Upset: League 1 side Wigan knock out Manchester City in FA Cup
The League One side survived virtually constant pressure from the Premier League leaders, eventually capitalising on Fabian Delph’s controversial first-half red card when Will Grigg struck 11 minutes from time.
The striker’s low finish capped a night of drama at the DW Stadium, with City’s Fernandinho wasting a fine chance shortly before Delph was dismissed for a heavy challenge on Max Power.
The incident led to a heated argument between City boss Pep Guardiola and opposite number Paul Cook in the tunnel at half-time.
And there were unedifying scenes at full-time, too, with City striker Sergio Aguero involved in an altercation with one of the many home fans who invaded the pitch.
City threw everything at their hosts both before and after Grigg’s goal – a guided shot from 20 yards – and Danilo’s header was gracefully held by Christian Walton in the game’s final attack.
Guardiola, who said his side “gave absolutely everything”, refused to comment in detail about the red card, and his subsequent clash with Cook.
The dismissal did not change the flow of the game, as City dominated even with a numerical disadvantage, but the decision prompted a half-time reshuffle with Leroy Sane replaced by Kyle Walker.
Delph seemed stunned to be shown the second red card of his career, after sliding in for a 50-50 ball. The challenge was robust but did not appear malicious and he will now miss Sunday’s League Cup final against Arsenal.
Referee Anthony Taylor took his yellow card out and began writing on it, before pulling out the red card.
Cook’s angry gesticulations after the tackle appeared to irritate Guardiola, and the pair continued a heated debate in the tunnel, with staff from both sides attempting to keep things under control.
Match of the Day pundit Jermaine Jenas said the decision was “strange”, adding: “I really don’t think the tackle was that strong. I feel he won enough of the ball, it wasn’t two-footed.”
City may well feel aggrieved, but they found the target just five times from 27 attempts, as the finishing that has made them England’s highest-scoring team eluded them.
It seemed unthinkable that a side boasting nine goals in their past two games – and a 16-point lead at the top of the Premier League – would succumb to just a third defeat in 42 matches.
And City’s defeat is perhaps all the more surprising as it arrives during Wigan’s worst run of form this season. Cook’s side came into the fixture having lost back-to-back league games for the first time in the campaign.
But their spirit and commitment derailed a City side seen by some as the best of the Premier League era.
Talk of an unprecedented Quadruple had intensified in recent weeks, though Guardiola always maintained such an achievement would be “impossible”. He was proved right in spectacular circumstances.
This was no hard-fought exit at the hands of a European force, but a shock which will go down in FA Cup folklore.
City must make do with chasing a Treble, starting with their Wembley final against the Gunners on Sunday.BBCSport