On May 11, 2013, Wigan Athletic stunned Manchester City to win the club’s first ever FA Cup.
Days later, they were relegated from the Premier League.
Now a year after that and Wigan will be playing in League One, the third tier of English football.
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The fall from grace has been quick for the club from Greater Manchester, as Roberto Martinez’s Wembley triumph seems a distant memory.
Wigan enjoyed an eight-year run in the Premier League from 2005-2013, including a surprising 10th place finish in their first season in the top flight.
After Roberto Martinez left for Everton in 2013 following a four-year spell as manager at Wigan, there has been little stability at the club.
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Four managers in two years has placed the club second-to-last in the Championship, officially relegated to League One for next season.
It has been an especially tough season for Wigan, as chairman Dave Whelan stepped down after being charged by the FA for making racially insensitive comments. Then Malky Mackay was sacked less than five months after being appointed manager.
New chairman David Sharpe spoke to the club’s official website following the relegation, saying promotion back to the Championship was the only goal for next season.
It’s a sad day for everyone associated with Wigan Athletic but we will bounce back, I want that to be the main message to our fans tonight.
Our only target next season is promotion, nothing else will suffice and the job of rebuilding the club is already well under way under Gary Caldwell and his staff.
Football is full of examples of clubs who have come back stronger after relegation and I want us to be the latest one of those
We have an amazing opportunity to start afresh and begin an exciting new era for the club.”
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for Arsenal, wallop, Wigan Athletic hit them with a hammer blow… but the Gunners responded valiantly to reach their first FA Cup final since 2005 in dramatic fashion.
Arsene Wenger’s quest for a first trophy in nine seasons is still on course, as the North London club reached a record 18th final of the world’s oldest knockout competition.
Arsenal eventually beat Championship side Wigan 4-2 on penalties, with reserve ‘keeper Lukas Fabianski saving two penalties to set the Gunners on their way, after a tense 1-1 draw in a gripping FA Cup semifinal at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
The shock 2012-13 FA Cup winners took the lead against Arsenal, as Callum McManaman was brought down by Per Mertesacker in the box and after a lengthy delay Jordi Gomez slotted home the penalty to put Wigan 1-0 up with less than 30 minutes to go.
Arsenal huffed and puffed, as late pressure started to build in regular time. Yaya Sanogo had a header against the post that was hacked away and moments later Kieran Gibbs saw his header wonderfully stopped by Scott Carson, then Stephen Crainey hacked it off the line. That pressure eventually told with 10 minutes of regulation remaining, as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scuffed a shot into the ground that Mertesacker followed up to equalize and send the game into extra time.
In the extra 30 minutes the teams couldn’t be separated, as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sent a rasping effort off the woodwork, so the dreaded penalty shootout took place to see who would be going back to Wembley on May 17 in the FA Cup final.
Fabianksi saved Wigan’s first two penalties from Gary Caldwell and Jack Collison, as Arsenal scored all four PKs to hold their nerve and make the showpiece final next month.