Match Report: Wigan 3-2 Arsenal
Wigan scored three goals in the final ten minutes to come back from 2-0 down to beat Arsenal 3-2.
The Gunners appeared to be coasting to victory on the back of goals either side of half time from Theo Walcott and Mikael Silvestre, and with it hauling themselves to within three points of leaders Chelsea.
But after a run of eight defeats and a draw in the Premier League against Arsenal, Wigan added to their debut wins over Chelsea and Liverpool this season as Ben Watson, Titus Bramble and Charles N’Zogbia conjured an astonishing comeback — ending Arsenal’s slim title hopes in the process.
Arsenal’s Starting XI & Subs:
Sagna – Campbell – Silvestre – Clichy
Nasri – Eastmond – Diaby
Walcott – Bendtner – Rosicky
Subs: Mannone, Traore, Eboue, Merida, Henderson, Vela, Van Persie
Having bossed the first half at Wigan and missing several good chances, a slick through-ball from Bendtner freed Arsenal forward Theo Walcott in the inside right channel and the England speedster rode his luck to make his way goalwards and slip the ball past Kirkland.
Arsene Wenger’s side appeared to kill the match within three minutes of the restart as Mikael Silvestre planted home a Nasri corner for number two. But Wigan kept plugging away despite Arsenal have the majority of the play, and ten minutes from time they established a foothold in the game when former Crystal Palace duo Victor Moses and Ben Watson combined for the flame-haired midfielder to score.
Wigan threw the kitchen sink at Arsenal in the closing stages and, just like at Porto two months ago, Lukasz Fabianski was at fault for allowing the Latics to level as the Pole fumbled a corner and Titus Brambled gobbled up the opportunity with a simple header.
Then came Wigan’s unbelievable third to flatten Arsenal’s title challenge once again, as their reported Arsenal target and Player of the Season Charles N’Zogbia drifted from right to left across the Arsenal box before curling a beauty in off the far post for one of the most unlikely comebacks of the season.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger after the 3-2 defeat at Wigan:
“It is the most disappointing defeat of the season and the way we conceded, it was also the most disappointing. It is difficult to understand and accept, perhaps the players felt too much comfort but in football you must stay focused for 90 minutes and we were punished. We made mistakes and they took advantage, they were sharper in the final part of the game.”