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FA Cup: City 1 - 2 Wigan

Michael Regan

The magic of the FA Cup shows itself; again, in the quarterfinals as the Championship side Wigan finds their way back to Wembley by beating City. Coming off such an exciting win over Sunderland in the Capital One Cup just a week ago there was bound to be a hangover, the question was; how long would that hangover last? For City, today, it lasted 50-60 minutes, which left too little time for City to make an epic comeback.

From the first whistle City looked lackadaisical and uninterested in the proceedings on the pitch. Sure, there were times that we displayed our class with our build up play, but no goals or chances came of them. It was important for City to grab the early lead, because like Sunderland, a goal could give a lesser side the motivation they need. Of course, in just a moment, Demichelis was beaten to the goal line by Fortune and was fouled by the Argentinean, which lead to a penalty kick for Wigan. Jordi Gomez stepped up and coolly put the ball past Pantilimon, 1-0 Wigan. City needed something to get them going and after the goal City had moments that showed that they could possibly grab an equalizer before half time. But, Wigan stood strong and fended off any chances for City, which kept the score line at 1-0 heading into the dressing rooms.

My hope, much like the Sunderland match, was that this goal + half time talk would awaken the fire into City, but the way the second half started it was looking grim for our boys. It got worse when Wigan less than five minutes into the second half, put them two goals ahead after Perch poked a low cross home, 2-0 Wigan. Clichy loss track of his area in the box, and Perch found the “magic” touch to poke the ball into the back of the net. All blame should not be on Clichy, as Richards too should have done better to not allow the cross. All things were looking bad for City, frustration and pressure were starting to settle in.

Pellegrini made what looked to be a desperation move using all three subs at once, bringing on Silva, Dzeko and Milner. Once he made this move, though, City looked to have the fire lit underneath them for the final 40 minutes. Fresh legs can do wonders for a side! (Not to mention Silva’s presence). After numerous close chances City finally got a goal from a beautifully struck shot from Nasri, which found the back of the net. City had just 20 minutes to find an equalizer. It wasn’t for the lack of chances but, sadly, it wasn’t meant to be for our boys and Wigan have found a way to beat us, again, in FA Cup competition.

Overall, it was just a terribly “blah” performance from City today and it was extremely disappointing to watch. Defensively, we were disorganized and ineffective, which lead to both of the goals for Wigan. There was no fire or want from the starters today, and frustration after the goal just made it worse. As a captain Yaya leaves a lot to be desired, and when he is involved in a tackle his affection for dissent can be a problem and get him in trouble, not what you want from your designated leader (for the game). It is horrible to think of how out of sorts we look at the back when we don’t have the presence of Kompany and Zabaleta. They are hard people to replace, obviously, but it shouldn’t mean we lose all sense of organization.

Hey, fewer fixtures right? Small victory if we’re looking at the glass half full. Well, we have to forget this match and look towards Barcelona at midweek. Down two goals on aggregate, but you can never count us out!

Negredo (4) – Did a good job of distributing, and the players behind are looking for his massive presence up front. He had a few chances here and there, but still, we need more from him in attack and he needs to shake this funk he’s in.

Aguero (5) – He had some chances to get a goal but was unable to find the back of the net. He couldn’t get into the game as easily as we’re use to seeing, and our attack was affected by that.

Nasri (5) – Quiet first half, and he was very frustrated by his poor performance. The frustrations he had in the first half were taken out on the ball for his goal.

Toure (4) – Started to push forward once Wigan had gone a goal up, and was getting pressure on their defense. Not a good day for the captain and his flaws as captain continues to haunt City.

Garcia (5) – Solid job of winning the ball in the midfield from his tackles, only hiccup was gifting Wigan a chance, which they thankfully didn’t convert.  

Navas (4) – Doing his usual act down the right, winning plenty of corners with his probing crosses, which get deflected out of play. Wigan defending him very well not allowing him to blow by them, which made him less effective.

Richards (4) – He was all over the map today and I don’t mean that in a good way. He had some wild attempts to win the ball back, which he was luckily not booked for.

Lescott (5)  – Solid work from Lescott, no frills, just is getting his job done well and effectively. He got in the way of several of the crosses into the box from Wigan.

Demichelis (4) – Unlucky to have a penalty to be awarded, but you can’t be beaten like in the box and expect any different result when your tackle is boarding on foul-no foul. His lack of pace really hinders him against some opponents

Clichy (4) – Should have done much better on that low cross that lead to the second Wigan goal. An Achilles heel of his in the past has been his lack of concentration when tracking runners in the box. Today was another example of that.

Pantilimon (4) – Looked pretty bad on that attempted PK save, but that was his only real chance.

Silva (6) – Found the gaps in Wigans defense and distributed the ball to his teammates making runs. His vision is impeccable, and was an important factor in getting a goal back.

Milner (6) – His tenacity when playing football had an immediate impact on the game as he gave City a chance minutes after being subbed on.

Dzeko (6) – Very impactful from the minute he was subbed on, and was either a part of, or had a chance to get a goal.