By IVES GALARCEP
Wigan Athletic came into Saturday’s FA Cup Final as an overwhelming underdog that few gave a chance to test, let alone beat mighty Manchester City.
The Latics had other ideas, and didn’t just come to play, they went to Wembley to win.
Wigan won their first FA Cup title in team history when Ben Watson headed home a Shaun Maloney corner kick in the first minute of second-half stoppage time to give Wigan a 1-0 victory.
The late victory capped an inspired performance from a Wigan side that was the better side for most of the day. Manchester City never did take control of the match as they were expected to, and Wigan continued to pile on the pressure on the second half, with Callum McManaman’s speed causing problems for the City defense all day.
City nearly opened the scoring mid-way through the first half when Wigan goalkeeper Joel Robles made an outstanding kick save to deny a Carlos Tevez chance. City tested Robles on a handful of occasions, but Robles made every save he needed to make.
Former Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza turned in a solid performance in the victory for Wigan, and captured an FA Cup winner’s medal just eight months after winning a U.S. Open Cup title with Sporting KC.
Here are some other news items from the English Premier League on Saturday:
LAMPARD DOUBLE LIFTS CHELSEA PAST ASTON VILLA
Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke was playing the role of hero mid-way through Villa’s showdown vs. Chelsea, having scored the goal to give the Villans a lead while Ramires’ red card had the Blues down a man.
Then Benteke drew a red card of his own, opening the door for Frank Lampard to steal the show.
Lampard scored two goals to help Chelsea pull off the comeback in a 2-1 victory at Villa Park. The two goals helped Lampard break the Chelsea career goal-scoring record held by Bobby Tambling.
RUMORS FLY AS PELLEGRINI LINKED TO CITY JOB
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini had to cope with the FA Cup Final loss while also battling rampant rumors that he is set to be replaced as Man City boss by Malaga manager Mauricio Pellegrini.
Spanish publication AS reported that Pellegrini was closing in on a deal to replace Mancini, something Mancini insisted was false a after his team’s FA Cup loss.
What did you think of the FA Cup Final? Impressed with Espinoza? See the Latics beating Arsenal on Tuesday? Surprised how poorly Manchester City played? Hoping Lampard comes to MLS?
Share your thoughts below.