Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Thursday December 30 2010
An exciting and enthralling game at the DW Stadium last night saw Wigan Athletic and Arsenal share the spoils in a 2-2 draw.
Arsenal made eight changes from their game with Chelsea just 48 hours earlier, whilst Latics welcomed back Hendry Thomas into the heart of the midfield following completion of his one match suspension, the unfortunate James McArthur making way for the Honduras international.
Latics were first to show with Hugo Rodallega having the opportunity to burst the net from six yards, the excellent Tom Cleverley crossed from the left and Rodallega was completely unmarked on the six yard box but was millimetres away from connecting with his head.
At the other end Andrey Arshavin jinked his way into the Latics box but screamed an effort over the bar whilst under pressure from Gary Caldwell.
Latics took the lead on eleven minutes, Charles N`Zogbia went on one of his mazy runs, cutting inside from the right he was clipped by Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny just inside the box and referee Lee Probert had no hesitation pointing to the penalty spot.
Ben Watson stepped up and fired Latics in front with an excellently executed penalty, hard and low into the corner giving Arsenal keeper Lukasz Fabianski no chance of making the save.
The game was end to end with both sides having a go and it was obvious that there were more goals in the game, unfortunately for the Latics it was Arsenal who struck next on 39 minutes.
Nicklas Bendtner had an effort superbly saved by Ali Al-Habsi but the ball fell to Arshavin 10 yards out and the Russia international swivelled to hit a quality strike into the back of the net, 1-1.
A minute before half-time Arsenal took the lead. Arshavin picked the ball up in midfield, the little Russian threaded a through ball into the path of Bendtner who held off the challenges of both Caldwell and Alcaraz to side foot home from eight yards. 1-2
Charles N`Zogbia saw red in the second half, following a tussle with Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, N`Zogbia was involved in a bit of afters and as play went up field the little French man leaned his head into Wilsheres head who dropped to the floor, the incident was missed by the referee and his assistants but unfortunately for N`Zogbia, not by fourth official Mike Dean.
After a quick consultation with Dean, Lee Probert flashed the red card at N`Zogbia and the Latics were down to 10 men, losing the game 2-1 and with just ten minutes of the game remaining.
To their credit though the Latics pushed on and grabbed an equaliser within 2 minutes of N`Zogbia`s dismissal. A Ben Watson corner was headed back across the goal by Hugo Rodallega and Arsenal defender Sebastien Squillaci headed into his own goal under pressure from Gary Caldwell. 2-2.
A good game of football, exciting and entertaining and full of incident, great stuff.
Date:Thursday December 30 2010
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