Kompany delivered an early warning

LONDON • Just last week, Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany provided an insight into the side's psyche.

"Quadruple talk - there's been none - but winning the next game and the next one, always," the centreback told City's website. "It's a balance between not underestimating the smaller teams and not overestimating the bigger teams."

It was the perfect warning ahead of City's FA Cup tie against third-tier Wigan on Monday, but the club's bid to win four trophies in a single season still came to an end with a 1-0 defeat.

The Premier League leaders had already struggled against lower-league opposition this season.

Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers took Pep Guardiola's men to penalties in the last 16 of the League Cup after becoming the first team to keep a clean sheet against City in all competitions.

They could have won but missed three one-on-one opportunities.

  • Notable FA Cup upsets

  • MAN CITY 0 WIGAN 1 (2012-13, FINAL)

    City, already cash-rich but not yet the barnstorming side Pep Guardiola has put together, were overwhelming favourites against a team 16 places below them. Ben Watson scored the only goal to earn considerable consolation for the Latics, who had already been relegated from the Premier League.

    CHELSEA 2 BRADFORD 4 (2014-15, 4TH ROUND)

    This was as epic as Wigan's upset on Monday. League One side Bradford gave themselves a mountain to climb after going two goals down against runaway EPL leaders Chelsea, 49 places above them and chasing a quadruple of trophies. But the Bantams made a molehill out of the deficit, hitting back with a four-goal riposte to leave Jose Mourinho "ashamed".


    Everton were bidding to reach the Champions League under David Moyes. Lowly Shrewsbury, 80 places below, were simply aspiring to secure their league status in the fourth tier. But the underdogs led by former Toffees captain Kevin Ratcliffe outplayed a side spearheaded by a teenage Wayne Rooney, sealing victory two minutes from time.

Fellow second-tier side Bristol City then scored three times over two legs in the League Cup semi-finals, only to lose 5-3 on aggregate, with the Manchester outfit netting stoppage-time goals in both games.

A key part of their ability to give City a scare was their high pressing, which was also used by Liverpool - the second team to beat City this season after Shakhtar Donetsk.

One common thread running through the three Cup matches is a weakened City line-up.

Guardiola made six changes for the fifth-round tie, with fringe players such as full-back Danilo, goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, and midfielder Ilkay Gundogan starting.

Kompany was an unused substitute against the League One side as he continues to regain full fitness. In the absence of the Belgium international, City's main weakness has been their defence and so it proved at the DW Stadium. Will Grigg completed a counter-attack with the winning goal after a misjudgment by Kyle Walker, who came on after Fabian Delph was sent off for a sliding challenge on Max Power.

Bravo, who made just three saves in the league last year after being dropped as Guardiola's No.1, again brought his save percentage down, conceding from the only shot on target he faced.

"We've got to look at those (other three competitions) and look forward, but we're disappointed," said City defender John Stones. "We wanted to be in all four competitions right until the end."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 21, 2018, with the headline 'Kompany delivered an early warning'. Subscribe