Writer: Niall Owens
Date:Monday April 16 2012
First half strikes from Franco Di Santo and Jordi Gomez, ensured that Wigan recorded yet another memorable victory, and in the process moved five points clear of the drop. Roberto Martinez`s men have now taken a huge step towards yet another great escape and ended a miserable run of defeats in the capital.
Di Santo's determination and fantastic vision from Gomez were at the heart of the opener, with the former Chelsea front man finishing coolly after beating Wojciech Szczesny. Within two minutes the visitors lead was doubled, with man of the match Victor Moses leaving Andre Santos in his wake, before Gomez bundled home for his fifth strike of the season.
The home side were clearly alarmed and responded by dominating the remainder of the first half, and were back in the game, through Thomas Vermaelen`s powerful header. As Arsenal continued to press the Latics had to rely on keeper Ali Al Habsi, who did well to deny Yossi Benayoun and Robin Van Persie.
Half time was welcomed by Martinez and his men and provided them with the opportunity to re-group. They continued to stick to their game plan and unlike the first half reverted from sitting back on their lead.
The midfield duo of James McArthur and James McCarthy were fantastic and provided a solid base for both defence and attack during the second half. Moses was a real handful for the Arsenal backline and perhaps should have restored the two goal deficit, when he did well following a long throw but shot too early.
Captain Gary Caldwell led his team and alongside Antolin Alcaraz was immense. There was a real determination that they would not leave London empty handed following their contentious defeat to Chelsea last week.
In a somewhat surprise choice, last week`s hero Shaun Maloney made way for Gomez in the starting XI and it proved to be a masterstroke from Martinez. Substitutes Connor Sammon and Mohamed Diame, were excellent and ran the hard yards and bought precious time as they weathered the Arsenal storm. The Wigan backline held firm, and the only real moment of concern was when Maynor Figueroa appeared to barge England international Theo Walcott off the ball.
Following their home defeat to Swansea many believed that Wigan's stay In the top flight was due to come to an end. To his credit owner Dave Whelan held firm and did not panic. He believed then and even more so now, that Martinez is the man to steer his club clear of the drop.
With results elsewhere going for the Latics they now find themselves five points clear of the drop. With four games left to play they have taken a huge leap to securing yet another season in the greatest league in the world.
To read more from Niall visit his blog laticsinanutshell.blogspot.co.uk
Date:Monday April 16 2012
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