There are no amount of words that can fully describe what happened on May 11th, 2013 at the FA Cup Final between Wigan Athletic and Manchester City. A game that everyone said, Manchester City would win, a game that everyone said Wigan wouldn’t be in. It was a game that Wigan were in and did indeed win as they beat the Citizens 1-0 as Ben Watson was the hero on the day, and for eternity.
City started the game well, showing how capable they are in attack, as Wigan looked a bit nervous in the first 10 minutes. After that, Wigan grew in confidence by the second. The first real chance of the game fell to Callum McManaman. Koné did well to pick out McManaman who was arriving in the box; he cut onto his left foot and hit the ball wide of Hart’s post.
Then came City’s best chance in the game. Good attacking play from Nasri found Silva in space in the box, he then played the ball back to the six, which found Carlos Tevez unmarked at the six. What looked surely to be a goal was brilliantly saved by Joel Robles as he got the slightest of touches with his foot to send the ball over the bar.
The second half came, Wigan were gaining more hope the longer City stayed off the score sheet. The Latics defended brilliantly against the 200 million pound city squad. The Latics created the better of the chances in the second half as Callum McManaman and Shaun Maloney were looking lively on the ball. McManaman was unlucky as he created another great opportunity in the 66th minute. He got on the inside of his man and lined up to take the left footed shot from near the top of the box, he then faked the shot and beat the defender in line for the block. McManaman would have surely scored if not from a last second block from Vincent Kompany.
Then in the 84th minute Koné intercepted a Man City pass right along the half way line, he then played McManaman through for the second time on the afternoon. As the chance looked to be gone and the City defenders looked to be closing in on him, Pablo Zabaleta committed a clear foul on McManaman, which was his second bookable offense of the day, and saw his afternoon end.
Wigan saw the opportunity to capitalize on this opportunity in the 90th minute of the game. A corner from Shaun Maloney found Ben Watson at the near post as his header when over Hart and into the back of the net. The Latics held on to give them their first ever FA Cup trophy in their 81 year history. Brilliant! It was David versus Golliath and David won, Dave Whelan won, Roberto Martinez won, the 11 men on the field one, the whole squad, the training staff and the whole town won on this day. A day to be remembered, a day to not be forgotten. It was compared to the 1988 final between Wimbledon and Liverpool, but this was no Wimbledon repeat, this was Wigan Athletic.
Joel Robles – 10
What a save against Tevez, had a phenomenal day.
Emmerson Boyce – 10
Couldn’t have asked for more from the skipper
Paul Scharner – 10
Gave it his all against the deadly strike force of City
Antolín Alcaraz – 10
Great to see him back in the team, crucial to the Latics success
Roger Espinoza – 10
Gave it his all on the left, worked endlessly on the offensive and defensive ends
James McArthur – 10
Great performance from Macca
James McCarthy – 10
What else can you say about him, brilliant
Jordi Gómez – 10
Played his part today
Shaun Maloney – 10
Worked the whole day, really gives everything for the club. Player of the year performance
Callum McManaman – 10
A constant threat the whole game, Matija Nastasic is probably still having nightmares
Arouna Koné – 10
The hold up play is top notch from this fellow, really allows attacking threats to develop, something the Latics have been missing.
Ben Watson – 11
A legend for a day, a legend for a lifetime
Man City – Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy, Silva, Y Toure, Barry (Dzeko 90), Nasri (Milner 54), Aguero, Tevez (Rodwell 69),
Unused subs – Pantilimon, Garcia, Kolarov, Lescott.
Latics – Robles, Espinoza, Scharner, Alcaraz, Boyce, McCarthy, McArthur, Gomez (Watson 81), McManaman, Koné, Maloney.
Unused subs – Al Habsi, Caldwell, Di Santo, Henriquez, Fyvie, Golobart.