LONDON: Manchester City were on the wrong end of the shock of the English season as they went down 2-1 at home to holders Wigan in their FA Cup quarter-final at Eastlands.
Wigan – who surprised City in last season’s final before being relegated – had already been drawn to play Arsenal in the semi-finals. The other tie will see third division Sheffield United (2-0 winners over Charlton) play Hull (3-0 winners over Sunderland).
City, League Cup holders already and Premier favourites, had been expected to steamroller Wigan, now under an old City favourite in their German manager Uwe Rosler.
Instead Jordi Gomez struck second-tier Wigan ahead from the penalty spot in the 27th minute after Martin DeMichelis fouled Marc-Antoine Fortune. Then, immediately after the start of the second half, James Perch sneaked in to punish a sleep City defence and score a second goal from close range.
The goal prompted a three-way substitution by City manager Manuel Pellegrini with Jesus Navas, Alvaro Negredo and Yaya Toure all being replaced – Toure probably to avoid the risk of a red card.
Dzeko, on in place of Negredo, headed against the post in the 63rd minute as City threw everything into the rescue bid. Their efforts were rewarded four minutes later by a thundrous drive from Samir Nasri after Wigan failed to clear a left-wing corner from Gael Clichy.
But it was just not quite enough as Wigan held out heroically.
Earlier Sheffield United, managed by Nigel Clough, became the first third-tier side to reach the last four since Wycombe Wanderers in 2001 thanks to two goals in three second-half minutes against Charlton from Ryan Flynn and John Brayford.
After Callum Harriott had missed from seven yards for second-flight Charlton, midfielder Flynn converted a bouncing cross from Jose Baxter. Then fullback Brayford added a second with a 25-yard deflected shot.
The victory was United’s ninth in a row in all competitions, and means a first FA Cup semi-final since 2003. Clough’s team had already knocked out two Premier League sides in Aston Villa and Fulham.
Father Brian Clough won the League Cup four times as manager of Nottingham Forest with three of the finals – in 1979, 1989 and 1990 – having been played at Wembley.
Hull City reached the semi-finals for the first time since 1930 after three goals in the final 22 minutes denied Sunderland a return to Wembley where they lost the League Cup Final to Manchester City.
Curtis Davies headed in before former Sunderland striker David Meyler robbed Lee Cattermole to run clear and finish. Cattermole was at fault for the third, when his loose pass allowed Matty Fryatt to score from 12 yards.