FA expected to act after Sergio Aguero tangles with Wigan fans
FA expected to act after Sergio Aguero tangles with Wigan fans
Will Grigg’s late winning goal saw League One Wigan defeat Pep Guardiola’s Premier League leaders in an ill-tempered game that boiled over on the final whistle.
Wigan supporters invaded the pitch to celebrate at the end of the tie and Aguero, who was shaking the hand of opposing defender Chey Dunkley at the time, became embroiled in an ugly altercation with a number of fans.
Aguero was forced to defend himself as the scene threatened to turn even more violent and City staff had to help shepherd him off the field and to the safety of the dressing room.
“It’s not right,” said Wigan manager Paul Cook. “I haven’t seen the incident so I can’t comment. But players’ safety has to be paramount for everyone.”
City are expected to contact Wigan themselves to demand answers about the lack of protection offered their players at the end, although the FA action may well take that out of their hands.
The trouble was not over there as a number of home fans taunted the City support and, in response, the visitors began to tear at advertising hoardings in front of them.
Police became involved in scuffles with City supporters that continued for several minutes and the FA are certain to review footage, and read referee Anthony Taylor’s report, before contacting the two clubs and deciding whether to issue charges.
The problems were not restricted to off the field matters with City being reduced to 10 men late in the first half following a foul by Fabian Delph on Max Power which saw Taylor first produce a yellow card before changing it to red.
That will rule Delph out of the Carabao Cup Final with Arsenal on Sunday and City’s anger at Taylor’s decision was evident in its wake, with Aguero arguing with the Wigan bench and Guardiola and opposite number Cook being separated by staff as they engaged in a furious argument in the tunnel at half-time.
“It’s a red card,” said Guardiola, who has been vocal this season after his own players have been the victim of bad fouls that did not produce red cards.
“You want to ask me about football, ask me. Nothing happened in the tunnel.
“He should stay in the position, that’s all. They were a really aggressive opponent.”
The loss of Delph, who is playing at left-back in the absence of long-term injury victim Benjamin Mendy, could prove problematic in this crucial period of the season.
But, contrary to his on-field actions, Guardiola claimed he had no problem with the decision.
“It’s an unnecessary action,” he said. “The referee decides what he decides. I’m not here to judge so it can be a red card. We have to learn from that.”
The stunning upset, a repeat of the 2013 FA Cup Final result, carried Wigan through to a home FA Cup quarter-final meeting with Southampton and ends City’s dream of winning all four competitions this season.
“I didn’t have the feeling that we didn’t try,” said Guardiola. “That would be a worry.
“We’re sad because the FA Cup is a nice competition but football counts what happens in 94 minutes. They deserved to go through.”
The victory, however, was undoubtedly marred by the scenes at the end and the sight of Aguero having to defend himself as he left the field.
Wigan chairman David Sharpe joined the criticism of the pitch invasion by his club’s supporters.
“It is not nice to see, football is emotional — that’s what it is to fans,” he said. “But I don’t like to see this at the end of the game.
“It is a massive result, but we have to stay classy in football, I don’t like what I am seeing here.”
Pakistan beat Afghanistan in last over finish
- Hashmatullah Shahidi missed out on a maiden hundred by a mere three runs but still steered Afghanistan to a challenging 257-6
DUBAI: Experienced batsman Shoaib Malik hit a six and a boundary to pull off a sensational last over three wicket win for Pakistan against a spirited Afghanistan in the Asia Cup in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Malik pulled the second ball of the final over by paceman Aftab Alam over the deep square leg boundary and then whacked the next to deep fine leg for a boundary as Pakistan pulled off a nerve-wracking win in 49.3 overs at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Pakistan, cashing a stiff 258-run target, were home and dry to start the Super Four Stage with a much needed win and now face arch rivals India in Dubai on Sunday.
Hashmatullah Shahidi missed out on a maiden hundred by a mere three runs but still steered Afghanistan to a challenging 257-6.
Pakistan were off to a disastrous start when opener Fakhar Zaman was trapped leg-before off the sixth ball of the innings by spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman for nought.
Imam-ul-Haq scored a 104-ball 80 with five boundaries and a six while Babar Azam knocked an attractive 94-ball 66 with four boundaries and a six during their innings repairing the 154-run stand for the second wicket.
But both fell within the space of four runs as spinner Rashid Khan (3-46) brought Afghanistan back in the game with the asking rate getting stiffer, as Pakistan needed 42 off the final five overs.
Despite losing skipper Sarfraz Ahmed (eight), Asif Ali (seven) and Mohammad Nawaz (ten), Malik kept his cool to sop Afghanistan from posting their third straight win after beating Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the first round.
Earlier, Shahidi hit three consecutive boundaries in the final over off Usman Shinwari, but failed to get to three figures off the last delivery after Afghanistan won the toss and batted.
Shahidi finished with a brilliantly-paced 118-ball 97 not out, and added 94 for the fourth wicket with his skipper Asghar Afghan, who smashed five sixes and two fours in his 56-ball 67.
But it was Shahidi who held one end against Pakistan’s bowling in an innings which featured seven boundaries after left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz (3-57) had put the brakes on Afghanistan’s early progress.
Shahidi had added 63 for the third wicket with Rahmat Shah who scored a measured 36.
The total is an improvement by Afghanistan after scoring 249 and 255 in their previous two wins against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Pakistani fielders dropped four catches — three off debutant paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi who finished with 2-38.
India beat Bangladesh by seven wickets in Dubai and now meet Pakistan on Sunday, also in Dubai. Afghanistan and Bangladesh meet in Abu Dhabi on the same day.
Top two teams from the Super Four Stages will play the final in Dubai on September 28.