Wigan pulled off the shock of the season in the FA Cup, knocking out Manchester City with a stunning 2-1 quarter-final victory on Sunday at the Etihad Stadium to book a spot in the semi-finals.
Jordi Gomez gave Wigan the lead with a 27th-minute penalty after Martin Demichelis fouled Marc-Antoine Fortune in the box. James Perch doubled Wigan's lead early in the second half before Samir Nasri pulled a goal back for City in the 68th minute. The Latics then held off wave after wave of Man City attacks in the closing moments.
Sunday's quarter-final was a rematch of last season's final, which Wigan won 1-0 at Wembley shortly before being relegated to the Championship. The Latics, who are managed by former Manchester City striker Uwe Rosler, will now face Arsenal at the same venue in the semi-finals.
"Last season was an unbelievable achievement to put Wigan on the football map, but to follow that up this year, to be in the semi-final, is equally strong from my players," Rosler said, per MCFC.co.uk.
Rosler added: "I’m delighted with not just the win, but the way we won."
6 - Wigan have won their last six matches in all competitions and five of those have been away from home. Momentum.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 9, 2014
7 - Seven of Samir Nasri's eight goals in all competitions this season have arrived at the Etihad Stadium. Comforts.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 9, 2014
The loss is a bitter blow to Man City's trophy ambitions this season. But while the quadruple is now impossible, City remain in the hunt for silverware on two more fronts. Having already won the Capital One Cup, Manuel Pellegrini's side are still alive in both the UEFA Champions League and the Premier League title race.
But City face tough tasks in those competitions as well.
Trailing Barcelona 2-0 after the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie, City must win by at least two goals this week at the Camp Nou to remain alive. In the Premier League, City sit nine points behind leaders Chelsea, albeit with three matches in hand.
"It was a special week after winning the (Capital One) Cup and all of international games, but all of us have the same share of responsibility for this result," Pellegrini said, per MCFC.co.uk. "We finished one trophy and we won it, now we have to continue playing Champions League and Premier League—we have a lot to fight for."
Pellegrini added: "We must try to win in Barcelona—then we must try to reach the top of the table with our three games in hand."
Against Wigan, City largely struggled to create opportunities and failed to create an opening until the 23rd minute. After Yaya Toure played in Jesus Navas on the right, Navas' cross deflected goalward off Ivan Ramos until Scott Carson scrambled back to collect.
Three minutes later, the match took a dramatic turn as Wigan won a penalty. After turning Demichelis on the left, Wigan's Fortune burst into the box and went to ground under Demichelis' clumsy challenge.
Jordi Gomez converted the spot-kick coolly to give Wigan a shock 1-0 lead in the 27th minute.
City were rattled and continued to struggle in the attacking third. Toure slammed a free-kick into the wall in the 41st minute, and City ended the first half without a single shot on target.
"I think that it was the worst half we’ve had at this year because we didn’t have the pace to play against a side in a good moment," Pellegrini said, per MCFC.co.uk.
Any thoughts of a second-half revival for City were squashed quickly as Wigan doubled their lead within moments of the restart. With Wigan's first attack of the half, James McArthur drove toward the byline on the left and rolled a low cross to the back post, where Perch nipped in front of Gael Clichy to make it 2-0 in the 47th minute.
And the Latics weren't satisfied yet. McArthur again carved open City's defence in the 49th minute, allowing Fortune to shoot off the base of the post, but Fortune had already been ruled offside.
Pellegrini responded with a triple substitution in the 53rd minute as James Milner, David Silva and Edin Dzeko replaced Toure, Navas and Alvaro Negredo. Milner nearly made a difference immediately, bursting into the box in the 55th minute following Josh McEachran's giveaway. Milner squared dangerously across the face of goal, but the linesman ruled that the ball had crossed the line for a goal kick.
City created their best chance yet in the 64th minute as Dzeko headed Clichy's lofted pass across the face of goal and off the base of the far upright. Two minutes later Sergio Aguero volleyed straight at Carson.
A goal seemed to be coming, and in the 68th minute, Nasri obliged. Milner headed down a corner toward the edge of the box, where Richards teed up Nasri. From there Nasri rifled his shot into the bottom corner to make it 2-1 and set up a tense finish.
Richards curled a shot narrowly wide one minute later as City tried to capitalise quickly on their newfound momentum. Carson then scrambled to save Aguero's looping, deflected effort in the 74th minute.
Aguero was through on goal in the 75th minute but shot wide of goal. The goal would not have counted, though, as the linesman had flagged Aguero offside.
City didn't let up, though, and Dzeko seemed destined to equalise in the 80th minute with the goal gaping and Silva's cross rolling in from the right. But Emmerson Boyce stretched across to make a crucial, perfectly timed clearance.
Dzeko then headed wide from Nasri's cross as City piled forward. It wasn't all one-way traffic, however, as Fortune forced a save at the other end in the first minute of stoppage time.
But after all of City's attacks and five minutes of stoppage time, the Latics were through. Wembley once again awaits for the FA Cup holders.
Man City play at Barcelona in the second leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie on Wednesday. Barcelona hold a 2-0 lead after the first leg. City then return to the Premier League with a match at Hull on Saturday.
Wigan host Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship on Wednesday and play at Ipswich Town on Saturday.