HomeSportSoccerCity, Wigan through to semis

City, Wigan through to semis


LONDON – Wigan Athletic stunned Everton 3-0 to reach the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time on Saturday while Manchester City swept aside Barnsley 5-0 to maintain their quest for a second Wembley triumph in three seasons.


Wigan, facing Premier League relegation battle, were clear underdogs at Everton, but effectively decided the Goodison Park contest with three goals in four amazing minutes from Maynor Figueroa, Callum McManaman and Jordi Gomez.

At the Etihad Stadium, Manchester City’s Argentina striker Carlos Tevez hit a hat-trick for the rampant home side two days after he was arrested for allegedly driving while disqualified.

Aleksandar Kolarov and David Silva completed the scoring for the Premier League champions against their outclassed Championship (second division) opponents Barnsley.

Everton, five-times winners of England’s premier cup competition and runners-up in 2009, were booed off at halftime by their disbelieving fans.

Wigan’s appearance in the semi-final at Wembley will be poignant for their chairman, Dave Whelan.

Whelan was 23 when he broke his leg at the famous stadium while playing for Blackburn in the 1960 FA Cup final against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Wolves won 3-0 and the injury ended Whelan’s top-flight playing career.

Now 76, Whelan was on his feet in celebration at Goodison Park as his team skipped past Everton to win their first Cup quarter-final since 1987.

The hosts were so poor in the first half it was hard to believe they stand sixth in the Premier League table.

David Moyes was hoping to mark nearly 11 years in charge at Everton with a third FA Cup semi-final in five seasons, but his side produced their worst performance this term.

Wigan midfielder Shaun Maloney gave them fair warning after 11 minutes, cutting in from the left and bending a right-foot shot from the edge of the area on to Jan Mucha’s post.

Mucha, the Slovakian keeper standing in for the injured Tim Howard, was offered little protection by his defenders.

On the half-hour Figueroa was unchallenged at a corner and headed home the opener at the far post.

Everton captain Phil Neville then misplaced a simple pass in midfield, allowing McManaman to advance on goal and clip a neat finish past Mucha.

Wigan were not finished and their third was the best of the lot. Striker Arouna Kone fed Gomez from the byline and he opened the face of his left foot to stroke a low, curling effort into the bottom corner.

Everton improved after the break but it was not until injury time that they seriously threatened Wigan’s goal, Joel Robles saving sharply from Leon Osman.

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