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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
20:00 11th May 2013
By  Nick Taylor

REPORT: WIGAN ATHLETIC WIN THE FA CUP

Remember the date forever, a Ben Watson 90th minute header sealed Wigan Athletic a place in history as they won the FA Cup for the first time with a 1-0 victory over Manchester City.

A sensational display in front of the eyes of the world was capped off late on after Latics had threatened throughout.

Roberto Martinez made two changes from the midweek Barclays Premier League game against Swansea City, with Ben Watson and Gary Caldwell missing out as Antolin Alcaraz returned from injury and Jordi Gomez returned in midfield.

A fast and frantic start to the game saw Man City create the first chances when Alcaraz was judged to have fouled Sergio Aguero just outside the penalty box.

Carlos Tevez lined up to strike but found Latics' wall in his way, with the rebound falling to Yaya Toure further out who struck right footed, forcing Joel Robles into an excellent extending save.

After nine minutes though, Latics started to take charge of the game and Callum McManaman almost had that all important opener after switching exchanges from himself and Arouna Kone eventually played the 22-year-old in down the right of the box, he cut the ball back onto his left foot looking for the perfect moment to shoot but, he curled his effort narrowly wide with his left foot.

The first half pressure continued when Roger Espinoza's pass inside from the left was struck first time by Shaun Maloney on the volley, only for it to be blocked on its way to goal.

Just before the half an hour mark Robles was again called into action when Samir Nasri's trickery and cross was destined to be turned in by a sliding Tevez effort on the edge of the six yard box but, as Latics' young Spanish goalkeeper dove the opposite way, he stuck out a huge boot to send the ball over the bar.

Latics were desperate for their chance to go ahead and on 35 minutes when Espinoza went down under pressure from Pablo Zabaleta down the left of the area the cries for a penalty rang around Wembley Stadium, only for referee Andre Marriner to turn those claims down.

A minute later McManaman had another great chance to get his goal when a perfect through ball down the left of the area was latched onto as he rode a challenge from behind by Matija Nastasic, advanced towards the by-line and rode another challenge this time from Joe Hart but, the winger couldn't find the right chance to shoot and when he did Vincent Kompany was there to block.

As the half came to an end it was Robles working his magic again, first saving from Gareth Barry at the back post and then diving to punch away Nasri's right footed effort as he dodged inside from the left.

It was an excellent first half display from Latics with the only thing missing being that all important goal.

The second half had a very similar theme and McManaman continued to be a thorn in City's side with his mesmerising wing play and clever, quick feet.

On the hour mark McManaman broke away on the half way line but was hacked down by Zabaleta, the first of his two yellow cards.

It was his half and his game in terms of Man of the Match, but Maloney came closest before the eventual winner, when a right footed free kick from a tight angle down the right of the box looped over the wall and keeper Joe Hart onto the top of the crossbar.

With five minutes remaining McManaman was up to his usual tricks and when he was played through down the centre with City defenders in tow, Zabaleta once again brought him down, followed by a second yellow card as Man City went down to ten men.

In the final minute of normal time the East end of Wembley roared with penalty claims as McManaman burst into the area down the right and was tumbled to the ground by Gael Clichy.

A corner was given to the dismay of the Wigan Athletic fans behind the goal but it was to be that way for long.

The ball came in, Ben Watson jumped up and his header bulged the back of the net, cue over 20,000 apoplectic Latics fans.

Anxious, excited and nail-bitingly nervous, everybody waited and waited for the final whistle.

After two minutes of added time Wigan Athletic had done it, Roberto Martinez and his team were crowned FA Cup winners 2013...HISTORY MADE!