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20 Feb 2018

Wigan 1-0 Manchester City: How Wigan carried off a giant-killing

(Photo credit: Dan Farrimond)

Wigan Athletic defeated Manchester City for the third time in a row in the FA Cup, as Will Grigg’s second-half goal saw them through to the quarter-finals.

Their previous two victories had come in the 2014 quarter-finals,and the 2013 final when Ben Watson’s header gave Roberto Martinez’s team a memorable win.

Since then they’ve been down to League 1, back up to the Championship and back down again, but they now reside in a position near the top of the table which gives them a good chance of promotion under the management of Paul Cook.

Here we take a look at how they were able to overcome the odds.

Man City, man off

It wasn’t quite a turning point, as both sides had already spent the whole of the first half being sloppy in the final third and profligate in front of goal but Delph’s sending-off just before halftime had a major impact on the atmosphere in the stands and on the pitch.

Arguments between management, coaching staff and players spilled over into the tunnel as the halftime whistle was blown and set the tone for the second half.

Wigan fought harder but were wary of attacking too much even with a man extra. This led to some even more tentative play and, as a result, the home side still spent much of the game on the back foot.

But City’s decision to go with a 4-3-2 formation, with the fullbacks offering the width which had been provided by Leroy Sane, who was replaced by Kyle Walker at halftime, and Bernardo Silva, meant they had less cover in defence.

This was to be their downfall when Walker’s error saw the ball roll into the path of Grigg and the fullback was uncharacteristically unable to recover ground as the Wigan striker positioned himself well between defender and the goal.

Juego de Tiro

Wigan had just one shot in the second half and this solitary strike was enough to see them through to the quarter-finals of the cup.

City, on the other hand, had a total of 14 shots in that second period, dominated possession despite having a man less, and completed 90 percent of their passes and yet were unable to break down the barriers constructed by the home side’s defence.

Of these 14 shots, 11 were blocked and only two were on target.