11th May 2013: Wigan stun Manchester City to win the FA Cup


An injury-time Ben Watson header from a corner tore up the 2013 FA Cup final script to give Wigan Athletic their first ever major trophy, on this day in 2013.

The 1-0 win for the Premier League’s third bottom club was one of the greatest shocks ever in the competition and left Manchester City’s big money stars and expectant supporters devastated.

It was a lacklustre showing from Roberto Mancini’s City, who were matched throughout by a positive performance by Roberto Martinez’s Wigan, despite Watson’s decisive 91st minute glance into the far corner being their only effort on target.

Club owner Dave Whelan, who infamously broke his leg in the 1960 cup final for Blackburn, led the celebrations in the royal box.

Wigan lift the FA Cup (credit: FIFA)

Wigan’s run to final included only one home match – a disappointing draw against then League One Bournemouth in the third round.

They came through the replay winning 1-0, before making hard work of victory on their visit to Conference side Macclesfield Town – it took a Jordi Gómez penalty for another 1-0 win.

It was followed by a more straightforward 4-1 win at Huddersfield, a 3-0 quarter-final victory at Everton – their only Premier League opponents before the final – and a 2-0 win against Millwall in the last four.

City’s road to Wembley was predictably comfortable: A 3-0 win at home to Watford and then a 1-0 win at Stoke, followed by 4-0 and 5-0 victories at home to Leeds and Barnsley respectively.

In what many pundits seemed to view as the ‘real final’ at the time, they then overcame holders Chelsea 2-1 in the semi-final.

When Wigan and Manchester City faced off at Wembley on this day seven years ago, the even possession and shooting stats showed that the shock result was no fluke.

Confident on the ball, intense in defence and taking the game to City territorially, it was tricky winger Callum McManaman who put in the best individual display for Wigan, to run Gaël Clichy ragged and create several chances for himself.

Pablo Zabaleta on the other side fared little better. The Argentine full back was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for a wild and late lunge that brought down McManaman on the break, with six minutes remaining.

To say Wigan simply nicked it against opponents reduced by a man would do their impressive afternoon an unfair disservice though.

As dramatic as the late winner was, some City fans must have had a sense of foreboding as the board for additional time was shown and the ball went out for a Wigan corner, after a disjointed display.

Watson meets Maloney’s corner (credit: ITV)

Shaun Maloney whipped an out-swinging delivery to the near post and from the corner of the six-yard box, 81stminute substitute Watson – having missed much of the season with a broken leg – flicked the ball on to the far top-corner.

His header flew over a flailing Joe Hart at pace into the side-netting, with Agüero on the post unable to reach it and prevent history.


About Author

Comments are closed.