Steve Bruce had the boys well up for this game and although we had to weather the predictable Arsenal domination in the early exchanges, we more than did enough in the late stages to come away with at least a point.
Wilson Palacios had the first shot of the game, his strike causing Almunia problems in the Arsenal goal, but the Spaniard/Englishman recovered to gather. But it was Adebayor, whose clinical strike in the 16th minute gave the gunners their lead.
Arsenal went on to have the better chances in the first half, Latics having to be content with rare counter attacks. Camara, although looking very busy, couldn’t find a way through. Heskey managed to direct a half hearted header that was easy for the Home keeper to catch.
Adebayor was very menacing shooting wide and also making Kirkland work hard. Firstly saving well from a long range effort and secondly was at full stretch as he guided the ball onto to the post then out to safety.
Fabregas was showing why he was chosen to be the new captain as he directed almost everything in the Arsenal midfield. But for all their play, they didn’t really show the ability to kill teams off, like when they had Henry.
The second half was a different affair; the first fifteen minutes saw us cancel each other out, but then Denilson hit the post from 20 yards and Boyce limped off injured. Kevin Kilbane came on for the injured centre half and soon after Camara gave way for Zaki and it looked like a different team had appeared.
This seemed to flick the switch and from here on in it was all Wigan. Zaki made an immediate impression firing of a wayward shot with what was his first touch. It was a good couple of yards wide of the mark, but it showed his intentions.
Heskey couldn’t get his sight on goal as he earlier sent another very tame header at Almunia and now a tame shot that also was never going to challenge the Arsenal keeper.
Melchiot nearly got the equaliser just minutes later as he connected with a Ryan Taylor corner, but Almunia was on top form to save from the Dutchman. Valencia then drove a fine shot at goal but the midfield aces shot just grazed the post and went out for a goal kick.
Zaki was getting into the game a lot more and two more shots, one that went safely wide and the second caused a bit of panic for the hosts, but they saw it go into the side netting.
Heskey had the chance of the half at the death, when he met Kilbane’s pin points cross with his head, but from just 6 yards and unmarked the England forward put the ball inches over the bar with goal at his mercy.
Bruce will look for the same sort of effort when Blackburn come to the JJB Stadium next weekend, when he could very well seal his old team mates fate with a win.
Report by Jason Taylor