Manchester City faced defending FA Cup champions and current Championship side Wigan Athletic in the quarterfinals of the 2013/14 FA Cup. Manuel Pellegrini fielded a strong attacking side with Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo but started little used Micah Richards and Gael Clichy in defense. The City side seemed to take a casual approach for the match that was typified by their manager’s choice to wear a hooded sweatshirt rather than his usual suit and tie. This attitude would soon be the downfall of the Sky Blues as they fell to Wigan for only their fourth home loss of the season.
Things went sour quickly for City as Martin Demichelis conceded a penalty to Marc-Antoine Fortune in the 27th minute. The penalty was coolly slotted home by Jordi Gomez and Wigan were off and running. Shades of doubt certainly crept in to the minds of the City players as they recalled their loss to Wigan in the final last year by a 1-0 scoreline. Wigan looked comfortable for the remainder of the first half as City did not challenge their defense for the last 15 minutes.
The second half started well for the Latics as they were able to double their lead with a lovely bit of play in the box and some poor defending by City. Midfielder James McArthur made a darting run in to the left side by the box, easily beating Richards and firing a low cross in front of Costel Pantilimon’s goal. James Perch took advantage of the lackadaisical Clichy and poked the ball home from short range. Wigan were now up 2-0 and were ready to absorb the City pressure.
City’s inevitable goal courtesy of a shot from Samir Nasri at the top of the box but it was not without controversy as Joleon Lescott was offside and was in the keeper’s direct line of sight. The referee signaled that it was a goal and the City rush was on. With some wonderful defending by Wigan captain Emmerson Boyce, the Latics were able to withstand the pressure and even had two solid chances at putting the tie to rest. The match ended the way it had started with Wigan on the front foot and with their victory they have booked a ticket to Wembley to face Arsenal in April. As for City, so much for all the quadruple talk around Manchester these days.
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