3 things we learned from knocking City out of the cup
It doesn`t get much better for a Latics` fan than beating an all-conquering Manchester City side.
It was an extraordinary result considering the disparity between the two teams, and the remarkable thing was, we more than deserved it after standing toe to toe with them for the first 45 minutes.
Surprisingly, the sending off seemed to bring Guardiola`s side to life, and in the second half we had to do a fair share of last ditch defending against ten men. When we got that one chance though, we took it, and with Will Griggs in on goal, there wasn`t really any doubt in my mind that we would score.
So now we are in the quarter final, what can we learn from the stunning win last night as Paul Cook`s men head into some important games over the next few weeks?
1) The Defence can stand up to anything
We may have had the numerical advantage at the restart but the players City had on the pitch last night were some of the best in Europe. The likes of Aguero, De Bruyne, Sane, Gundogan, David Silva and Bernardo Silva have unlocked almost every defence they have come across this season, but our backline stood firm.
There were numerous blocks, interceptions and tackles made by our back four.
Although, it was very much a team effort to keep the Citizens at bay, the likes of Chey Dunkley, Nathan Byrne, Callum Elder all should be given huge credit, with some great leadership qualities shown by Dan Burn – as well in marshalling the defensive line.
2) Will Grigg`s on fire once again
Our number nine stepped up to the mark, after a run that had seen him score just twice in eight games prior to the tie.
His form in the FA Cup cannot be doubted though with his winner yesterday taking him on to a remarkable seven goals in seven games in the competition.
Cook has given the Northern Irishman more starts as the season has gone on, and the way he took his strike against City showed the top-class finisher we all know him to be.
The way he ran away from an England international in Kyle Walker, kept his head when the full back caught up with him, and then calmly slotted past the onrushing Claudio Bravo, showed true composure.
3) Promotion mentality
Losing top spot in the league after two underwhelming performances against Southend and Blackpool in recent weeks gave me and others some cause for concern about our promotion hopes.
This unbelievable cup run should; however, offer us a huge morale boost as we look to overhaul Blackburn and Shrewsbury.
We have two games in hand over the Shrews, and three over Rovers, and with just three points in it, we must use the positivity around the DW stadium in our five games before Southampton to make up the ground, and establish a firm lead at the top of the table once again.