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Wigan Ath 1 Manchester City 0 Who Ate All
Monday 19th February 2018 : GYKO at the DW Stadium
Manchester City cannot say they were not warned. For 79 minutes of this magnificent FA Cup fifth round tie, the DW Stadium reminded their visitors of what their incendiary striker can do at any moment. It was inevitable. Will Grigg would catch fire and when he did, Pep Guardiola and players saw their hopes of an unprecedented quadruple went up in smoke.
Wigan Athletic have yet another famous cup triumph over City to celebrate, and though this one did not end with a trophy as in 2013, or come in their opponents’ backyard like that the year after, it will live equally as long in the memory.
The imperious air around Guardiola’s side was shattered here, their hopes of making history ended, against all expectations. Even after Fabian Delph’s red card at the end of the first half had reduced the favourites to 10 men, it seemed unlikely.
Yet as against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Bristol City earlier this season, opponents from a lower division did not allow City to have things their own way and proved more resilient than many of the top-flight sides to have come up against this team.
City dictated the tempo, of course, but had no answers to Paul Cook’s dogged and disciplined defence, which limited them to all but a handful of clear chances. Wigan, meanwhile, always felt they would only need one opportunity. When it came, Grigg took it and ignited.
The pre-match buildup was dominated by memories of the final between these two five years ago, Ben Watson’s 90th-minute headed winner and the greatest day in Wigan’s humble history.
Victory here would never be considered as momentous, but it would arguably be harder to come by. Rather than a ragtag City in the death throes of a manager’s reign, Wigan found themselves against a team aiming for victory on all fronts this season and perhaps on the cusp of something historical.
City, however, did not start like a side with realistic aspirations of a quadruple and two early errors by Danilo almost allowed Wigan in.
The right back first allowed Nathan Byrne’s tame cross to bundle through his legs and was lucky that Claudio Bravo reached the ball before Gary Roberts. Minutes later, he was hustled off the ball by Roberts, who sent a smouldering Will Grigg bursting through at pace. His shot rippled the side netting.
Wigan were making the most of the space offered by Guardiola’s high line in these early stages, and though the visitors dominated possession wise, they struggled to fashion many opportunities of their own in the first half.
Fernandinho wasted the best of them, blazing John Stones’ knockdown over from nine yards out, while Sergio Aguero forced goalkeeper Christian Walton into a fine save in added time at the end of the opening 45 minutes.
That had appeared to be that for the first half, but its most significant moment followed shortly after.
Having being called into a 50-50 contest for the ball with Max Power, Delph launched into what could be described as a robust challenge at best. Referee Anthony Taylor initially drew a yellow card out of his pocket but, having perhaps considered Guardiola’s criticism of such tackles in recent weeks, elected to show a red.
Guardiola was incandescent on the touchline and remonstrated with Cook, who also shared words with Aguero. The scuffles continued in the tunnel where Peter Reid, now working in an voluntary advisory role at Wigan, acted as peacemaker between the two managers.
The interval came at just the right time and cooled off a cup tie that had threatened to boil over. Both sets of players and staff re-emerged becalmed and, despite being a man short, City picked up where they had left off.
On the balance of play you would assume it was Wigan, not City, down to ten, such was the visitors’ dominance of the ball at the start of the second half. Their share of possession broke the 80 per cent barrier in those minutes but, despite dictating the flow of play, they still struggled to truly test their hosts’ well-organised defence.
It was a testament to how well Cook’s side were coping that, after an hour had been played, Guardiola relented and introduced Kevin De Bruyne from the substitutes’ bench, but even the outstanding player of the Premier League season could have an immediate impact. City laboured on.
The visitors were committing so many men forward that they were always liable to be exposed at the back, but they never expected their downfall to come by way of their own hand. Kyle Walker was the culprit, allowing the ball to escape under his foot and trickle through to Grigg.
Walker gave chase and almost caught up but at the last possible moment, just as he began to lose balance, the Wigan striker arced a finish around Bravo and into the far corner.
In the remaining 10 minutes, City laid siege and fired off more attempts than they had managed in the previous 80. Walton came into his own, claiming each cross that he could and, in the final minute of an interminable stoppage-time period, he clutched a Danilo header that seemed destined to drop in.
Finally, the final whistle sounded. City will have to wait to make history, while Wigan keep writing new chapters
FC Basel 0 Manchester City 4
Swiss Roll Over
Away games are meant
to be difficult, especially in the knock-out rounds of the Champions
League, but this Manchester City team are no longer playing by
football’s usual rules. Here in Basel they turned a challenge into
an exhibition, controlling the whole match and recording a 4-0 win
that should really have been six or seven.
Manchester City 5 Leicester City 1 Aguero
The Manchester City juggernaut rolls on. Another
victory - their 13th straight Premier League win at the Etihad
Stadium – and another prolific day for Sergio Aguero who continued
his rich goalscoring form on home turf.
Burnley 1 Manchester City 1 Burnley
Make Their Point
Johann Berg Gudmundsson ensured Manchester City
rued their profligacy with an 81st-minute half-volley that grabbed
Burnley an impressive draw against the champions-elect.
|Sat 12/08/2017||17:30||Brighton||v||Manchester City||Prem||W 2-0|
|Mon 21/08/2017||20:00||Manchester City||v||Everton||Prem||D 1-1|
|Sat 26/08/2017||12:30||Bournemouth||v||Manchester City||Prem||W 2-1|
|Sat 09/09/2017||12:30||Manchester City||v||Liverpool||Prem||W 5-0|
|Wed 13/09/2017||19:45||Feyenoord||v||Manchester City||CL gs||W 4-0|
|Sat 16/09/2017||15:00||Watford||v||Manchester City||Prem||W 6-0|
|Wed 20/09/2017||20:00||West Bromwich||v||Manchester City||LC r3||W 2-1|
|Sat 23/09/2017||15:00||Manchester City||v||Crystal Palace||Prem||W 5-0|
|Tue 26/09/2017||19:45||Manchester City||v||Shakhtar Donetsk||CL gs||W 2-0|
|Sat 30/09/2017||17:30||Chelsea||v||Manchester City||Prem||W 1-0|
|Sat 14/10/2017||15:00||Manchester City||v||Stoke City||Prem||W 7-2|
|Tue 17/10/2017||19:45||Manchester City||v||Napoli||Cl gs||W 2-1|
|Sat 21/10/2017||15:00||Manchester City||v||Burnley||Prem||W 3-0|
|Tue 24/10/2017||20:00||Manchester City||v||Wolverhampton||LC r4||D 0-0*|
|Sat 28/10/2017||15:00||West Bromwich||v||Manchester City||Prem||W 3-2|
|Wed 01/11/2017||19:45||Napoli||v||Manchester City||CL gs||W 4-2|
|Sun 05/11/2017||14:15||Manchester City||v||Arsenal||Prem||W 3-1|
|Sat 18/11/2017||15:00||Leicester City||v||Manchester City||Prem||W 2-0|
|Tue 21/11/2017||19:45||Manchester City||v||Feyenoord||CL gs||W 1-0|
|Sun 26/11/2017||16:00||Huddersfield||v||Manchester City||Prem||W 2-1|
|Wed 29/11/2017||20:00||Manchester City||v||Southampton||Prem||W 2-1|
|Sun 03/12/2017||16:00||Manchester City||v||West Ham United||Prem||W 2-1|
|Wed 06/12/2017||19:45||Shakhtar Donetsk||v||Manchester City||CL gs||L 1-2|
|Sun 10/12/2017||16:30||Manchester Utd||v||Manchester City||Prem||W 2-1|
|Wed 13/12/2017||19:45||Swansea City||v||Manchester City||Prem||W 4-0|
|Sat 16/12/2017||17:30||Manchester City||v||Tottenham Hotspur||Prem||W 4-1|
|Tues 19/12/2017||19:45||Leicester City||v||Manchester City||LC r5||D 1-1º|
|Sat 23/12/2017||15:00||Manchester City||v||Bournemouth||Prem||W 4-0|
|Wed 27/12/2017||20:00||Newcastle Utd||v||Manchester City||Prem||W 1-0|
|Sun 31/12/2017||12:00||Crystal Palace||v||Manchester City||Prem||D 0-0|
|Tue 02/01/2018||19:45||Manchester City||v||Watford||Prem||W 3-1|
|Sat 06/01/2018||15:00||Manchester City||v||Burnley||FAC r3||W 4-1|
|Tue 09/01/2018||19:45||Manchester City||v||Bristol City||LC SF||W 2-1|
|Sun 14/01/2018||16:00||Liverpool||v||Manchester City||Prem||L 3-4|
|Sat 20/01/2018||17:30||Manchester City||v||Newcastle United||Prem||W 3-1|
|Tue 23/01/2018||19:45||Bristol City||v||Manchester City||LC SF||W 3-2|
|Sun 28/01/2018||16:00||Cardiff City||v||Manchester City||FAC r4||W 2-0|
|Wed 31/01/2018||20:00||Manchester City||v||West Bromwich||Prem||W 3-0|
|Sat 03/02/2018||12:30||Burnley||v||Manchester City||Prem||D 1-1|
|Sat 10/02/2018||17:30||Manchester City||v||Leicester City||Prem||W 5-1|
|Tue 13/02/2018||19:45||FC Basil||v||Manchester City||CL r16-1||W 4-0|
|Mon 19/02/2018||19:55||Wigan Athletic||v||Manchester City||FAC r5||L 0-1|
|Sun 25/02/2018||16:30||Arsenal||v||Manchester City||LC Final|
|Thu 01/03/2018||19:45||Arsenal||v||Manchester City||Prem|
|Sun 04/03/2018||16:00||Manchester City||v||Chelsea||Prem|
|Wed 07/03/2018||19:45||Manchester City||v||FC Basil||CL r16-2|
|Mon 12/03/2018||20:00||Stoke City||v||Manchester City||Prem|
|Sun 18/03/2018||15:00||Manchester City||v||Brighton or FA Cup||Prem|
|Sat 31/03/2018||17:30||Everton||v||Manchester City||Prem|
|07/04/2018||15:00||Manchester City||v||Manchester United||Prem|
|21/04/2018||15:00||Manchester City||v||Swansea City||Prem|
|28/04/2018||15:00||West Ham United||v||Manchester City||Prem|
|05/05/2018||15:00||Manchester City||v||Huddersfield Town||Prem|
* Won on Penalties 4-1 º Won on Penalties 4-3
Credit and many thanks to Richard Tucker in particular for some of the pictures used on the earlier pages.
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Vincent Kompany on a mission in the Congo - If you ever wondered if the modern footballer is all take and no give, just watch this series of video's taken from the Man City Official website. I make no excuses for listing them here as I for one wish to promote both Man City FC and any worthwhile cause, and they don't come much better than Vincent's efforts to give the kids of his father's homeland a chance to change their lives. Click on the links to watch these four short clips.
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