Arthur Masuaku sent off for spitting as Wigan dump West Ham out of the FA Cup

Wigan Athletic 2 West Ham 0: Two goals from Will Grigg were enough to see the Latics through but Masuaku's sending off was the real story of the day

Chris Brereton
DW Stadium
Saturday 27 January 2018 18:05
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Will Grigg scored twice to dump 10-man West Ham out of the FA Cup
Will Grigg scored twice to dump 10-man West Ham out of the FA Cup

Wigan showed football at its best in the FA Cup on Saturday. West Ham, and Arthur Masuaku in particular, showed football at its worst.

Firstly, the positives. Will Grigg's two goals for Wigan helped them to a fourth round win that was brilliantly orchestrated and their passion and work-ethic were a sight to behold.

This was no FA Cup shock, this was a League One side clinically and comfortably dissecting a team of strangers.

Yet Wigan's fine performance and consequent victory was also overshadowed by a disgusting act by Masuaku straight after half-time as he was sent off for spitting on Nick Powell, a disgraceful incident that will see him pick up a mandatory six-match ban.

Spitting? On another human being? Are you serious? West Ham and their fans like to think the club is built on solid, classy foundations and now is the chance to show it.

Masuaku should be sacked on the spot, the minute he walks through the door on Monday morning.

Grigg scored the opener

His absence from this match was one West Ham could ill-afford because of all the Premier League teams who have - and will continue to - field inferior sides in the FA Cup this season and beyond, few had a better excuse for doing so than the visitors and manager David Moyes.

The Scot had 11 first-teamers unavailable for this tie so Moyes was in the curious position of playing both a weakened side, and also his best, at the same time, making six changes from the team that drew with Bournemouth last time out.

It showed. In an opening spell dominated by the home side, Paul Cook's team underlined precisely why they are far too good for those around them in League One and why they are unbeaten since the middle of November.

Wigan were full of sustained possession and no little talent, they were a punchy joy to watch as they mixed no-nonsense muscularity with a fluency West Ham could not even imagine.

And then won the penalty and scored the second from the spot

After just seven minutes, Grigg scored his fifth of the season, persevering long enough to get on the end of Nathaniel Byrne's superb delivery from the right before heading past Joe Hart.

Hart was beaten again shortly afterwards, although Chey Dunkley's low headed finish was ruled out for offside as Wigan sensed an early opportunity to stop West Ham for good before they had even started.

To be fair to the visitors, they did begin to rally as the half-hour mark approached but Wigan did not look to be in any mood to yield, as Power and Michael Jacobs looked in control in the middle of the field while Nick Powell was also influential in keeping Wigan moving fluently forward.

West Ham's cause - either in this game or, by the looks of it, the games coming up - was then not helped shortly before half-time when Pedro Obiang was stretchered off with his right leg strapped heavily after a weighty collision with Power.

The Hammers continued to inch their way back in but one double block from captain Samy Morsy, twice flying in to protect Christian Walton's goalmouth, epitomised the home side's determination to claim another Premier League scalp this season following their win over Bournemouth in the last round.

Masuaku was dismissed for allegedly spitting at Nick Powell

If West Ham were weak enough with 11, they were even worse with just 10 as Masuaku received a straight red after the interval for spitting in the direction of Powell in a flashpoint that was as unsavoury as it was unhygienic.

Powell, understandably, was not amused and as Power remonstrated with Masuaku, referee Chris Kavanagh took the only possible course of action and sent him off.

The incident only made Wigan brighter and better, there was genuinely no weak link in their side and it paid off with half an hour left when Reece Burke handled in the area and Grigg thrashed a penalty past Hart.

Even then, it seemed inconceivable that West Ham had either the guile or the guts to earn a replay. So it proved.

And while one moment of madness tarnished this match, the occasion deserves to be remembered more for Wigan's talent than Masuaku's temper.

Wigan Athletic (4-2-3-1): Walton 7; Byrne 8, Dunkley 7, Burn 7, Elder 7 (James 86); Power 8, Morsy 7; Massey 7 (Colclough 76, 6), Powell 8, Jacobs 7; Grigg 8 (Roberts 87)

Substitutes not used: Jones, Perkins, Bruce, Fulton

West Ham United (4-4-2): Hart 6; Zabaleta 6 (Mario 46, 6), Burke 6, Ogbonna 5, Cresswell 5; Byram 5, Obiang 5 (Oxford 36, 6), Cullen 5, Masuaku 1; Hernandez 5, Martinez 5 (Haksabanovic 81)

Substitutes not used: Adrian, Collins, Quina, Diangana

Attendance: 14,194

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

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