Millwall 0 Wigan Athletic 2 match report: Millwall thugs wreak havoc to ruin Wigan's greatest day

Violence in the stands condemned as 'unacceptable' by the Football Association after Lancashire club reach the Cup final for the first time in their history at a one-third empty national stadium


A day of history for Wigan Athletic, who will play in the FA Cup final next month and quite possibly in the Europa League next season, was marred by the first serious outbreak of hooliganism at the new Wembley, as Millwall supporters were involved in a long period of fighting at one end of the ground and 10 fans were arrested. The unpleasant scenes followed the goal that Callum McManaman scored in the 77th minute to add to Shaun Maloney's; two pieces of quality that Millwall could never match.

The fighting continued for some time with stewards and police reluctant to intervene. Police later said 11 arrests were made and four of their officers suffered minor injuries, while the Football Association launched an immediate enquiry.

Alex Horne, general secretary of the FA, said: "We will look to ensure those involved are identified and we would call for criminal charges and a football banning order to be brought against them.The FA deplores the scenes which have taken place today, which are unacceptable."

Millwall have pledged to identify and ban the thugs. Andy Ambler, the club's chief executive, said: "Anyone associated with our club found guilty of violent behaviour will be banned indefinitely from Millwall matches in addition to any punishment they receive from the authorities."

Chairman John Berylson, who flew in from the United States for the game, said: "There are always a few idiots. That's not our fan-base and we don't know who they are. We will be investigating."

Kenny Jackett, Millwall's manager, was equally dismayed, saying: "It's disappointing. I know how hard the directors have worked to give the club a good image in recent years. It has no part in football."

Although the disturbances were confined to Millwall's end, Wigan's manager Roberto Martinez, whose team will face Manchester City or Chelsea in the final next month, admitted they took the shine off his side's victory. He said: "It's a real shame because the game on the pitch was a great advert for the competition. It is a small minority but that leaves a bad taste."

His chairman, Dave Whelan, added: "I can't understand why the Millwall fans would fight each other. I understand if they want to fall out with the visiting team, but why would they fall out amongst themselves? It just gives football a very, very poor reputation. We know Millwall are a tough club, their team's tough to play, the supporters are straight through. But don't fight each other."

Apart from the damage to the Millwall's improving reputation, the concern is now the same as Wigan's: to ensure that a memorable Cup season does not end in relegation. This morning Martinez's team still sit in the bottom three of the Premier League and Millwall have slipped to 18th place in the Championship.

As for the game, the top-flight side forced five corners in the first 20 minutes after settling into their neat passing game and soon followed with an opening goal. It was cleverly executed as Arouna Koné took the ball down on the halfway line and set off, crossing on the run for Maloney to hit a side-foot volley in first time.

By half-time his team could easily have been further ahead, although the fact that they were not gave heart to the Championship side. David Forde, the Irish goalkeeper, twice had to beat out shots from distance, first from McManaman and closer to the interval from Jordi Gomez.

With many spectators as usual at Wembley slow to drift back after the interval, the start of the second half was played out in front of even more empty seats than the first period. Wigan having sold around 21,000 of their 31,000 allocation, the attendance was the smallest for a semi-final here since just over 56,000 watched Manchester United play Oldham in 1994. There was a chance to double the lead when McManaman beat two men on the byline but went for glory instead of picking out Koné.

A spell of real pressure from Millwall followed with Paul Scharner only just beating Andy Keogh to Alan Dunne's low cross and Mark Beevers seeing his header deflected off Scharner and away for a corner.

Further hope was then dashed as Wigan broke from a Millwall corner. Maloney led it and fed Gomez; he then waited for McManaman, who drifted wide of the goalkeeper's lunge for a neat finish.

Millwall had nothing left and it was Whelan who took the plaudits in the Royal Box. There was talk that Whelan, who broke a leg in the 1960 final, would lead the team out, but nobody does in semi-finals. "It's an incredible achievement," said Martinez. "Our chairman is just unique." So is the continuing Wigan story.

Wigan (3-5-2): Al Habsi; Scharner, Alcaraz, Figueroa; Boyce, McCarthy, Gomez, Maloney, Beausejour (McArthur, 60); McManaman (Henriquez, 89), Koné.

Millwall (4-5-1): Forde; Dunne, Shittu, Beevers, Lowry; Henry, Abdou (Trotter, 72), Smith (Hulse, 67), St Ledger, Taylor; Keogh (Batt, 89).

Referee Michael Oliver.

Man of the match Maloney (Wigan).

Match rating 7/10.

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Robyn Lawley
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Life and Style
lifeDon't get caught up on climaxing
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Arts and Entertainment
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint)
newsBloomsbury unveils new covers for JK Rowling's wizarding series
scienceScientists try to explain the moon's funny shape
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
Arts and Entertainment
As Loki in The Avengers (2012)
filmRead Tom Hiddleston's email to Joss Whedon on prospect of playing Loki
voices In defence of the charcoal-furred feline, by Felicity Morse
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star