With the Premier League already out of reach, Manchester City had one chance to win silverware this season and they blew it. Playing in the FA Cup Final for the second time in the past three seasons, City faced off against a Wigan Athletic side who are battling to stay in the top flight of English soccer.
Well, they certainly played like a team that belongs with the best while the 2011 FA Cup champions played as if it were an exhibition game.
Roberto Mancini, in danger of losing his job at season’s end, fielded a team that was more than capable of winning this match, but the players were not into it from the start. The closest they came to scoring was off of a Carlos Tevez shot that was toed away to safety. Other than that, possession crossing and lazy defending was apparently the game plan.
On the other hand, Wigan’s head coach Roberto Martinez instilled a belief into his troops that led them to win the game 1-0 and honestly, it was well deserved.
Minutes after Pablo Zabaleta was ejected for halting a breakaway run, substitute Ben Watson headed home the winner. Afterwards, City did not even try to hustle towards the opposing goal to salvage a draw for the game to head into extra time. Before the goal, City’s team allowed Wigan to play a speedy possession game that allowed them to find plenty of space all around Wembley Stadium.
The showing by the defending Premier League champions was nothing short of embarrassing. This was the only chance they had at winning a trophy, and they let a relegation-threatened team play some pretty soccer and grab the trophy from right under their noses. Regardless, City will now end the season with only Champions League soccer guaranteed for next season.
After this disappointment, new players will be transferred in and Mancini’s coaching days in Manchester are certainly over.