FA Cup final: Jubilant Wigan give Roberto Mancini final push
Manuel Pellegrini lined up to replace Italian after Manchester City's millionaires are humbled in FA Cup final
Dave Whelan's dream two months ago that Wigan Athletic would win the FA Cup final by beating Manchester City came true in spectacular fashion yesterday when Ben Watson headed the only goal in the last minute of an entertaining game. Watson had broken his leg last November, just as Wigan's owner did playing for Blackburn Rovers in the 1960 Cup final. So it was a suitably dream-like ending for a club who were near the bottom of the fourth division when Whelan took over in 1995.
For Roberto Mancini, however, the nightmare continues. Initially dismissing as "rubbish" stories that Manuel Pellegrini, the 59-year-old Chilean in charge of Malaga, will become his successor next month, the embattled City manager (pictured) was reduced later last night to blaming the club for not denying the reports. "I don't know why they didn't stop this," he said. "I have a four-year contract. If we get second position in the League, it's a good season for us. How many teams did better?"
More telling were his remarks on Friday, which smacked of being resigned to his fate: "I know football enough to understand this situation. I won seven trophies in Inter in four years and they sack me." His problem at City has been the same as with the Milan club: a failure to make any impact in the Champions' League. In each of his four seasons Internazionale were eliminated early in the knockout stages but two years later they won the competition under Jose Mourinho.
In two seasons City have failed to qualify from the group stage. Unlucky last season when they managed 10 points, in the current campaign they did not win one of their six matches.
Pellegrini publicly hinted at his imminent departure last night as he prepared for what could be his penultimate home game in charge of Malaga today against Sevilla. Speaking in relation to the lack of money at the club, he said: "It's a strange situation. I don't believe anyone wants to leave. Everyone wants to stay but unfortunately the circumstances don't allow it."
As Voltaire once said, “Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal”
Latest in Sport
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Best memes as Twitter reacts to imminent £16m transfer
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal joins Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for Sami Khedira
Mario Balotelli takes 50 per cent pay cut to join Liverpool as Samuel as Eto’o waits in the wings if deal falls through
Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
Click here for the full story." title="When a youngster asked for an autograph outside Manchester City's training ground, Balotelli demanded to know why the boy was playing truant. After the child revealed he was being bullied, Balotelli drove the boy and his mother to the school in question so he could tackle the bully himself. He demanded to see the headmaster to make him aware of the issue and then mediated between the two boys to resolve the problem. A source said: 'Mario feels strongly about bullying.' Click here for the full story." width="88" height="52" />Mario Balotelli: The funniest stories
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
- 3 Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
- 4 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile