Wigan end Man City's quadruple dream
Cult hero Will Grigg fires in winner to stun EPL leaders who had Delph sent off before halftime
Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook had joked before their FA Cup fifth-round tie with Premier League leaders Manchester City that he would be asking for special dispensation to field 14 players.
In the end, against a multi-millionaire City side reduced to 10 men for the entire second half, he needed only 11 to achieve the unthinkable and win 1-0 on one of the greatest nights in the third-tier club’s Cup history.
For that, he had also to thank Northern Irish talisman Will Grigg, who seized his chance and fired in the 79th-minute winner.
The goal was his seventh in this season’s competition, more than any other player, and ended City’s hopes of an unprecedented league and cup quadruple.
“I’m scoring every week now so it’s nice and easy,” Grigg joked afterwards when told how calm he had seemed. “It was more shock than anything. I was so tired I couldn’t really celebrate.
“I caught the offside trap and it was a nice little race with Kyle Walker. I am a goalscorer, if I get a chance I’ll score them. The FA Cup has been brilliant to me.”
A cult hero at the DW Stadium, Grigg also scored a double in the fourth round when Wigan pulled off a shock 2-0 win over Premier League West Ham.
Wigan, who also beat Premier League side Bournemouth in a third-round replay with Grigg scoring in the initial 2-2 draw, will face Southampton in the quarter-finals.
The chant of "Will Grigg’s on Fire" has been popular, and a top download, since before Northern Ireland went to the 2016 European Championship and has been heard more than ever in the cup this season.
“For a lot of the game, I’m standing up on my own while the lads are shuffling and defending for their lives,” the player said.
"I’m sort of out of it for a large part of the game but then when it comes to me, you have to do something... and fortunately I managed to do that.”
Cook said it was a fantastic night for the club, against one of the best sides in Europe.
“It feels great,” he said.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola congratulated his plucky rivals as he now looks forward to the League Cup final against Arsenal on Monday morning (Singapore time).
“Congratulations for Wigan for the qualification,” Guardiola told BBC radio.
“We did absolutely everything, we made a mistake and this kind of game is like a final. Okay, we accept the defeat.
“Wigan won, congratulations to them and now we rest to prepare for the League Cup final.” – REUTERS