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Latics power into last four

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09 Mar 2013 15:17:15

Latics power into last four

Wigan made history by reaching an FA Cup semi-final for the first time after three goals in a devastating four-minute spell saw them beat an abject Everton 3-0 at Goodison Park.

Maynor Figueroa, Callum McManaman and Jordi Gomez scored within just 202 seconds of each other in the first half to demolish last year's semi-finalists hope of a return to Wembley.

Strangely for Everton they failed to produce anything like the expected response and exited the cup with a whimper - much to the disgust of an angry home crowd. But the bigger question will be how relegation-threatened Wigan - who had beaten only two of their last 10 top-flight opponents in the FA Cup since 1987 - could score - and win - so easily.

Everton had created the first chance with Sylvain Distin heading wide but from then it was almost one-way traffic as Shaun Maloney curled a shot past Jan Mucha but back off the post. The hosts' only other real chance of the first half fell to Nikica Jelavic but his low effort was palmed away by Joel Robles.

Then the madness began as Mucha, making his FA Cup debut and only his ninth appearance in two and a half years at the club with Tim Howard sidelined by broken bones in his back, passed his first real test by turning James McCarthy's shot behind.

However, from Gomez's 31st-minute corner the Slovakian got himself in a tangle inside the six-yard box and Figueroa powered home a far-post header. If Everton looked stunned by that what followed in barely a matter of seconds left them staggered and virtually out for the count.

McManaman, released by Everton as a 16-year-old, outsprinted Distin to expertly clip a shot past Mucha. But while they were all still celebrating that goal Wigan made it 3-0 as Gomez fired home from 20 yards.

The goal was greeted by loud boos from the majority of the crowd. McManaman would have been desperately disappointed to be forced off by injury after a clash with Leighton Baines but he departed six minutes from the interval to be replaced by Ryo Miyaichi.

The change did little to affect the visitors' momentum though and Mucha had to be at full-stretch to tip over Maloney's curling, dipping free-kick. Phil Neville was removed at half-time to allow Victor Anichebe to partner Jelavic up front but it was the previously quiet Marouane Fellaini who was first to show, volleying wide early in the second half.

Although the performance improved the hosts rarely threatened and when substitute Ross Barkley blazed wide late on it ended any fanciful hopes of a dramatic comeback.


PA

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