Wigan beat Arsenal to boost survival hopes

 

Wigan pulled off a shock win at Arsenal to boost their Barclays Premier League survival hopes.

Franco Di Santo fired the Latics - who last week beat leaders Manchester United - ahead on the break after seven minutes, before Jordi Gomez doubled their lead inside 90 seconds.

Thomas Vermaelen reduced the deficit with a bullet header on 21 minutes, but the second-half onslaught from the shellshocked Gunners never came as the Latics moved five points clear of the relegation zone.

It had been a bright start by Arsenal, who were looking to tighten their grip on third place, as Yossi Benayoun forced Ali Al Habsi into a fingertip save from his close-range header.

The Latics had brought a small following of only some 200, who had perhaps travelled more in hope than genuine expectation.

However, it was the visitors who took a shock lead on seven minutes.

Wigan broke quickly from an Arsenal corner through Gomez down the left, who clipped the ball through to the on-rushing Di Santo.

Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny raced to the edge of his area, but was beaten to the ball and the Wigan striker went on to knock into an empty net.

Before the away support had time to calm down, they were in dreamland again less than 90 seconds later.

This time Victor Moses did the damage down the left, turning Bacary Sagna inside out, with his cross not gathered by Szczesny - and Gomez was on hand to scramble the loose ball over the line.

Emirates Stadium was left in stunned silence, with midfielder Mikel Arteta then limping off injured and replaced by Ramsey in the ninth minute.

Arsenal - who had won nine of their last 10 Premier League games - needed a response.

Benayoun was again denied by a fine one-handed save from Al Habsi as he looped Rosicky's cross towards the top corner.

The Gunners halved the deficit on 21 minutes when Vermaelen crashed in a bullet header from 12 yards after Rosicky's right-wing cross.

Al Habsi was alert again to beat away Robin van Persie's fierce drive as Arsenal pressed forward, centre-half Johan Djourou then dragging his shot just wide from the edge of the Wigan penalty area.

Arsenal maintained their momentum, and Rosicky should have done better than sky the ball high over the crossbar after being played in by Van Persie.

Wigan, who were unfortunate to lose at Chelsea amid some controversial decisions, continued to defend deep with two banks of four and made the most of any stoppages - much to the frustration of Gunners boss Arsene Wenger.

Arsenal came out on the offensive at the start of the second half, with Andre Santos' shot deflecting just away from Van Persie and then Theo Walcott.

Wigan, though, stuck to their game plan of organised defending, while also looking to break quickly down the flanks.

Moses was a real handful for Sagna, and got away again into the Arsenal box on 52 minutes before forcing Szczesny into a reaction save.

Vermaelen headed over from Van Persie's corner, before Santos stabbed a cutback by his captain wide from six yards when he really should have hit the target.

Moses could have extended Wigan's advantage when put through on 59 minutes, but shot tamely at Szczesny.

Wenger had seen enough, replacing Benayoun with Gervinho to inject some fresh life into the attack.

There was then a stoppage as Di Santo and Sagna clashed heads, fortunately both were able to continue.

Arsenal stepped up the pressure again, but once more the Wigan rearguard stood firm.

With 16 minutes left, Wenger sent on teenager Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, sacrificing Djourou as Alex Song dropped into the back four. Wigan responded by replacing Di Santo with Conor Sammon.

Gervinho was switching flanks intermittently, and his ball from the left floated across the face of goal.

Maynor Figueroa appeared to barge Walcott over as the Arsenal forward scampered away down the right, but referee Andre Marriner waved play on.

There was five minutes of stoppage time, but despite plenty of Arsenal pressure, Wigan held out for a deserved win, their first at Emirates Stadium, which could just keep them in the Premier League.

PA

Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
Life & Style
life
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
Ian Anderson, the leader of British rock band Jethro Tull, (right) and British guitar player Martin Barre (left) perform on stage
musicJethro Tull frontman leads ‘prog rock’ revival
Arts & Entertainment
Back in the suit: There are only so many variations you can spin on the lives or adventures of Peter Parker
filmReview: Almost every sequence and set-up in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 seems familiar from some earlier superhero film
Arts & Entertainment
Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon in Game of Thrones
tv
Life & Style
Father and son: Michael Williams with son Edmund
lifeAs his son’s bar mitzvah approaches, CofE-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys he’s experienced in learning about his family’s other faith
Sport
Gareth Bale dribbled from inside his own half and finished calmly late in the final to hand Real a 2-1 win at the Mestalla in Valencia
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Who laughs lass: Jenny Collier on stage
comedy... writes Jenny Collier, the comedian whose recent show was cancelled because there were 'too many women' on the bill
News
House proud: keeping up with the Joneses now extends to children's playhouses
newsLuxury playhouses now on the market for as much as £800
News
news
Life & Style
Stir it up: the writer gets a lichen masterclass from executive chef Vivek Singh of the Cinnamon restaurants
food + drinkLichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines
Extras
indybest
Arts & Entertainment
Ken Loach (left) and Mike Leigh who will be going head to head for one of cinema's most coveted prizes at this year's Cannes Film Festival
filmKen Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
News
The academic, Annamaria Testa, has set out on her website a list of 300 English words that she says Italians ought to stop using
newsAcademic speaks out against 'Italianglo' - the use of English words in Italian language
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit