FA Cup: Wigan dump Premier league leaders out of tournament

LISTENING Pep Guardiola listens intently to a question from the media

But, even with the league title apparently in the bag, back-to-back cup defeats would put a dampener on what has been an impressive season of dazzling football.

The stunning upset has been somewhat marred, however, by ugly scenes following the final whistle, when a pitch invasion resulted in City striker Sergio Aguero being caught on camera appearing to direct a punch towards a Wigan fan.

Cook said: "We had to dig in, we really did, and the lads did that in abundance". Mentally it is hard fighting in four competitions and we did it. That's been cut short now.

'We did absolutely everything, we made a mistake and this kind of game is like a final.

Guardiola left Ederson, Kyle Walker, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling out of his starting line-up but otherwise named a strong side containing Aguero, David Silva and centre-backs Stones and Aymeric Laporte.

The match itself was also a fiery affair, with City manager Pep Guardiola and Wigan counterpart Paul Cook involved in a heated dispute in the wake of Fabian Delph's controversial red card on the stroke of half-time.

People appeared to calm down during the break and City, minus Delph, soon reasserted their dominance. However, he may have been confused why referee Anthony Taylor took out a yellow card for the incident, jotting down a name on his card, only to hold a red card high above his head seconds later.

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He said of Delph's sending off, which was deemed harsh by many pundits: "For me it's an unnecessary action. We have to learn". "We tried 10 against 11". The scenes were reminiscent of those at Ashton Gate when Bristol City beat Manchester United in the Carabao Cup in December.

We are at that stage of the European football season where the attractive game gets more intense, where the genuine contenders are sought and the pretenders known.

The treble has been achieved by United, and City could still win a treble of their own this season, but the quadruple remains an impossible dream, never realised and possibly never to be achieved. "Nothing happened in the tunnel, nothing happened with my colleague", said Guardiola.

"Nothing, just "stay in his position".

Guardiola has been calling for referees to clamp down on bad tackling in recent months and the irony won't be lost on many that it was one of his players who'd see a straight red card for a bad challenge.

"It's incorrect. But I've not seen the incidents, so I'd rather not comment".

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