12 May 2013

Wigan stuns with FA Cup final win

2:19 pm on 12 May 2013

Wigan Athletic has claimed one of the greatest FA Cup final upsets of all time when a 90th minute header from substitute Ben Watson gave them a 1-0 win over favoured Manchester City.

It was Wigan's first FA Cup final in their 81-year history and they won it when Watson, who had only been on the field for nine minutes and had broken his leg earlier this season, powered an unstoppable header past keeper Joe Hart from a Shaun Maloney corner.

Wigan's win at Wembley Stadium on Saturday was the biggest upset since Wimbledon beat Liverpool in the 1988 final, Reuters reports.

"We didn't win by luck - from start to finish it was an incredible performance," said Wigan manager Roberto Martinez. "The FA Cup is such a special tournament, and everyone deserves to feel proud today.

The victory represented a personal triumph for chairman Dave Whelan who broke his leg playing for Blackburn Rovers in the 1960 FA Cup final. "I had the dream but I didn't publish it," he said, "I thought we would get to the final and win 1-0 and it is repayment for me breaking my leg in 1960."

Wigan now face two Premier League matches to save themselves from relegation, and if they fail would become the first team to win the FA Cup and be relegated in the same season.

"We've got two big games in front of us and we wanted to conserve energy, but it was difficult," Martinez told the BBC.

City manager Roberto Mancini said he was disappointed. "We conceded a goal in the last seconds in a game where we didn't play very well but we didn't deserve to lose. We had two or three incredible chances but in the end we didn't play like we usually do..."

City, FA Cup winners in 2011 and Premier League champions last season, were the overwhelming favourites to win the famous trophy for the sixth time but were largely outplayed against the underdogs who put their erratic league form behind them.