Arsenal and Chelsea the big winners as Wigan stun Man City
Championship side knock City out of the FA Cup as Arsenal and Chelsea celebrate
MANCHESTER CITY officially now have a bogey-team after Wigan Athletic ruined their dreams of FA Cup glory for the second year running with a stunning 2-1 win over Manuel Pellegrini's side at the Etihad.
You would have got long, long odds on Wigan of the Championship being the team that would end Man City's hopes of a quadruple, or domestic treble, this season. But goals either side of half time from Jordi Gomez, from the penalty spot, and James Perch, after an error by Gael Clichy, were enough to secure a famous win for the Latics and knock City out of a competition for the first time this season.
Samir Nasri pulled one back for the home side in the second half and that prompted a City onslaught for the final minutes of the match. But the unfancied visitors held on to prove that the romance of the cup is not dead.
It was a special moment for Wigan boss Uwe Rosler, who was a cult hero as a player at Man City in the 1990s. He described the win as his "biggest achievement" in management.
And Wigan's reward for downing the team seen by many as the best in the country? A semi-final against Arsenal at Wembley and quite possibly a congratulatory phonecall from Jose Mourinho of Chelsea, as this result could also have repercussions on the title race.
What can the big clubs take from the result?
Bad news for City
"This was the most troubling display in a sequence that has shown an undeniable drop in performance over the past five weeks or so," says The Times. "They have already won the Capital One Cup, but, out of the FA Cup and with their Champions League hopes hanging by a thread, they cannot afford to defend as badly as this if they wish to chase down Chelsea in the Barclays Premier League."
Very good news for Arsenal
The Gunners, who beat Everton on Saturday, are now one of only two Premier League sides left in the FA Cup, and they will face Wigan at Wembley next month. And if they win that they will face either Hull or Sheffield United in the final. That is not a daunting prospect considering they have disposed of Spurs, Liverpool and Everton. "Arsenal will expect to reach the final," says Henry Winter in the Daily Telegraph. "Surely, they will end nine years of hurt now? This has to be their time, their opportunity."
Good news for Chelsea
Out of form and out of the FA Cup, City are also nine points behind the Blues in the title race and "Jose Mourinho's statement that City are still favourites for the Premier League cannot be taken seriously", says The Independent. "Aside from Arsenal in 1998, there have been very few clubs who have capitalised on games in hand to win the title at this stage of the season." What's more City's next three away games are at Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool, notes the Telegraph. According to Metro "this is now a one-horse title race".