John Stones has admitted nobody at Manchester City saw their shattering FA Cup exit at Wigan coming.
City’s hopes of completing a clean sweep of four trophies this season were ended in dramatic fashion by the League One Latics on a controversial night at the DW Stadium on Monday.
While the post-match headlines were dominated by crowd disorder and a confrontation between the two managers, back in Manchester the Premier League leaders need to pick themselves up quickly for Sunday’s Carabao Cup final.
Having opened up a 16-point lead at the top of the table and all but qualified for the Champions League quarter-finals, that is not a situation City are used to or even anticipated.
Asked if he agreed City were always destined to lose a key game at some point, defender Stones said: “No. I think we’ve had that mindset that we can win every game and that’s probably why we have gone on such a good winning streak and not lost.
“I think it hurts even more that we’ve lost because we’re not used to doing it.
“We have only lost twice before this this season. It hurts. The feeling of losing is never nice for anyone but I think we take it to heart a bit more.”
City completely dominated possession throughout the game, even after being reduced to 10 men just before half-time, but spurned numerous chances to take the lead.
There were angry exchanges between City boss Pep Guardiola and Wigan manager Paul Cook after Fabian Delph was dismissed for a sliding challenge on Max Power.
The numerical disadvantage also caught up with City eventually and Wigan snatched victory with a brilliant breakaway goal from Will Grigg in the 79th minute.
It was the third time in six years Wigan had dumped City out of the FA Cup including, most famously, the 2013 final at Wembley.
Stones was at a loss to explain how it happened but wanted to turn his attention to the Wembley clash with Arsenal this weekend.
The 23-year-old said: “We felt we should have got something out of the game, at least taken the game back to the Etihad.
“It’s been cut short now, the run in all four competitions, which we wanted to be in, right until the end, fighting for everything. The overall feeling is massively disappointed.
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“It is a difficult one to take. They hardly had any chances on goal.
“But we have got to look at the game and make sure we take everything from it, good and bad.
“I think that is how we move forward and bounce back quickly because we’ve got the chance to win some silverware at the weekend.”