Arsenal 4-0 Wigan: Vermaelen Double Prompts Gunners Rout

vermaelen_2 Following two Premier League defeats on the trot, Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal needed to re-find their flow against Wigan Athletic, and collect maximum points.

The Latics themselves had recently bucked a worrying trend whereby consecutive losses began to be accrued, but the international break fell at an opportune moment and Roberto Martinez’s burgeoning outfit slayed West Ham United last weekend.

Unfortunately for the rookie boss, Martinez was powerless as he watched a rampant Arsenal strike four times, and the damage could have been far worse had Chris Kirkland’s goalkeeping skills been left on the team bus.

Arsenal littered Wigan’s final third throughout the opening 20 minutes. Creative forward Robin van Persie had a sniff early on but Titus Bramble, so often a maligned figure, duly quashed any goal-line confusion by booting the ball clear. Just four minutes later and the Dutch international saw another shot skip wide of the marker.

The domination of the home side paid off swiftly, though, as a set-piece leads to Wenger’s sole summer signing Thomas Vermaelen powerfully nodding into goal after a good leap.

It took the Latics at least ten minutes to muster a sustained reaction, but Vito Mannone – who appeared nervy and flustered during his Champions League debut midweek – saved a good chance from Hugo Rodallega.

Whatever Martinez mentioned to his side at half-time: keep things tight, be wary of the early goal, and support Rodallega up front, all fell on deaf ears as Vermaelen needed just four minutes to double Arsenal’s lead. The former Ajax captain scored a sensational effort that zipped into the top-left corner.

The Gunners’ third drew debate. Eduardo da Silva relentlessly pummelled the Wigan goal, hoping one would eventually cross the line, but his final strike took a crucial clip off of Emmanuel Eboue. The Ivorian was credited with the strike, as had he left it, Kirkland would likely have saved. Eboue’s diversion proved critical.

A consolation goal for Wigan was chalked off for offside on the 81st minute, preventing the Latics from leaving Ashburton Grove with a sense of pride, as a Mannone parry was follwed in by Scharner, but the move was flagged.

Moments from time, captain Francesc Fabregas – who had been abnormally quiet and was also seen to be carrying an injury – completed the rout after guiding a shot home from the near post after a thunderous Nicklas Bendtner cross.

The north Londoners’ season is back on track, but the Greater Manchester side’s calender is not getting easier, as they face Chelsea next weekend.


~ by footballdirecta on September 19, 2009.

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