Belfast Telegraph

Wigan shock misfiring Gunners

Wigan pulled off a shock 2-1 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.

The Latics took the lead after breaking from an Arsenal corner, with Gomez clipping the ball through to the on-rushing Di Santo, who beat goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny to the ball and knocked into an empty net.

Before the away support had time to calm down, they were in dreamland again. 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.

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

Ali Al Habsi had to be alert 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.

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

However Moses could have extended Wigan's advantage when put through on 59 minutes, but shot tamely at Szczesny. Maynor Figueroa then 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 for Wigan to survive, but despite plenty of Arsenal pressure, Roberto Martinez's side held out for a deserved win, their first at Emirates Stadium, which could just keep them in the Premier League.


From Belfast Telegraph