Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Gunners cruise to victory

Mikel Arteta (centre)

Arsenal moved into fifth place in the Barclays Premier League table with a thumping 4-0 win over Wigan at the DW Stadium.

The hosts, who drop to the bottom of the table, began brightly but were undone by two goals in two minutes just before the half-hour mark as first Mikel Arteta's shot evaded Ali Al Habsi's grasp and then Thomas Vermaelen nodded in a corner.

Arsenal always looked likely to add to their lead in the second half and in the 61st minute Gervinho made it three before Robin van Persie added his customary goal 12 minutes from time after good work from Theo Walcott.

Wigan went close in the sixth minute when Victor Moses and Connor Sammon combined well to play in David Jones on the left of the area. His cross was palmed out by Wojciech Szczesny but only as far as Jordi Gomez, who looked certain to score but instead saw his shot deflected behind by Andre Santos.

After a bright start, Wigan dropped deeper and deeper, and they paid the price in the 28th minute. First Vermaelen and then Arteta were given acres of space to run into, and the Spaniard took aim from 25 yards, although Al Habsi was right behind the shot and should have kept it out.

He did not, though, and a minute later Arsenal made it two with the simplest of goals. Van Persie, who has scored more goals this season than Wigan's entire squad, drove a corner to the back post where Vermaelen nodded in.

Wigan appeared fortunate not to give away a penalty five minutes into the second half. A mistake from Steve Gohouri let in Aaron Ramsey and the Welshman was prevented from getting in a shot by a clumsy tackle from the defender, but referee Mark Clattenburg waved play on, to the disbelief of Ramsey and his team-mates.

The result was put beyond any doubt in the 61st minute when Van Persie worked some space in the box and, although his shot was parried by Al Habsi, it fell perfectly for Gervinho.

Van Persie then made it 4-0 when Walcott went on a fine run before setting up the Dutchman who planted his shot firmly into the far corner.

A triple substitution saw Gervinho, Walcott and Alex Song replaced by Andrey Arshavin, Francis Coquelin and Yossi Benayoun, and the latter would have made it five with a neat dink over Al Habsi had Gary Caldwell not got back and headed the ball off the line.

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