Everton 0 Wigan Athletic 3 FA Cup match report: Wigan head to Wembley while Everton exit to boos

Chairman Dave Whelan celebrates club's first FA Cup semi-final
thanks to three-goal blast

goodison park

Four minutes before the interval yesterday the visiting supporters were greeting every Wigan touch with an olé and chanting – with a certain disbelief, no doubt – "We want four". They had three already, scored within the space of three minutes, and held on to that lead comfortably to reach the first FA Cup semi-final in their 81-year history.

It was deserved reward for a composed and tactically mature performance that made a nonsense of the 21-point gap between the teams in the Premier League. The foundations were a tight back three who barely allowed anything through to their reserve goalkeeper, the Spaniard Joel Robles, and two enterprising wing-backs. Wigan were particularly effective down the left through Jean Beausejour and Shaun Maloney, combining to give Seamus Coleman and Phil Neville a harrowing time.

For the home team, finalists and beaten semi-finalists in the past four years, it was a dreadful day after having smelled Wembley when they were favoured with a home draw for the first time this season.

After sending on Victor Anichebe as a second striker at half-time in place of their captain, Neville, whose error cost the second goal, they responded only briefly and received even more boos at full-time than they had at the interval.

It summed up the prevailing frustration that an invitation to show "appreciation" for Marouane Fellaini when he was susbstituted after 66 minutes was met with widespread abuse. The Belgian stomped off down the tunnel, just one of many underperformers on a proud club's biggest day of the season.

The country's third longest-serving manager, David Moyes, about to celebrate 11 years at Everton without having signed any contract beyond this summer, must have been left wondering how much more he can achieve without moving on.

Naturally he was not looking that far ahead after the game, saying only: "Wigan played well on the day and we didn't. They were the better team. We've not had many of those days this season. I feel disappointed for everybody as we just never really got going."

For Wigan, pride and satisfaction will be tempered only by concern that a Wembley semi-final in the middle of next month does not distract from the fundamental business of staying in the Premier League. Because relegation rivals Reading and Aston Villa played each other yesterday, they were always going to drop back into the bottom three; Roberto Martinez's reaction was to insist that it will merely make all his players even keener to take part in what he called the "10 cup finals" remaining – which may yet prove good practice for the real one.

"For us to go to Wembley is a historic moment," he said, adding his delight for the club chairman, Dave Whelan, who broke his leg in the 1960 final as his Blackburn Rovers side lost 3-0 to Wolves. Even Whelan, who has pumped millions into helping the club from the Third Division to eight years at the highest level, could hardly have expected to win here by the same score, though he did reveal: "I had a dream this week that we would beat Everton and meet Blackburn in the semi-final at Wembley. That would fulfil my dreams and if we can win the Cup, it is something that Wigan cannot even contemplate." He even promised Martinez a rise, as long as Wigan stay up and reach the final.

Everyone in the visiting ranks must have sensed from early on here that they were on to something good at a ground where they had only previously won once, eight years ago. Ten minutes in, the excellent Maloney cut in from the left and drove a shot against the far post with Jan Mucha, standing in for the injured Tim Howard, a spectator. Aruna Kone headed a good chance over the bar, Mucha pushed James McCarthy's 25-yarder round the post and from the resulting corner the dam burst.

First Maynor Figueroa took advantage of poor marking to head in; in the next minute Neville's misplaced pass in the vague direction of Sylvain Distin was picked up by Callum McManaman, a lifelong Evertonian, who ran on to chip neatly across Mucha; and with the disbelief now being shared by everyone in the ground, Kone supplied Gomez for another delightful finish, curled just inside a post.

The home side really needed to retrieve a goal before half-time but were never close, and after quickly falling away following a brief spell of pressure at the start of the second half they lost the crowd completely. Robles, once the understudy to David de Gea at Atletico Madrid, remained untroubled until making a fine save from Leon Osman in added time, Coleman heading the rebound weakly wide to sum up Everton's wretched day. "It was a complete performance and a special day for the fans of Wigan Athletic," Martinez said. Nobody, friend or foe, seemed inclined to disagree.

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
News
people
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced