul Scharner manages to make a clearance.69:08
Foul by Sergio Aguero on James McArthur, free kick awarded. Emmerson Boyce restarts play with the free kick.68:20 Substitution
Substitution Carlos Tevez goes off and Jack Rodwell comes on.68:04
David Silva sends in a cross, comfortable save by Joel Robles.65:13
Roger Espinoza takes a shot. Matija Nastasic gets a block in. Callum McManaman takes a shot. Vincent Kompany gets a block in.63:20
Shot by Jordi Gomez from outside the box goes over the net.61:47
Carlos Tevez fouled by Jordi Gomez, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed by David Silva.60:45
Gael Clichy fouled by Callum McManaman, the ref awards a free kick. Gareth Barry takes the free kick.59:56
Emmerson Boyce takes the free kick.59:56 Booking
Booking Pablo Zabaleta is booked.59:51
Foul by Pablo Zabaleta on Callum McManaman, free kick awarded.59:43
A cross is delivered by David Silva, clearance by Antolin Alcaraz.59:24
David Silva decides to take a short corner.55:44
Jordi Gomez takes a short corner.55:36
Callum McManaman delivers the ball, blocked by Vincent Kompany.53:47 Substitution
Substitution Samir Nasri leaves the field to be replaced by James Milner.52:53
Foul by Shaun Maloney on Gareth Barry, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Gareth Barry.49:56
Corner from the right by-line taken by David Silva, Vincent Kompany has a header from deep inside the six-yard box and clears the crossbar.49:36
David Silva takes a inswinging corner to the near post, clearance by James McCarthy.49:24
Sergio Aguero takes a shot. Emmerson Boyce gets a block in.48:05
Samir Nasri produces a cross.47:13
Vincent Kompany challenges Arouna Kone unfairly and gives away a free kick. Paul Scharner takes the direct free kick.46:18
Shot from outside the box by James McCarthy misses to the left of the target.45:01
The second half has started.45:00 +1:04 Half time
Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.44:02
Shot from 20 yards from Samir Nasri. Save made by Joel Robles.42:56
Gael Clichy is caught offside. Joel Robles restarts play with the free kick.42:11
The assistant referee signals for offside against Arouna Kone. Vincent Kompany takes the free kick.40:29
Gareth Barry takes a shot. Comfortable save by Joel Robles.39:37
Arouna Kone takes a shot. Vincent Kompany gets a block in.37:46
Sergio Aguero crosses the ball.35:18
Callum McManaman takes a shot. Pablo Zabaleta gets a block in.34:59
Yaya Toure takes a shot. Antolin Alcaraz gets a block in.32:05
Jordi Gomez takes a shot. Blocked by Vincent Kompany.29:39
Shot on goal by Carlos Tevez from just inside the area goes over the target.28:40
Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Save by Joel Robles. Samir Nasri takes a short corner.27:02
Callum McManaman is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Matija Nastasic restarts play with the free kick.24:47
David Silva gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Roger Espinoza. Paul Scharner restarts play with the free kick.23:07
Matija Nastasic has an effort at goal from a long way out that goes wide of the right-hand upright.21:42
A cross is delivered by Roger Espinoza, Vincent Kompany manages to make a clearance. Effort from outside the penalty area by Shaun Maloney goes wide left of the goal.18:59
David Silva takes a shot. Save by Joel Robles.15:32
Shot by Shaun Maloney. Vincent Kompany gets a block in.14:14
Corner taken right-footed by Shaun Maloney, Paul Scharner has a header from close range and clears the crossbar.11:42
Pablo Zabaleta concedes a free kick for a foul on Roger Espinoza. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Jordi Gomez from left wing.10:06
Foul by Samir Nasri on James McCarthy, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by James McCarthy.9:20
The referee blows for offside against Pablo Zabaleta. Joel Robles takes the free kick.8:33
Effort from deep inside the area by Callum McManaman misses to the left of the goal.3:59
The offside flag is raised against Sergio Aguero. Indirect free kick taken by Antolin Alcaraz.2:20
Foul by Emmerson Boyce on Sergio Aguero, free kick awarded. Carlos Tevez produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick. Yaya Toure takes a shot. Save made by Joel Robles.1:23
David Silva takes a shot. James McArthur gets a block in.0:00
The match gets underway.
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