London: Wigan Athletic secured one of the biggest upsets in modern FA Cup history after beating Manchester City 1-0 in the final.
Ben Watson’s header a minute into added time sent the 23,000 Latics fans into ecstasy as they watched their team go on to win the Cup for the first time.
Given the disparity in the resources of the two clubs, with City’s super-rich status in stark contrast to Wigan as one of the Premier League minnows, the achievement of Roberto Martinez’s team in overcoming the sky blues will go down as the biggest FA Cup shock since Wimbledon beat Liverpool in 1988.
The outcome hinged upon two decisive moments late in what had been a generally flat match. In the 84th minute, City right-back was sent off after collecting a second yellow card for a wayward tackle on man-of-the-match Callum McManaman.
Sensing this could be their opening, Wigan threw men forward and created a series of set-piece openings.
With two of the three minutes of added time remaining, Shaun Maloney’s whipped-in corner from the right was met by substitute Watson, who wrote himself into Wigan folklore by rising above Jack Rodwell and powering an unstoppable header past Joe Hart to stun a rain-soaked Wembley.
With the dark blue flags flying high in the grey north London sky, it was a thrilling end to what had been a generally tepid encounter.
City had begun the match as strong favourites but this was a forgettable display from the 2011 champions.
We're building him (RvP) up now because of the World Cup. It’s a pity but we have to or he’ll never be fit.
Louis van Gaal