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2017-18 SEASON REVIEW - FEBRUARY

17 June 2018

February 2018 will go down as a historic month for Wigan Athletic as they continued their Sky Bet League One promotion push whilst also ending hopes of an unprecedented quadruple for Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

With three league games before their hotly anticipated Fifth Round Emirates FA Cup tie with Manchester City, Latics had to re-focus their attention on the main goal – promotion from Sky Bet League One.

Cook’s side did just that in their February opener with Gillingham as another regulation home victory saw a quick start rewarded as Will Grigg and Nick Powell scored first-half goals in a 2-1 victory over the Kent side.

Following the Gills back South, Latics were at Southend United the following weekend and they suffered their first blip of 2018 as former player Marc-Antoine Fortune was on the mark along with Michael Turner and Michael Kightly for the newly appointed Shrimpers boss Chris Powell, who remained unbeaten as Southend boss. James Vaughan got his first Latics goal in the defeat, though it was little more than a consolation.

For the first and only time in the campaign, Latics suffered back-to-back defeats in League One as a surprise defeat at home to Blackpool preceded the visit of Pep Guardiola’s Premier League Champions to the DW. Armand Gnanduillet and Kelvin Mellor were on the mark for Gary Bowyer’s Tangerines as Latics put the defeat behind them quickly to prepare for the City clash.

Slim to nil would have been an exaggeration of Latics’ chances against the Premier League leaders who, at the time, were on course for an unprecedented quadruple. A bumper crowd and the world’s TV cameras packed into the DW for what turned out to be one of the great nights in our history. The blocks of Dunkley, Burn, Byrne and Elder, the saves of Walton, the running of Power, Powell, Fulton, Roberts, Massey, Perkins, Jacobs, Colclough and, of course, the finish of Grigg contributed to the most unexpected of 1-0 victories and amazing celebrations that will live long in the memory. Fabian Delph was sent off for a City side which included too many stars to list, as Cook became the first English manager to get the better of Guardiola – some feat.

Five days later, February ended with a far less glamourous but equally important victory as Rochdale were downed 1-0 at the DW Stadium. Captain for the day Jacobs got the goal as Latics kept in touch with Blackburn and Shrewsbury, albeit they sat in third place, with three games in hand.

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