Wigan Athletic v Man City preview: Contrasting fortunes for Greater Manchester duo since 2013 FA Cup final

Wigan Athletic beat Man City in the 2013 FA Cup Final, but both teams have gone their opposite ways since.

MM looks at the journey of the two Greater Manchester clubs over the past four-and-a-half years ahead of Monday’s FA Cup fifth-round clash.

Both clubs are having excellent campaigns, but since the sides met in the 2013 FA Cup final, a lot has changed.

When now Belgium boss Roberto Martinez led Wigan to the club’s only major trophy in their 86-year history, City were on the receiving end of defeat on a rainy day at Wembley in May 2013.

With similar conditions forecast for the FA Cup tie on Monday night, a City side brimming with confidence could be in for a different type of test to the ones they’ve had in the Premier League so far this season.

City are the runaway leaders in the Premier League, whilst Wigan sit second in England’s third tier of English football – a point behind table-topping Shrewsbury Town with a game in hand.

They will be hoping to have more games in hand, as the Latics’ FA Cup run goes on. Paul Cook’s side are targeting a hat-trick of Premier League scalps following cup victories over AFC Bournemouth and West Ham United.


A place in the quarter-final is the reward for the winners, meaning both sides are potentially just two games away from reaching Wembley.

In one of the biggest FA Cup shocks of the 21st century, relegation-bound Wigan defied the odds to beat the riches of Roberto Mancini’s City side thanks to a late Ben Watson winner.

Under the tenure of Manuel Pellegrini, City again suffered at the hands of Wigan the following campaign, losing 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium in the 2014 FA Cup quarter-final.

But of course, the Citizens are a whole different animal under Pep Guardiola. His side have lost just two of 41 games this season, drawing three and winning 36 (two by virtue of a penalty shoot-out).

It’s a daunting task for Wigan, but one they will be relishing, especially after their recent good fortune against City.

FA Cup glory in 2013 was the greatest moment in Wigan’s history, but a win on Monday would also be right up there considering the imperious, unprecedented form of City this season. The club are chasing a quadruple of trophies.

Wigan are also looking to win silverware. In contrast to City, though, the Latics are aiming to repeat their feat of two seasons ago – win League One and earn promotion back to the Championship – the two leagues Wigan have fluctuated between since 2013’s highs.


Since then, City have won the Premier League along with two League Cups. They have also been consistently competing on Europe’s top table, playing in stadiums such as the Camp Nou, Santiago Bernabeu, Allinanz Arena, Parc des Prices and the Juventus Stadium.

For Wigan, meanwhile, whose DW Stadium home is just 27 miles up the road from the Etihad Stadium, they’ve had to settle for away days at locations such as Gigg Lane, Boundary Park, the Sixfields Stadium, Vale Park and Spotland.

Promoted from the third tier back in 2003, the club then took just two seasons to advance through the Championship and into the promised land of the Premier League, where they would spend eight seasons.

In each of these eight seasons, Wigan competed against City, whom they finished above in their debut Premier League season in 2005/06.

Following relegation from the Premier League in the same year they won the FA Cup, Wigan almost came straight back up but were beaten in the Championship play-off semi-final by Derby County.

In the same season, Uwe Rosler led Wigan to an FA Cup semi-final where they were defeated by eventual winners Arsenal on penalties.

The four seasons since have seen Wigan yo-yoing leagues. Relegation from the Championship in 2014/15 was followed up with promotion the next campaign only to be relegated back to League One last season.

City also experienced a journey through England’s top three leagues in the 1990s, before becoming an established top-flight club and more since their promotion to the Premier League in 2002.

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