Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Wigan shock Man City in cup final

Wigan Athletic's Ben Watson (obscured) scores the winning goal past Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart during the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium
Wigan Athletic's Ben Watson (obscured) scores the winning goal past Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart during the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium
Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez (right) celebrates winning the FA Cup final on the pitch at Wembley

Wigan Athletic have made footballing history by stunning Premier League giants Manchester City to win the FA Cup.

The Latics snatched the trophy in the dying moments of the game with a Ben Watson header.

The one-nil victory sent the team's 30,000 fans at Wembley into raptures and gave Wigan - a town famed for its rugby - a shot in the arm as they battle to stay in the Premier League in the dying embers of the season.

Club chairman and owner Dave Whelan, a former footballer, told ITV: "The dream has come true. I am repaid for 1961 when I broke my leg and lost the match."

Man-of-the-match Calum McManaman, 22, said: "I'm made up. I had a feeling this morning when I got up that it was going to be our day.

"The longer it went on we knew we had the better chance and eventually the goal came. The gaffer said before the game 'treat it as any other game, don't be afraid,' so we did. I still can't believe it."

Manager Roberto Martinez said he and the players felt down at half time because they had not taken their chances. He added: "This group of players never know anything other than to keep fighting and keep believing. I am really proud of these winners."

The club, which regularly attracts criticism for its small attendances with average gates of 19,000, was only admitted to the Football League in 1978.

They were not promoted to the top flight until 2005, have spent the past four years battling against relegation but next season will play football in the Europa League.

They are classed as minnows in world football but brought a sense of excitement and romance to the famous club competition with their final display, outplaying City, a team of multi-millionaires brought to the club on massive transfer fees and contracts.

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