By 90Min
February 20, 2018

Wigan Athletic did the seemingly impossible on Monday night when they beat runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City in the fifth round of the FA Cup, ending City's 'quadruple' dreams before they could really even begin, and booking their own place in another potentially winnable quarter final tie against struggling Southampton.

With City reduced to 10 men, Wigan's Will Grigg scored the only goal of the night. The Northern Ireland international broke clear after a mistake from Kyle Walker and, fully aware that he was about to be dispossessed by three City defenders rushing back, took an early shot to beat stand-in 'cup goalkeeper' Claudio Bravo. Cue pandemonium and a nervous final 10 minutes.

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What the result did was seal Wigan's place as City's FA Cup bogey side as this is the third time in the last five years that Wigan, as a huge underdog, have beaten the billionaire-funded giants.

The first such occasion came in a remarkable 2013 final at Wembley. City, then managed by Roberto Mancini, had already given up the Premier League title to Manchester United without much of a fight and underwhelmed in the final, too. A late header from Ben Watson then sealed Wigan's triumph and cemented their place in history.

The Latics were a Premier League side then, although their relegation from the top flight was confirmed soon after, actually creating more history by becoming the first club to win the FA Cup and still be relegated in the same season.

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As chance would have it, the pair met again the following year in 2014. This time it was a quarter final tie played at City's Etihad Stadium. Wigan were in the Championship and City would go on to win the Premier League title, but it was the underdogs who were victorious once again.

Wigan took a shock 2-0 lead after goals from Jordi Gomez and James Perch, with City unable to respond with anything more than a Samir Nasri consolation.

When Wigan and City met this week at the DW Stadium, it was the third time in five years that they had come together in the FA Cup and a third different venue. Wigan, yo-yoing between the Championship and League One in recent seasons, were also in a new division - the third tier.

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But even that still didn't stop them getting one over on City, even a much better City team than in previous seasons. This is the magic of the FA Cup.

Back when Wigan lifted the trophy in 2013, they had enjoyed a number of favourable draws as they progressed through the rounds, with Everton and City the only fellow Premier League clubs they faced. The Latics also beat Bournemouth, then in League One, Macclesfield, non-league, Huddersfield, then in the Championship, and Millwall, also then in the Championship.

In 2017/18, it has been reversed and third tier Wigan have been giant killing in almost every round. After a scare of their own against AFC Fylde in the second round, they put out Bournemouth, now in the Premier League, in the third round, and West Ham in the fourth.

Adding Manchester City's scalp to that collection makes it three Premier League teams knocked out in consecutive rounds. The question is, can they make it four with Southampton next month and book a fairytale return to Wembley for the semi-finals...?

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