Wigan 1-0 Man City: Guardiola and Cook play down tunnel clash after FA Cup upset

2018-02-20 09:40:54

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and Wigan boss Paul Cook have both played down their touchline and tunnel clash after Monday’s FA Cup upset.

League One side Wigan defeated the runaway Premier League leaders 1-0 at the DW Stadium thanks to Will Grigg’s brilliant second-half finish.

The result erases City’s hopes of winning all four trophies this season, and sees Wigan into the quarter-finals against Southampton .

But what should have been a jubilant celebration from home fans was marred by ugly post-match scenes, which saw City striker Sergio Aguero clash with a Wigan fan as they stormed the pitch, and visiting supporters tearing up advertising hoardings.

Guardiola and Cook were also involved in a number of heated exchanges during the fiery encounter.

The big flash point during the match came in first-half injury time when Fabian Delph was shown a straight red card after a studs-up challenge on Max Power. Referee Anthony Taylor initially pulled the yellow card out of his pocket and then appeared to change his mind.

Guardiola reacted furiously and he clashed with Cook on the sidelines, with their row appearing to continue when they entered the tunnel at half-time.

But both managers insist nothing happened when asked following the game.

Guardiola said: "Nothing happened in the tunnel, nothing happened with my colleague. It was just please stay in your position, that's all, and then finished.

"For me [the red card] is an unnecessary action. The referee decides what he decides. It can be a red card. We have to learn."

Cook was reluctant to go into the incident or its aftermath, saying: "I think we should speak about the game. We'd all have different opinions.

“There's a lot made of tackles. I felt at the time it was a straight red. I don't think Pep and his bench thought it was but that's football . We're never going to agree."

Cook also condemned the pitch invasion following the game, saying: "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."

Guardiola added: "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."

Guardiola also played down the significance of the red card and said Wigan deserve to win, as the Latics claimed a result  which was even more unexpected than their FA Cup final triumph over the same opponents five years ago.

The Spaniard said: "We played good in the second half even with ten so the influence in terms of the way we played wasn't too much. Of course with 11 it's easier. We conceded one shot on target in 90 minutes and we lost. Football is like this.

"Of course we are sad and we want to go through because the FA Cup is a nice competition and you want to go to the quarter-finals, play at home against Southampton, but football counts what happens in 94 minutes.

"They score a goal, we were not able to, so that's why they deserve to go through. We congratulate Wigan for their victory."

Wigan had just 17 per cent possession and four shots compared to City's 29, and a hoarse-voiced Cook said of the final minutes: "You just shut your eyes and pray.

"We knew a lot of things had to go right on the night against such a quality team. 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."

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