Manager Uwe Rosler dedicates victory to injured cup star Ben Watson who scored the winning goal at Wembley last season
Manchester City’s hopes of winning a quadruple this season ended on Sunday afternoon when Wigan Athletic played a blinder at the Etihad Stadium to claim a 2-1 win against their expensively-assembled opponents.
Uwe Rosler was treated to a hero’s welcome on his return to the club, although the German was focused on guiding his team to a famous victory and his team produced a talented and gutsy performance which put their opponents to shame.
Martin Demichelis has been regarded as the weak link in the City team recently and the Argentine conceded a first-half penalty which led to Jordi Gomez despatching the spot kick, with Wigan then doubling their lead through James Perch.
Although Samir Nasri set up a grandstand finish for City, it was Wigan who held firm and Rosler was quick to dedicate the victory to Ben Watson, a long-term absentee through injury who scored the winning goal in last season’s FA Cup final.
Rösler said: “I am very happy for my players and staff and for Ben Watson, because he was a big incentive for us to do well for him.
“Last season was an unbelievable achievement from Roberto and his men to win the FA Cup and put Wigan on the map worldwide,” Rösler said. “But to follow that up and reach the semi-final of the FA Cup is equally strong.
“I studied Roberto’s tactics. He put out a very brave gameplan. I saw the league game where City won in the last five minutes 1-0 and Roberto’s team played periods to perfection.
“We tried to replicate part of it but bringing our own identity, pressing and counterattacking. I felt in the first half we surprised Manchester City because a lot of teams show Manchester City respect deservedly. Our only chance was to keep the ball in tight areas.”
Wigan will now meet Arsenal in the semi-final of the competition, with Rosler admitting he knew the team’s opponents should they beat City, while Manuel Pellegrini claimed it was the worst first-half of football since he took charge.
“I think that maybe it is the worst first half we had here because we didn’t have the pace to play against a team that is in a very good moment,” the Chilean said. “We were aware that it was a difficult team but maybe we didn’t think it was so difficult and we reacted too late.”