Saturday 09 March 2013
Wigan Athletic and Manchester City cruised into the FA Cup semi-finals after comfortable victories against Everton and Barnsley respectively.
Wigan Athletic pulled off a surprise victory to reach the FA Cup semi-finals as they ran out comfortable winners against Everton at Goodison Park.
"It was a complete performance and a special day for Wigan"
Though Everton, who are sixth in the Barclays Premier League, were bidding for their third semi-final appearance in five seasons and had not lost to Wigan in 10 previous encounters, they were no match for Roberto Martinez’s charges, who scored all their goals in four first-half minutes.
Maynor Figeroa rose to head a corner in on the half-hour mark, Callum McManaman pounced on an errant backpass by Phil Neville a minute later to race through to score with a neat chip and Jordi Gomez made it 3-0 with a deft strike on 33 minutes.
Everton had no answer to the visitors’ plucky display and their miserable day was compounded by the news that goalkeeper Tim Howard, who was replaced for the quarter-final by Jan Mucha, is likely to be out for a month after fracturing two bones in his back.
"We played well but more importantly we had incredible concentration levels," said Martinez. "To score three goals away from home in the manner we have done we always looked a real threat going forward and it was a complete performance and a special day for Wigan.
"You unfortunately get used to people saying if you lose it is because you are Wigan and if you win it is because the opposition was poor. They weren't poor. My players deserve credit for how they stopped Everton. We stopped the full-backs going forward and getting crosses in from dangerous positions.
Carlos Tevez hit a hat-trick as Manchester City eased past Barnsley with a routine win at the Etihad Stadium.
The Argentina forward opened the scoring after 11 minutes before setting up Aleksander Kolarov to make it 2-0. Tevez struck again either side of half-time to put City firmly in control against the Championship side and David Silva rounded off a comfortable victory for the Barclays Premier League champions.
James Milner was unfortunate not to get in on the act when he rattled the crossbar late on, but of greater concern to City will have been the sight of Carlos Tevez limping off 15 minutes from the end after picking up a knock.
On Sunday Chelsea travel to Manchester United in the highlight of the weekend's fixtures.
Both sides are looking to bounce back from midweek defeats in Europe with Manchester United having been knocked out of the UEFA Champions League by Real Madrid after a 2-1 reverse at Old Trafford, and Chelsea losing 1-0 at Steaua Bucharest in the UEFA Europa League, but with both having strong domestic form this promises to be an exciting affair.
"Rio’s been here for more than 10 years and never won it, so the manager is making sure we all want to win it, and we want to win it for ourselves as well"
Leading the Barclays Premier League standings by 12 points United can recover from the shock of Tuesday’s setback by boosting their hopes of winning a League and FA Cup double. United defender Chris Smalling, for one, is desperate to get his hands on the trophy his club last won nine years ago.
"The manager has stressed before the Cup games that it’s only Scholesey, Giggsy and Fletch in the squad who’ve won the FA Cup [and Robin van Persie, but that was for Arsenal],” Smalling told United’s website.
"Rio’s been here for more than 10 years and never won it, so the manager is making sure we all want to win it, and we want to win it for ourselves as well."
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side boast a good record at home against Chelsea, having beaten them on each of the last three occasions at Old Trafford. They also ran out 3-2 winners at Stamford Bridge in the League in late October. However, the Blues triumphed the last time the two sides met when they sealed a 5-4 Capital One Cup victory in West London and they also won their most recent FA Cup encounter – the 2007 final.
Wayne Rooney, Jonny Evans and Shinji Kagawa will hope to return to the side after missing out in midweek, but Ryan Giggs and Phil Jones will not play. For Chelsea, Ramires, who scored in both games against United this term, sat out the trip to Romania, while Juan Mata started on the bench. John Terry returned to captain the team and Demba Ba is available again after being cup-tied in Europe.
Sunday’s remaining quarter-final pits 2004 FA Cup finalists Millwall against Blackburn Rovers, who knocked out Arsenal in the previous round.
Saturday 10 March
Everton 0-3 Wigan Athletic
Manchester City 5-0 Barnsley
FA Cup quarter-final fixtures
Sunday 10 March
Millwall v Blackburn Rovers, 2pm
Manchester United v Chelsea, 4.30pm