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.”
“Captain fantastic” Harry Kane to the rescue as England beat Tunisia at the death
- Harry Kane came to the rescue with two goals, the second a dramatic injury-time winner
- England had started brightly in a blur of passing and movement and could have been two goals up inside the first four minutes
VOLGOGRAD, Russia: Captain Harry Kane came to the rescue with two goals, the second a dramatic injury-time winner, as England began their World Cup Group G campaign with a stuttering 2-1 win over Tunisia on Monday.
Gareth Southgate’s men almost paid a heavy price for missing a slew of first-half chances when Tunisia’s Ferjani Sassi slotted home a softly-awarded penalty 20 minutes before half-time.
And the north Africans were still level as the game went past the 90-minute mark.
But Harry Maguire won a header from a corner and Kane was on hand at the far post to nod in the winner before being mobbed by his ecstatic teammates.
“I’m so proud of the lads,” Kane said. “They kept going, kept going to the last second.
“I am absolutely buzzing, everyone on the staff is. It shows good character to get the job done.”
England had started brightly in a blur of passing and movement and could have been two goals up inside the first four minutes.
First Jordan Henderson’s lofted first-time pass released Dele Alli and when the ball eventually broke to Jesse Lingard he saw his shot from six yards saved by the outstretched left boot of Mouez Hassen in the Tunisia goal.
Kane had been kept quiet in the opening salvos but he exploded into action in the 11th minute when he cut inside from the left and saw his shot from the edge of the box deflected wide for a corner.
Ashley Young delivered the set piece for John Stones to rise highest and meet with a powerful header. Hassen saved acrobatically but Kane was on hand to tap home the rebound with his right foot and open his World Cup account.
Hassen, who had injured his left shoulder making an earlier save, could not continue and left the field in tears as he was replaced in goal by Farouk Ben Mustapha.
England continued to press and were made to pay for not converting a succession of chances when they conceded a soft penalty.
Kyle Walker swung a lazy arm across Fakhreddine Ben Youssef who fell as if poleaxed and Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan pointed to the spot, with his decision being upheld by the VAR.
Ferjani Sassi took one step and fired home confidently past the hitherto unemployed Jordan Pickford and Tunisia who had been outplayed for the first half-hour were somehow level 10 minutes before half-time.
Still there was time for Lingard to come close again twice, first from a goalbound shot and then a dink over the keeper which agonizingly struck the post.
Alli too hit the woodwork with a header and England went into half-time wondering how they had not sealed victory already.
England still enjoyed the lion’s share of possession but could not find the same zip and penetration they had enjoyed at the start of the first half.
The ineffective Sterling gave way to Marcus Rashford with just over 20 minutes to go and the Manchester United man almost fashioned a chance straight away with a jinking run into the box.