Manchester City’s quadruple bid ends in shock FA Cup loss to Wigan

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola restrains City striker Sergio Aguero. (Action Images via Reuters)
Updated 20 February 2018
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Manchester City’s quadruple bid ends in shock FA Cup loss to Wigan

MANCHESTER, England: Manchester City’s pursuit of a quadruple ended on Monday when it was surprisingly eliminated from the FA Cup by losing at third-division Wigan 1-0.
Wigan beat City in the 2013 FA Cup final, but this was an even bigger shock. Will Grigg’s late goal was enough for the League One side to pull off the upset in the fifth round. They host Southampton in the quarterfinals next month.
“We had to ride our luck with a couple of flashing crosses, but that’s what makes the FA Cup so special,” Wigan manager Paul Cook said. “Our lads deserve a lot of credit for the amount of work and the level of energy they put in. To beat a Man City team you have to do that.”
City was forced to play the entire second half with 10 men after left back Fabian Delph was red-carded on the stroke of halftime for a strong challenge on Max Power.
City manager Pep Guardiola accepted the referee’s decision and played down its significance.
“We played good in the second half even with 10 so the influence in terms of the way we played wasn’t too much,” he said. “Of course, with 11 it’s easier. We conceded one shot on target in 90 minutes and we lost. Football is like this.
“Of course, we are sad and we want to go through because the FA Cup is a nice competition and you want to go to the quarterfinals. They score a goal, we were not able to. We congratulate Wigan for their victory.”
While Delph’s red card led to Guardiola and Cook exchanging strong words on the touchline and in the tunnel at halftime, both managers said there wasn’t a problem.
“From our point of view we’re trying to get every edge in everything we can,” Cook said.
“We certainly wish them well fighting on all fronts because they represent English football so well.”
City enjoyed 83 percent of possession and 29 shots to Wigan’s four, but could not take advantage. Sergio Aguero headed over early on and Ilkay Gundogan forced a good save from Christian Walton before miskicking from another good position.
Aguero looked like opening the scoring after breaking into the box just before the interval, but Walton produced another fine save.
Controversy then erupted when referee Anthony Taylor dismissed Delph following a sliding challenge on Power.
Taylor initially had a yellow card in his hand, but eventually brandished the red one, sparking vociferous complaints from City players, who felt the decision was harsh.
Guardiola was also angered and encroached on to the field, his arguments with Cook continuing for some time afterwards.
City was further frustrated after the break and Grigg capitalized on a Kyle Walker error to win it for Wigan 11 minutes from time. The Northern Ireland international seized possession on halfway and charged upfield before slotting a fine shot past Bravo from the edge of the area.
Wigan survived a nervy finish, with the final whistle prompting a pitch invasion.
Television pictures appeared to show a home supporter and Aguero involved in a physical exchange.
Aguero appeared to strike the supporter after the latter said something to the forward, who had to be held back by his City teammates.
Guardiola and Cook said they did not see the post-match incidents because they were in the changing rooms.


LIVE: Tunisia 1-2 Belgium. Bronn pulls one back after early Hazard and Lukaku strikes

Updated 4 min 1 sec ago
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LIVE: Tunisia 1-2 Belgium. Bronn pulls one back after early Hazard and Lukaku strikes

3.32PM: TUNISIA COMING BACK INTO IT - Sassi and Khazri both have good shots saved during a period of dominance for Tunisia. Things are looking better for the North Africans. 

3.30PM: The Tunisia defence is being opened up at will here. Lukaku should have got his second and Belgium's third but a heavy touch proves his undoing. 

3.25PM: COMEBACK ON THE CARDS?

 

3.22PM: SUBSTITUTION -  Bronn is down hurt after blocking a shot, it looks like his knee buckled at a horrible angle. He is replaced by Hamdi Naguez.

3.17PM: GOAL FOR TUNISIA -  What a response! Bronn gets his head on the end of a Khazri freekick - GAME BACK ON! 

3.15PM: GOAL FOR BELGIUM -  It is all too easy for Belgium as Lukaku makes a pretty simple run yet finds himself in acres of space before drilling the ball leftfooted into the bottom corner. THis is not the start Tunisia were looking for. 

3.11PM: Almost another for Belgium as Lukaku does well down the right to set uop Hazard whose poor shot is easily saved by Mustapha.

3.10PM: FRUSTRATED FAN

 

3.08PM: Tunisia now know what they need to do, they cannot just sit back and wait for things to happen, they need to take the game to Belgium or face an early exit. 

3.05PM: GOAL FOR BELGIUM. Hazard makes no mistake from the spot, slotting the ball home for his 23rd international strike and an early lead for the favorites. 

3.05PM: PENALTY TO BELGIUM. Ben Youssef faouls the rampaging Hazard on the right side of the area and the referee has no hesitation to point to the spot. It's referred to the VAR who confimrs the bad challenge took place in the area. 

3.01PM: Twenty seconds gone and already Tunisia have dished out a hard challenge on Hazard, setting their stall out for the rest of the match. Belgium waste the resulting free-kick. 

3PM: The nationals anthems are being sung with gusto in Moscow. Can the passion in their voices be matched by passion and panache on the pitch? 

2.45PM: THE MEN TUNISIA NEED TO STOP - Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne are the main threats facing the Eagles of Carthage today. Can they keep them quiet? 

 

 

2.42PM: Tunisia coach Nabil Maaloul swapped his goalkeeper with Farouk Mustapha taking over from Mouez Hassen, who played in the opening 2-1 defeat to England, failing to stop Kane scoring the late winner for the Three Lions.
In the only other change, Troyes midfielder Saif-Eddine Khaoui replaced Naim Sliti in the middle of the park for Tunisia.

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez started with the same team which beat Panama for Saturday's World Cup group match against Tunisia in Moscow.
Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku is looking to add to the two goals he scored in their opening 3-0 rout of Panama for the clash at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow.

2.40PM: TEAMS ANNOUNCED. 

BELGIUM - Thibaut Courtois; Toby Alderweireld, Dedryck Boyata, Jan Vertonghen; Thomas Meunier, Axel Witsel, Kevin De Bruyne, Yannick Carrasco; Eden Hazard (capt), Dries Mertens; Romelu Lukaku

TUNISIA - Farouk Mustapha; Syam Ben Youssef, Yassine Meriah, Fakhreddine Ben Youssef, Ali Maaloul; Dylan Bronn, Ellyes Skhiri, Ferjani Sassi; Saif-Eddine Khaoui, Wahbi Khazri (capt), Anice Badri

2.30PM: The Eagles of Carthage suffered last-minute heartache against England on Monday, when a Harry Kane header in injury-time sealed a 2-1 win for his side in the opening clash of Group G.

Nabil Maaloul’s men now face highly fancied Belgium knowing another defeat would end their interest in the tournament after just one game. They looked solid, without ever being spectacular against England. Can they find another gear and cause a shock against Eden Hazard and Co?