Wigan, fighting for its life in the English Premier League, gained some momentum on Saturday with a stunning 1-0 upset of powerhouse Manchester City on Saturday at Wembley Stadium to win its first FA Cup in the club's 81-year history.
Ben Watson scored fin the 90th minute on a header off a corner kick by Shaun Maloney for Wigan, which is on the relegation line at the moment in EPL play with a record of 9-19-8 and two games left in the season. The three bottom teams in the Premier League are relegated to the second-tier League Championship division.
Wigan had already exceeded expectations by qualifying for the final. Manchester City, last year's EPL champion and a qualifier for the UEFA Champions League with a guaranteed top-four finish this season, boasts a payroll of approximately $300 million compared to the rather thrifty $30 million for Wigan.
Manchester City did play a man down when defender Pablo Zabaleta was given a second yellow card in the 84th minute for a hard tackle on Callum McManaman, who was driving forward on a counterattack.
“Today it was David and Goliath,” Wigan Manager Roberto Martinez said afterward. “It was following a dream. ... We saw the underdogs play with incredible bravery, incredible belief, and they defied the odds again. That's the FA Cup.”
Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany had no arguments with the outcome.
“There’s no need to look for excuses,” Kompany said in a television interview. “Wigan deserved to win it today. Congratulations to them.”
Now back to the regularly scheduled programming for Wigan, which hosts Arsenal on Tuesday and travels to Aston Villa on May 19.
Wigan has 35 points and trails Newcastle, Sunderland and Norwich City by three, Southampton by four as well as Aston Villa and Fulham by five.
“It's unbelievable -- it's some achievement for everyone in the club,” Wigan midfielder James McCarthy said. “Now it's down to the league. It's a massive week for the club. We have to put on a massive show for the rest of the season.”
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