On this day in 2013: Wigan celebrate FA Cup win with shock victory over Man City
Wigan produced one of the biggest upsets in FA Cup history when they beat Manchester City 1-0 at Wembley, on this day in 2013.
Ben Watson’s late header clinched a fairytale win for the Latics, who won their first major trophy just 35 years after becoming a Football League club.
Roberto Mancini’s big-spending City, who won the FA Cup in 2011, were overwhelming favourites having been crowned Premier League champions in 2012.
The Latics were in the Premier League’s bottom three and were given little chance after beating Bournemouth, Macclesfield, Huddersfield, Everton and Millwall to earn their chance of glory.
But manager Roberto Martinez said: “We all know Manchester City are the major favourites, and rightly so. But there are many examples of major upsets in the past. It can happen, but we will have to be perfect.”
In the event, it proved a perfect afternoon for Wigan’s on-loan Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Joel Robles, who saved from Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero, Samir Nasri and most notably denied Carlos Tevez with his legs to keep Mancini’s all-stars at bay.
Having weathered a storm, the underdogs went close when Shaun Maloney’s free-kick hit the crossbar and they gained fresh impetus six minutes from time when City defender Pablo Zabaleta was sent off for a second bookable offence.
The decisive moment came in the final minute of normal time when Watson met Maloney’s corner at the near post and glanced a header over the helpless Joe Hart.
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan, who had famously broken his leg while playing for Blackburn in the 1960 final, revealed afterwards he had envisioned the victory in a dream several weeks earlier.
The then-76-year-old, who had led the team out, said: “I did predict all this and it was a fantastic dream.
“It was a lovely dream that night and it’s come true.”
Mancini was sacked by City two days later and was replaced by Manuel Pellegrini on June 14, nine days after Martinez had departed Wigan to replace Manchester United-bound David Moyes as Everton manager.