20 Feb Wigan savour City upset – but post-match trouble could see FA probe
Sergio Aguero clashed with a fan and Pep Guardiola was involved in a tunnel bust-up as Manchester City’s quadruple bid was sensationally derailed by Wigan.
Advertising hoardings and other objects were also thrown onto the field as ugly scenes marred the League One side’s dramatic 1-0 victory over the runaway Premier League leaders at the DW Stadium on Monday.
TV footage appeared to show Aguero raising his arm to push away a supporter as a pitch invasion by thousands of jubilant Wigan fans after the final whistle got out of hand. The Argentinian then had to be pulled away from the individual.
Further disorder was sparked as a large group of Wigan fans ignored requests to leave the field to celebrate at the end where City supporters were sat.
The game itself, settled by Will Grigg’s superb breakaway goal in the 79th minute, had been a fiery affair with City manager Guardiola involved in a furious touchline row with opposite number Paul Cook.
The flashpoint had been the sending-off of Fabian Delph for a tackle on Max Power just before half-time. The pair continued their row in the tunnel after the players left the pitch for the interval and Guardiola had to be restrained by colleagues.
The matters could be looked into by the Football Association but the governing body did not respond to requests from Press Association Sport to comment on Monday night.
Wigan’s only comment on the crowd disturbances came from Cook.
He said of the pitch invasion: “It’s not correct but I haven’t seen these incidents so I’d rather not give an opinion, but players’ safety is paramount for everyone.”
The club did not wish to comment further. City manager Pep Guardiola did not see the trouble having already headed for the dressing room.
Guardiola said: “I was in the locker room, I didn’t see it. It’s safer when the fans are not there but sometimes it happens. The fans respect the players and the players the fans and go inside.”
Although City did not comment, Press Association Sport understands the club consider the pitch invasion and Aguero incident to be unacceptable and will liaise with Wigan in the coming days.
Guardiola also played down his spat with Cook, suggesting he was annoyed the Wigan boss left his technical area.
“Nothing happened in the tunnel, nothing happened with my colleague,” said Guardiola. “It was just please stay in your position, that’s all, and then finished.”
City’s anger over Delph’s dismissal may have been sparked because referee Anthony Taylor initially took out his yellow card, suggesting a booking, but then brandished the red.
Guardiola tried to further defuse the situation as he later said: “The referee decides what he decides. It can be a red card. We have to learn.”
These incidents overshadowed an excellent performance by League One Wigan, who reprised their famous victory over City in the 2013 final. They now face Southampton in the quarter-finals.
Cook said: “We had to dig in, we really did, and the lads did that in abundance. As a team it’s an outstanding night for us, it’s one we should enjoy.”