Ben Watson headed in the winner in the 90th minute at Wembley Stadium from Shaun Maloney’s corner after City had defender Pablo Zabaleta sent off.
“The boys were fantastic and they deserve it,” Watson told the BBC. “To come on and score the winner in the FA Cup final is a dream.”
Wigan now have to make sure they don’t become the first team to win the FA Cup and be relegated in the same season, with Roberto Martinez’s side currently in the drop zone with just two games remaining.
“It’s unbelievable. It’s some achievement for everyone in the club,” midfielder James McCarthy said. “Now it’s down to the league. It’s a massive week for the club. We have to put on a massive show for the rest of the season.”
The team, which us based near Manchester, was put together for less than $ 30 million, while City’s squad cost more than 10 times than amount. Wigan is the second history-maker this season at Wembley, with Swansea winning its first major trophy in the League Cup final in February.
“Today it was David and Goliath,” Martinez said. “It was following a dream … we saw the underdogs play with incredible bravery, incredible belief and they defied the odds again. That’s the FA Cup.”
Wigan were led out onto the pitch by chairman Dave Whelan, who now has happier memories of Wembley after his playing career ended there when he broke his leg playing for Blackburn in the 1960 final.
“What an incredible story,” Martinez said. “The chairman broke his leg in 1960 and today, finally, it’s finished business for him.”
But the result throws into doubt the future of both managers.
Martinez, already widely admired in management, will be in demand even more — especially with Everton looking to replace Manchester United-bound David Moyes.
At City, Roberto Mancini’s future in the dugout is also looking uncertain after a newspaper report, which the club has not denied, that Malaga’s Manuel Pellegrini has been approached to replace the Italian.
City fans made their feeling clear toward the club’s Abu Dhabi hierarchy, chanting in support of Mancini from the start and bellowing abuse about Pellegrini.
But City will now end the season without a trophy despite having the most expensively assembled squad in England.
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