Wigan’s secure deserved victory over Arsenal to open up gap in relegation dogfight

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Resurgent Wigan travelled to the Emirates looking to maintain the position as one of the form teams in the Premier League.Wigan suffered a pre match blow when the key player of the last few weeks Shaun Maloney being forced to withdraw from the starting line up with Jordi Gomez assuming the attacking left side of midfield role.

Arsenal started the brighter as befitted the home team  and a long range shot from Vermahlen fizzed wide of the far post. Arsenal continued to press and Rosisky ghosted past a static Alcaraz drawing a foul from McCarthy. Another attack resulted in a fine save from a Benayoun header and from the corner,Wigan broke quickly and a pin point cross from Gomez found Di Santo who showed strength and power to bundle the ball into the net.

Within a minute Wigan were two nil up when the Arsenal keeper failed to hold a louse ball falling a superb piece of skill from Moses to leave Sagna for dead and Gomez following up slotted the ball home.

The game continued to ebb and flow with Moses and Rosicky putting their respective opposition defences under pressure.

Rosicky once again put Al Habsi to the test when a goal bound header was tipped over one handed for a corner.

Wigan continued to defend deep and their inability to clear their lines resulted in Vermahlen reducing the deficit with a powerful header which left Al Habsi static. Arsenal forced AL Habsi into another save from Van Persie and then Djourou narrowly missed the post and Wigan were really under the cosh.

An error by McCarthy allowed Rosicky through but he blazed over and it seemed only a matter of time before Arsenal got their equaliser.

Wigan continued to play a scrambling defence under pressure but on an isolated break by Figueroa resulted in a poor clearance from Arsenal was crying out for a Wigan player to bury the ball but the midfield was too far back and the Gunners managed to clear the ball.

Half time came with Wigan firmly on the ropes but not counted out

The second half continued in the vein with Wigan placing ten men behind the ball and relying on numbers to frustrate the attacking prowess of the home side.

Beausejour and Moses showed Arsenal that Wigan were still a potent attacking threat when the Chilean put the Nigerian through and a fantastic shot was parried by Szeznesy.

Moses showed his immaturity when through on the keeper he elected to shoot from the edge of the penalty area and the keeper saved it easily when he could have scored.

As the second half progressed Arsenal and their myopic manager grew more and more frustrated as Wigan continued to frustrate the home side , continually breaking down their attacks in midfield by closing down the man with the ball reducing his options and on the occasions when they did break through , Arsenal found the three Wigan centre halves in superb form. So much so that apart from the need to punch clear a couple of corners, Al Habsi had a quiet forty five minutes.

Wigan did have chances to increase their lead with Gomez snatching at a difficult cross and Diame shooting straight at the keeper.

The final whistle brought delirious shouts of delight from the loyal travelling horde of some two hundred Wigan fans and the five point cushion above the relegation places ensures that Wigan approach the Fulham match with renewed confidence of secuirng an eight season in the Premier League.

Team

Al Habsi

Figueroa, Caldwell, Alcaraz

Boyce, Beausejour,

McCarthy, McArthur

Moses, Di Santo, Gomez

 

Man of the Match… a difficult decision but the growing maturity of James McCarthy just edged it.

 

Att….. 60,060

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