Arsenal enjoy early presents from Al Habsi

Wigan Athletic 0 Arsenal 4: Goalkeeper's two gaffes help the Gunners' 'other' strikers find form as Wigan fall to foot of the table

DW Stadium

From the moment Ali Al Habsi inexplicably allowed a speculative Mikel Arteta shot to slip through his hands and into the Wigan net there was only one team in this embarrassingly uneven confrontation. Arsenal, themselves strugglers barely two months ago, capitalised ruthlessly on their relegation-threatened opponents' alarming inadequacies to stroll to their most emphatic victory of a turbulent season which has seen them concede eight goals at Old Trafford and score five at Stamford Bridge.

For Wigan it was a day of bemusement. Roberto Martinez, their erudite manager, had asserted a week ago that the welcome victory which signalled the end of Steve Bruce's tenure at Sunderland would kickstart a more productive second half of the campaign.

After this abject display it is back to the drawing board for Martinez and his shattered troops, who are again propping up the Premier League with games against three more top clubs on the horizon. "We allowed Arsenal to win a little too easily," conceded Martinez. "We were excited going into the game because our level of play had been high in the previous two matches. We need to learn that we cannot give goals away like we did today when we are up against high-class opposition."

Wigan's manager resisted the urge to condemn his goalkeeper for the pivotal error in the 28th minute followed by another mistake a minute later, but the evidence against the Omani was overwhelming. Arteta is noted for his shooting power but his 25-yarder was routine catching practice for most goalkeepers and the blunder had a devastating effect on Wigan's fighting spirit.

Moments later a Robin van Persie corner to the far post landed on the head of Thomas Vermaelen, who again offered Al Habsi the opportunity of a comfortable save. Again the ball found its way through and what had begun as a tense battle was effectively over inside half an hour.

"Wigan had started well and caused us a few early problems," reflected Arsène Wenger, Arsenal's manager. "Overall it was a good team performance. The confidence is there now and I congratulate my team for growing and getting better and better."

Wenger was also delighted that Van Persie was given a welcome helping hand in the goal-scoring department before rounding off the victory with his 18th strike of the season, shortly after Gervinho had notched the clinching third in the second half. "It's good for the morale of the team that others can score as well," said Wenger, who spoke confidently of maintaining his record of serving up Champions' League football as a matter of course at the Emirates Stadium.

"The other teams in contention have also won comfortably today so it is going to come down to consistency in the latter stages of the season."

Van Persie must have feared this would be a rare day of frustration after suffering the backlash of Al Habsi's calamities. The Dutchman brought the save of the match from Al Habsi when connecting sweetly with a half-volley just inside the penalty area and was thwarted twice more before being presented with an irresistible tap-in by Theo Walcott.

Wigan were on their knees by then but could have added to their recent encouraging results here against Arsenal if Jordi Gomez had taken an outstanding early chance.

Wigan (4-1-3-2): Al Habsi; Stam, Gohouri, Caldwell, Figueroa; McCarthy; Gomez (Crusat, 59), Diamé (McArthur, 89), Jones; Sammon (Di Santo, 59), Moses.

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Szczesny; Koscielny, Mertesacker,Vermaelen, Santos; Song (Arshavin, 80), Arteta; Walcott (Benayoun, 80), Ramsey, Gervinho (Coquelin, 80); Van Persie.

Referee Mark Clattenberg.

Man of the match Ramsey (Arsenal).

Match rating 8/10.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Sport
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power