February 20, 2018 / 4:15 AM / a month ago

Soccer: Grigg still firing on epic night for Wigan

(Reuters) - Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook had joked before Monday’s FA Cup fifth round tie with Premier League leaders Manchester City that he would be asking for special dispensation to field 14 players.

Soccer Football - FA Cup Fifth Round - Wigan Athletic vs Manchester City - DW Stadium, Wigan, Britain - February 19, 2018 Manchester City's Fernandinho in action with Wigan Athletic's Will Grigg REUTERS/Andrew Yates

In the end, against a multi-millionaire City side reduced to 10 men for the entire second half, he needed only 11 to achieve the unthinkable and win 1-0 on one of the greatest nights in the third tier club’s Cup history.

For that he had also to thank Northern Irish talisman Will Grigg, who seized his chance and fired in the 79th minute winner.

The goal was his seventh in this season’s competition, more than than any other player, and ended City’s hopes of an unprecedented league and cup quadruple.

“I’m scoring every week now so it’s nice and easy,” Grigg joked afterwards when told how calm he had seemed. “It was more shock than anything. I was so tired I couldn’t really celebrate.

“I caught the offside trap and it was a nice little race with Kyle Walker. I am a goalscorer, if I get a chance I’ll score them. The FA Cup has been brilliant to me.”

Soccer Football - FA Cup Fifth Round - Wigan Athletic vs Manchester City - DW Stadium, Wigan, Britain - February 19, 2018 Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook celebrates as Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola looks dejected Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine

A cult hero at the DW Stadium, Grigg also scored a double in the fourth round when Wigan pulled off a shock of 2-0 win over Premier League West Ham United.

Wigan also beat Premier League Bournemouth in a third round replay, with Grigg scoring in the initial 2-2 draw, face Southampton next.

The chant of ‘Will Grigg’s on Fire’ has been popular, and a top download, since before Northern Ireland went to the 2016 European championships and has been heard more than ever in the cup this season.

“For a lot of the game I’m standing up on my own while the lads are shuffling and defending for their lives,” the player said.

“I’m sort of out of it for a large part of the game but then when it comes to me, you have to do something ... and fortunately I managed to do that.”

Cook said it was a fantastic night for the club, against one of the best sides in Europe.

“It feels great,” he said.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, Editing by Greg Stutchbury

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