Manchester City’s hopes of an unprecedented quadruple were in tatters on Sunday after holders Wigan Athletic repeated their FA Cup heroics with a stunning 2-1 victory in their quarter-final at the Etihad Stadium.
Jordi Gomez’s first-half penalty and a tap-in by James Perch gave Wigan, who beat City 1-0 in the FA Cup final at Wembley last May, a place in this semis against Arsenal. City, who won the League Cup last Sunday and need to overturn a two-goal deficit to Barcelona in the second leg of their Champions League tie, looked jaded against their second-tier opponents until they staged a thrilling late fightback.
Frenchman Samir Nasri made City’s breakthrough in the 68th minute with a sweet 20-metre left-foot strike. Substitute Edin Dzeko came within inches of forcing a replay, but Emmerson Boyce produced a remarkable last-ditch block and Wigan, managed by former City favourite Uwe Rosler, held on.
Sheffield dream on
English third-tier club Sheffield United kept alive their FA Cup dream when two goals in as many minutes gave them a 2-0 victory over Charlton Athletic and a place in the semi-finals. They were joined in the last four by Hull City, who overcame a missed penalty by Sone Aluko to trounce Sunderland 3-0 in their all-Premier League quarterfinal.
Hull’s Curtis Davies, David Meyler and Matty Fryatt scored in a nine-minute spell, capitalising on two wretched mistakes by Sunderland midfielder Lee Cattermole as Steve Bruce’s club advanced to the semis for the first time since 1930.
At Bramall Lane, second-half strikes from Ryan Flynn and John Brayford caught second-tier Charlton cold, as the Blades became the first third-tier team since 2001 to reach the semis.
Midfielder Flynn put four-times Cup winners United ahead in the 65th minute, when he sneaked in at the far post to nudge home from a left-wing cross from man-of-the-match Jose Baxter.
One minute, 42 seconds later the home side doubled their lead. Jamie Murphy’s surging run down the left set up defender Brayford, whose low 20-metre effort took a cruel deflection off the visitors’ Richard Wood and rolled into the net.
Charlton – who were aiming to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 1947, when they won the Cup – were left to rue a glaring miss by Callum Harriott when the score was still level.
Marcus Tudgay burst on to a quick free kick and hooked the ball back into the danger area, but with the United keeper out of position and half of the goal at his mercy, Harriott sidefooted wide.
Hull also advanced to the semifinals by beating Sunderland 3-0 in an all-Premier League clash. Tigers captain Curtis Davies rose highest in the 68th to head in Tom Huddlestone’s free kick, continued…