Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Sunday December 4 2011
The Latics were looking to continue their recent mini revival against Arsenal at the DW yesterday, unfortunately, and despite a bright start, they were left chasing shadows as Arsenal, looking a class above, cruised to a four nil victory.
Martinez started with the same eleven from last weeks win at Sunderland, the early signs were good, some great passing moves put Arsenal under pressure and we should really have taken the lead when a flick from Moses put Jones in down the left, his first time cross was punched out by Szczesny with Sammon racing in, the ball dropped to Gomez six yards out, the Spaniards first time right footed effort cannoned off a defender and out for a corner, if it had dropped on his left foot the end result may have been different.
It was Arsenal who took the lead though, 28 minutes in Arteta was on the ball, the Latics dropped off giving the former Everton man far too much room and he hit a 25 yard shot, which Al-Habsi really should have done better with, into the back of the net.
One minute later and it was game over, Arsenal attacked down the Latics right, a ball was swung into the box, Dave Jones headed out, the resultant corner was swung over and despite being marked by both Caldwell and Sammon, who remained flatfooted, Vermaelen jumped to head in off the unmanned post, 29 minutes on the clock 0-2.
The second goal knocked the stuffing out of the Latics and they never really threatened again, Arsenal simply passed Wigan off the pitch with a fluidity and movement that the home players couldn't match.
Early in the second half Martinez made a double substitution taking off Sammon and Gomez and bringing on Crusat and Di Santo, within two minutes it was 0-3. An effort by Van Persie was pushed out by Al-Habsi, Gervinho was on hand to thump the ball home.
Van Persie finished the scoring off on 78 minutes, Walcott made a run down the Arsenal right and hit a low cross for the Dutchman to strike home from six yards, 0-4 and the home crowd streamed out.
The most disappointing aspect of the game for me was the lack of team spirit, sure there were individuals putting a shift in but collectively it was all too poor, players running down blind alleys, no support for the man with the ball, all very static. Watching Arsenal and their movement without the ball should be a lesson to learn for our players.
Date:Sunday December 4 2011
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