Scoreline : Arsenal 4 – 0 Wigan (Mikel Arteta (28),Thomas Vermaelen (29),Gervinho(61),Robin van Persie (78))
Starting Line Up: Szczesny, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Andre Santos, Song, Arteta, Ramsey, Gervinho, Walcott, Van Persie.
Substitutes: Fabianski, Djourou, Coquelin, Benayoun, Arshavin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Chamakh
So we were headed to DW stadium for an away on the backdrop of a loss to Manchester City in the midweek in the Carling Cup and many were not sure on how it would have an impact on this game. The trip to Wigan has been a tricky one in the last couple of seasons and Arsenal being able to manage just one point but going with the past games everyone knew that this match would promise a lot of goals. And that’s exactly what happened at the end of the match with Arsenal wining this game very comfortably with four goals from four different players
It was not as easy as it seemed from the start because Wigan started to attack from the word go, and it was no surprise because thats how they play all the time. In the opening minutes Wigan could have gone one up but they missed a sitter and after that Arsenal started to get into the game. The missed passes stopped and the passes started to start from Arsenal and we started to attack. And in the 28th min we got the first goal of the match through Arteta and it was one beauty of a shot by him outside the box. A minute later Vermaelen made it two by heading the ball into the post from a RVP corner. With these two goals the game changed completely and Arsenal was dictating the game and the score remained 2-0 till the half ended.
Wigan looked very bright and focused in the start but poor defending on both occasions led to both the goals in the first half and when the 2nd started I thought they would come in with a change in plan. But that was not to be and we played them just like we would have done at the Emirates and at times with the Arsenal supporters shouting around the DW it did feel like we were playing at the Emirates. It didnt take long and Gervinho got the 3rd of the match from a RVP shot saved by the Wigan keeper.Good to see the Ivorian on the score sheet, he looked close to scoring in the last few matches but his finishing left him down and this goal would get his confidence some boost. While all this was going on RVP, our man in form, was missing some of his chances and also missed a sitter. So maybe it looked like it was not one of those games where he could add more to his calender goals and keep up with Alan Shearer record of 36.Well that was not to be and hey got his goal for the match and again an assist from Walcott ,who did all the hard work of crossing a couple of Wigan Players and could have gone for goal himself with only the keeper ahead, and unselfish act indeed.
So with four goals the game was completely out of Wigan’s control so much so that in the second half they never really attacked our half of the pitch. In all a wonderful win for the team and great to get a clean sheet! The player that impressed me the most was Arteta. It is wonderful to see him make the passes, going front and of the most defending when its most needed. Its his versatility that impresses me and he surely has shown in the last few games that he has settled in completely and we can start to forget Fabregas. Yes he might not have the class and vision like Fabregas but he surely does have a cool head and is able to dictate terms in the mid field and also also able to get Ramsey to show his class in the middle too.There is this talk of Arsenal being a one man team and what would happen if RVP doesn’t score help the team get goals. The first two goals clearly showed that it was not to be and that there are other players who can take up that goal scoring responsibility once a while . Also most notable was that the first goal came outside of the box and the second from a set piece and both these are a rarity when we talk of Arsenal goals. Hope this increases on a regular basis. I have told this in the past but again need to mention that Arsenal seems to have got a different attitude this season and maybe its because of the experienced players coming in . But its too early to say this tell we see them play some big teams. We now have a game this mid week against Olympiakos in the Champions league but we would see some players rested since the result wouldn’t change our position in the group.
In the post match interview Wenger had this to say
“yes great team performance today and we controlled the game today from first basically to last min and cud have scored maybe more goals but the whole not conceding and playing the way we played can only be happy and have to congratulate the players
first 10 min Wigan came off the blocks very quickly and put us under pressure looked sharp slowly we took control of the game and after it was all us but they started stronger than us
if you look at our run you can say that we are consistent.. in the champions league we have unbeaten run and now we have 7 games where we have a good run.. if you have seen the team start of the season and now there is a difference and we have still some room for improvement”
On asked if RVP is under pressure to break the 36 calender year record Wenger said:
“he shoudnt because the goals come naturally when the team does well. i think it was an exceptional performance today especially collectively and ofcourse the players giving back.He can ofcourse score but what is important is that the team play well”