England FA Probes Wigan vs Manchester City FA Cup match
A famous night in the England FA Cup was marred by several incidents, which included a tunnel bust up between Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola and Paul Cook, the Wigan coach and a field invasion by Wigan Athletic fans.
Both incidents are now the subjects of probe by the Football Association.
What flared up tempers was the pivotal sending-off of Manchester City defender Fabian Delph in first half injury-time after he made a rash challenge on Wigan’s Max Power. Referee Anthony Taylor first pulled out a yellow card from his pocket. Then he changed his mind and produced a red card.
That infuriated City players, who surrounded the referee, and the dispute spilled into the rival technical areas with Sergio Aguero having to be dragged away by Guardiola as he argued furiously with Wigan coaches.
The scene turned even uglier, with television cameras in the tunnel capturing footage of City manager Pep Guardiola and Wigan manager Paul Cook in a major verbal confrontation and being kept apart by staff.
Guardiola had to be pulled away from his Wigan counterpart as the pair engaged in a heated row as they headed down the tunnel at half-time.
After the match in which Wigan’s only shot at the goal was fatal to City’s aspirations for the season, excited Wigan fans invaded the pitch to taunt City players.
Sergio Aguero was one of the targets.
One fan attempted to punch the striker, but Aguero brushed him away before Wigan defender Cheyenne Dunkley, City coach Mikel Arteta and physiotherapist Steven Lilley rushed to the Argentine’s aid.
Aguero followed the fan and Lilley pulled the forward away before he could retaliate.
City will seek answers from Wigan about how an invasion was allowed to happen, putting their players in danger.
Wigan chairman David Sharpe denounced the actions of the supporters. ‘It’s not nice to see,’ he said. ‘Football is emotional, it’s what it does to fans. But I don’t like to see this at the end of the game. It is a massive result, but we have to stay classy in football. I don’t like what I am seeing here.’
Wigan manager Paul Cook added: ‘It’s not right, it’s not correct, player safety is paramount.’
The ugly scenes are likely to put Wigan in hot water with the FA. The scenes were reminiscent of those at Ashton Gate when Bristol City beat Manchester United in the Carabao Cup in December.
City fans scrapped with stewards and police long after full-time, throwing objects including advertising hoardings having been goaded by home fans on the pitch.Battles with stewards continued after the players had left the field and the level of aggression appeared to intensify.