Going 1-0 down in the first half to a Mido strike and a possible sending off for Gibbs when he fouled being the last man, had me on edge for quite a while. But an awesome recovery in the second half saw us go out 4-1 winners. Liverpool, United and Chelsea all won, with the latter two a little lucky to pick up all three points, but today, Villa and Everton did draw 3-3, which puts us 8 points ahead of Villa now and hopefully we've done enough to stay fourth now.
Our injury woes continued with Djourou picking up a knee injury, adding himself to a list which saw Gallas, Clichy and Almunia start last week. It's quite timely that Silvestre is back and we'll most probably have a defence of Sagna – Toure – Silvestre – Gibbs against Villareal this Wednesday.
Arsene spoke after the game whether he was worried when we went one nil down and had this to say:
“Yes, I was. I felt that Wigan had a very strong and especially committed first half where they were well organised and the 50:50s were all for them. They played very strongly and I think that slowly our technique took over and we looked dangerous every time we had the ball. The fatigue crept in a little bit for Wigan and it became logical for us to come back and make the difference.
“I was like everybody else from Arsenal; scared it could be a red card. I hoped it would be a yellow. At that moment I thought that Mikael Silvestre was behind Gibbs and I hoped it would be a yellow. I still think our goalkeeper would have got the ball – it was not a goal chance, he had pushed the ball too far.
“Like the rest of our defence in the first half we were a bit on the back foot. We became stronger and stronger and in the second half he was much better.”
“I don’t know, we would have tried – that’s the only guarantee I can give you. We have shown great character and mental strength again for such a young team. We have shown some quality and mental quality that are very interesting for the future.”
“The whole team, Theo Walcott as well, were not on the ball enough. We had problems getting rid of the man-to-man marking from the Wigan players. once we took over they couldn’t maintain the pace and we became dangerous.”
“Johan Djourou has a knee problem and that’s the bad news of the day. It looks as though he’ll be out for Wednesday. We lost two central defenders in two games, we have a few more games to go and we haven’t got enough of them to lose one every game.”
The goals came in the second half when good work when Arshavin bumbled through the area and managed to get the ball to Walcott who finished well. After the goal, we gained confidence and it wasn’t too long before we got the second, coming through good work by Fabregas when he wandered into the area unmarked from a throw in and set up Silvestre for a tap in, but a good finish, none the less. Song and Arshavin put the icing on the cake when they both scored at the end of the game, when Wigan were tired and making mistakes.
It’s going to be an interesting couple of days before the next game, but we’ve got VP and Eduardo back, so up front, we have a lot of firepower.
Wigan: Kirkland, Melchiot, Boyce, Bramble, Figueroa, Valencia, Watson (Koumas 85), Brown (De Ridder 78), Rodallega, Scharner,
Mido (Kapo 58).
Subs Not Used: Pollitt, Kingson, Sibierski, Edman.
Booked: Brown, Boyce, Bramble.
Goals: Mido 18.
Arsenal: Fabianski, Sagna, Toure, Djourou (Silvestre 35), Gibbs, Walcott (Adebayor 68), Denilson (Van Persie 63), Song Billong, Arshavin, Fabregas, Bendtner.
Subs Not Used: Szczesny, Nasri, Vela, Eboue.
Booked: Gibbs, Van Persie, Song Billong.
Goals: Walcott 61, Silvestre 71, Song Billong 90, Arshavin 90.
Ref: Alan Wiley (Staffordshire).]]>