WILL GRIGG showed the football world he really was on fire as the Wigan star extinguished Manchester City’s hopes of a Quadruple.
The Northern Ireland international pounced late on as the League One side shocked the Premier League leaders in a pulsating FA Cup tie.
The game exploded into life moments before half time when Fabian Delph was sent off for a foul on Wigan’s Max Power.
That sparked furious scenes as Pep Guardiola and his opposite number Paul Cook squared-up on the touchline, with Sergio Aguero also confronting the Latics boss.
The row continued into the tunnel at the break, but it was all smiles an hour later as City-supporting band Oasis’ Wonderwall track blasted over the tannoy as home fans invaded the pitch to celebrate with their heroes.
Wigan famously beat City by the same scoreline in the 2013 FA Cup final before dumping them out of the same competition the following season.
Even so, the prospect of Paul Cook’s current Latics vintage repeating the dose seemed a fanciful notion against a City team who have been imperious at home and abroad over recent weeks.
But Fabian Delph altered the complexion of the contest with a rash challenge on Max Power – the England international’s first-half red card meaning his is set to miss Sunday’s EFL Cup final against Arsenal and subsequent Premier League matches against the Gunners and Chelsea.
Referee Anthony Taylor approached Delph with a yellow card in his hand while being harangued by Wigan players and that seemingly contributed to the angry reaction from City’s players and bench when the left-back’s dismissal was confirmed.
As was to be expected given the abundance of excellent ballplayers in Pep Guardiola’s side, the numerical disadvantage did not stop them dominating possession, but an error from Kyle Walker allowed Grigg to bring the house down 11 minutes from time and book a quarter-final home tie against Southampton.
Sergio Aguero almost gave City a third-minute lead but headed over when he stole in front of Dan Burn to meet Bernardo Silva’s cross from the right.
Ilkay Gundogan then forced Wigan goalkeeper Christian Walton into a sharp save down to his right before the hosts showed their capabilities as an attacking force.
Right-back Nathan Byrne bustled into the box and a loose ball trickled under Danilo’s boot, forcing Claudio Bravo to fling himself at Gary Roberts’ feet.
More poor work from Danilo allowed Grigg to get the run on John Stones and fire into the side netting.
An apparent hamstring injury forced off former Manchester United midfielder Nick Powell, interrupting Wigan’s momentum, and City should have led when record signing Aymeric Laporte failed to convert Gundogan’s flick-on from Leroy Sane’s 26th-minute corner.
A similarly glaring miss came when Fernandinho smashed Stones’ knockdown over and City were left to regret such profligacy when their task became taller on the stroke of the interval. Walton saved well from Aguero and, after Wigan partially cleared the resulting corner, Delph dived in over the ball on Power to earn his red card.
The enraged Guardiola brought on Walker for Sane at the start of the second half, moving Danilo to the left-back slot Delph vacated.
Clear chances were proving hard to come by for the depleted City and Guardiola introduced Kevin De Bruyne with 25 minutes remaining.
Gundogan was unable to turn in De Bruyne’s corner five minutes later and the Belgium midfielder’s arrival lifted the intensity.
Aguero’s touch let him down after De Bruyne raided down the Wigan left, leaving Grigg to cast himself as the match-winning striker when Walker inexplicably let Elder’s pass run under his boot.
Still with plenty to do, the Northern Ireland favourite kept his cool to slot his seventh of the competition past Bravo and claim a place in FA Cup history.
Wigan survived a couple of late scares and the full-time whistle sparked wild scenes of celebration as many home fans jubilantly invaded the pitch.
FIFA Slap Lifetime Ban On Samson Siasia For Taking Bribes
World Football’s Governing Body, FIFA on Friday issued a lifetime ban on Samson Siasia, former Nigeria Football Federation official after the body’s ethics panel found him guilty of taking bribes in connection with match fixing.
In a statement, the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s independent ethics committee said the probe targeting Siasia stemmed from a wider investigation involving Wilson Raj Perumal, who has confessed to international match-fixing.
The probe that began in February found Siasia “guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics,” the statement said.
In addition to being banned from all football related activity for life, Siasia was also handed a fine of 50,000 Swiss francs ($50,000, 46,000 euros).
Siasia, a former striker, also briefly coached Nigeria’s men’s national football team.
FIFA did not detail the nature of ties to Perumal, a Singaporean national who was arrested and jailed in Finland in 2011 for fixing top-tier football games there.
Perumal later collaborated with match fixing investigators.
FIFA Issues Life Ban To Ex-Bolivian Football Chief
FIFA on Thursday banned the former treasurer of South America’s football federation for life after an ethics panel found him guilty of bribery.
Romer Osuna, who also once headed Bolivia’s football federation, was among a group of South American football officials charged with corruption in 2015 amid the unprecedented scandal that triggered sweeping reform within FIFA.
The adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s independent ethics committee said in a statement that it had investigated a bribery scheme that ran from 2012 to 2015 in which Osuna was accused of “awarding contracts to companies for the media and marketing rights to CONMEBOL competitions.”
“The adjudicatory chamber found that Mr Osuna had breached art. 27 (Bribery) of the 2018 edition of the FIFA Code of Ethics and, as a result, sanctioned him with a ban for life,” it said.
FIFA also fined Osuna 1 million Swiss francs ($1 million, 922,000 euros).
Shortly after he was charged, Osuna had pledged to cooperate with investigators, both in Bolivia and in the United States, who were probing graft within world football.
Messi, Ronaldo, Van Dijk Nominated For UEFA Awards
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk have been named candidates for this year’s UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award, European football’s governing body announced on Thursday.
The prize will be awarded to one of the trio during the draw for the Champions League group stage in Monaco on August 29, after they were shortlisted by a jury of coaches and journalists.
England’s Lucy Bronze, Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg and France’s Amandine Henry have been shortlisted for the women’s award. All three play for European champions Lyon.
Van Dijk has joined Messi and Ronaldo, the two iconic players of their generation, on the shortlist after starring in defence for Liverpool as they won a sixth Champions League and came close to winning their first domestic league title in 29 years.
Messi won the first edition of the award in 2011 while Ronaldo has won it on three occasions, in 2014, 2016 and 2017.
Luka Modric is the current holder of the men’s award after winning the Champions League and taking Croatia to the World Cup final in 2018, while Wolfsburg’s Danish striker Pernille Harder bagged the women’s prize.
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