For a start there was the absolutely stratospheric economic imbalance between the teams. Manchester City's starting line-up cost £349m (with their two substitutes costing over £100m. Wigan's line-up cost £1.83m and included eight players on free transfers.
Then there was the rampant form that City — the runaway Premiership leaders- had been in coming in to the game. Before last Monday they had lost just two matches all season — a 4-3 thriller away at Liverpool in January and a dead rubber Champions League tie to Shaktar Donetsk in December.
No team — apart from Wolves in the League Cup and Crystal Palace in the Premiership on New Year's Eve had prevented City's prolific hotshots from scoring. Prior to facing Wigan, Guardiola's men had thrashed Basel 4-0 away in the Champions League. Quite rightly, they are regarded by many judges as not only the best club side in England but the best in Europe too. Some would even say they're the best in the world.
Yet last Monday, lowly Wigan, who had lost their last two matches to Blackpool and Southend, beat them.
What the win shows us is the edge that football has over rugby. You can surrender possession- and have the opposition camp deep in your own half- yet you can still have one breakaway and win the match.
In rugby, if you surrendered so much territory then your opponents would kick their way to victory. It's the fact that ‘miracle' score-lines like Wigan Athletic 1 Manchester City 0 can happen, which makes football the game that it is.
RACING: Cue Card — the Cheltenham Dilemma
How to campaign a veteran racehorse who has become a much-loved national treasure? Cue Card has been thrilling National Hunt enthusiasts for eight years now, and recorded his 40th career start at Ascot recently, when he came a gallant second behind Waiting Patiently, five years his junior.
That was an exhilarating, front-running effort, and showed that the calls for his retirement last year were premature, but are connections doing the right thing by taking him to the ultra-competitive Cheltenham Festival next month? It's a relief that they've ruled out a third tilt at the Gold Cup, a race in which Cue Card has suffered crashing falls at the same third last obstacle the last two years, and opting for the Ryanair Chase, run over a shorter distance, looks the more sensible option. However you could argue that the most sensible thing of all would be to bypass Cheltenham altogether and give the horse his racecourse swansong at Aintree in April.
Speaking at Kempton on Saturday, Cue Card's trainer Colin Tizzard spoke of the pressure that racehorses put their owners under, when it comes to making difficult decisions where to run. That pressure is all the greater when the horse in question is the best-loved animal in training. Fingers crossed that connections, who no-one doubts have their horse's best interests at heart, have made the right call and that Cue Card makes it through to the long and happy retirement he so thoroughly deserves.
WORLD CUP: the Road to Russia: Argentina. Best Odds 9-1
The bookies have Argentina priced up at around 9-1 for the summer football feast, and some judges would say that's not being over generous. While La Albiceleste have a great pedigree in the tournament, with five final appearances, they haven't won it since 1986 — and have only reached one final since 1990: in Brazil, four years ago, when they lost to Germany.
So should we write off their chances?
Not a bit of it. Argentina picked up under new coach Jorge Sampaoli, who did such a great job with Chile.
Then there's Lionel Messi. The importance of the player who Sampaoli describes as ‘the best in history' to his team cannot be overstated. Argentina won only one of the eight games the Barcelona super-star missed in qualifying. By contrast 21 of the 28 points they picked up came when Messi was on the pitch. If Messi is fit and maintains his current level of brilliant form, then you can't rule out Argentina going deep in to the competition- perhaps even to the final again. If he misses out for some reason, then it's surely ‘Adios Amigos'.
The stakes could not be higher. FIFA President Gianni Infantino has said that Lionel Messi must win a World Cup if he is to be regarded as the greatest player of all time. As he'll be 31 in June, it's probably now or never.
Next time in Sportsworld we weigh up the World Cup challenge from Africa.
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The views and opinions expressed by Neil Clark are those of the columnist and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.