Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Wigan Sent Down by Firing Gunners

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Wigan Sent Down by Firing Gunners

Article excerpt

Arsenal 4 Wigan Athletic 1 FA CUP winners Wigan were relegated from the Barclays Premier League as Arsenal moved up into the top four with an emphatic win at the Emirates Stadium.

It was always going to be a big ask for the Latics to lift themselves for such a huge game just 72 hours after their glorious Wembley victory over Manchester City, and so it proved.

Lukas Podolski nodded the Gunners in front on 11 minutes, but Shaun Maloney gave the visitors hope when he crashed home a free-kick on the stroke of half-time.

However, three goals in the space of eight minutes just after the hour from Theo Walcott, Podolski and Aaron Ramsey meant there was to be no fairytale ending for Roberto Martinez's men, despite another brave crack at the Great Escape.

Wigan had named an unchanged side from the one which famously beat Manchester City on Saturday, meaning goalscorer Ben Watson started on the bench.

England midfielder Jack Wilshere, who is set for an operation on his troublesome ankle at the end of the season, was again among the Arsenal substitutes.

As the rain fell on north London, it was the home side who took an early lead. A corner from the left was chipped in by Cazorla, and the ball dropped into space in the six-yard box, where Podolski stooped to nod it past Joel Robles.

Wigan, though, soon caused panic in the Arsenal box as a deep ball picked out Arouna Kone, and defender Laurent Koscielny had to hack clear as Wojciech Szczesny rushed out of his goal.

Arsenal almost produced a carbon copy of their opening goal from a corner on 38 minutes, but this time Koscielny stabbed the ball wide.

Referee Mike Dean drew the wrath of the home crowd on the stroke of halftime when he awarded a free-kick after Mikel Arteta had tracked back to go shoulder to shoulder on Maloney, who tumbled over five yards outside the box. …

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