Wigan Athletic pulled off a
shock 2-1 win at third-placed Arsenal on Monday to continue
their dramatic late bid to escape the Premier League relegation
Roberto Martinez's side scored twice in the first eight
minutes and although Arsenal struck back quickly at Emirates
Stadium, Wigan hung on to claim a victory that moved them five
points clear of relegation with four matches left in the season.
Arsenal stayed third, five points ahead of their North
London neighbours Tottenham Hotspur and fifth-placed Newcastle
"I am so so satisfied because this wasn't an accident,"
Martinez told Sky Sports. "The manner in which we coped
physically and tactically makes me very very proud.
"It was a well deserved three points and to say that speaks
volumes about the performance of my players."
Wigan, who beat league leaders Manchester United 1-0 last
week, took the lead when striker Franco di Santo scored a
classic counter-attacking goal after seven minutes and they
immediately doubled the advantage through Jordi Gomez.
Arsenal, who had won nine of their last 10 league matches,
were shell-shocked but they regrouped quickly and defender
Thomas Vermaelen powered home a header after 21 minutes from
Tomas Rosicky's whipped cross.
The hosts continued to dominate possession and Wigan
goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi made several fine saves to keep his team
in front at half-time.
Wigan defended bravely in the second half as Arsenal's
frustration mounted and the visitors' man-of-the-match striker
Victor Moses wasted a good chance to add a third goal after
breaking clear of the home defence.
"We should have been ahead at half-time but in the second
half we did not create a lot because we were not patient
enough," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said.
"In the second half we lost our cohesion, we were doing too
much individually, the passing wasn't quick enough to be
dangerous. We had too many strikers, we were exposed a bit but
we weren't sharp enough."
Wigan climbed three points ahead of 17th-placed Queens Park
Rangers and five clear of Bolton Wanderers who occupy the last
relegation spot but have two games in hand on their rivals.
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