Wigan defeat could be blessing in disguise for Man City
How Wigan defeat could be a blessing in disguise for Manchester City
For Manchester City to even be spoken of in terms of winning a quadruple this season speaks volumes of how times have changed for a club that ended a 35-year barren spell as recently as 2011.
However, perspective may have been in short supply as City crashed out of the FA Cup yesterday (March 9th) in a shock 2-1 defeat by Wigan - notwithstanding that it was by the same cup holders who had produced a barely less surprising feat in last year's final.
It has been a curious cup run for City. Faced with a run of home ties, they were able to produce a commanding display in seeing off Chelsea 2-0, but either side of that were dreadful in allowing two Championship sides to race into two-goal leads. The first time, against Watford, they were able to retrieve the situation, but not this time.
While the defeat ends hopes of the FA Cup coming back to the Etihad, it may yet have aided the chances of more silverware being secured alongside the Capital One Cup.
True, this week is likely to see the end of the Champions League campaign with a near-impossible task to overcome Barcelona in the Nou Camp, but with all cup commitments out of the way, the City may just find they avoid the kind of fixture pile-up that could strangle their Premier League ambitions.
Chelsea's 4-0 win over Spurs on Saturday leaves them nine clear of Pellegrini's men, but with three games in hand the gap could be closed. Factor in Chelsea's likely progress into the last eight of the Champions League and we may yet see a riveting fight to the finish for the title.
So forget fantasies about once-in-a-lifetime trebles and quadruples: securing the Premiership trophy and the Capital One Cup would still represent an exceptional season for City.