Wigan Athletic were all but dead and buried as the game approached the final 10 minutes of normal time with goals either side of half time putting title chasing Arsenal firmly in the driving seat but Roberto Martinez’ side had other ideas and Ben Watson, Titus Bramble and Charles N’Zogbia all netted to secure an unlikely victory and in doing so went a long way to securing their top flight status.


Ben Watson (80)
Titus Bramble (89)
Charles N’Zogbia (90)

Theo Walcott (41)
Mikael Silvestre (48)

Latics created history today by not only beating Arsenal for the first time in the League, but also for what must have been the greatest comeback in Premier League history. With 10 minutes to go the Arsenal fans were giving it the big I am whilst Wigan Athletic was battling away, wearing down their opponents on the pitch.

We started the game off nervously but still playing very good football, the midfield was winning their fair share of the ball and we created quite a few chances. The first chance of the half though fell to Charles N’Zogbia who fired way over the bar after great work from Mohamed Diame on the left.

Campbell was his usual strong self; he somehow evaded giving us a free and him getting a yellow card after 10 minutes as he clattered in high on Rodallega. N’Zogbia then gets a golden chance to test the sometimes shambolic Fabianski but his shot was wide of the target and the Gunner’s goalkeeper breathed a sigh of relief.

Latics were getting quite a bit of the ball and were solid at the back when Arsenal did get a rare attack, we continued to get into attacking positions but as we have seen in games of late, the composure was lacking and it looked like we would suffer for not taking these chances.

It was 5 minutes from half time when the stinger came as Theo Walcott showed why should be going to South Africa in the summer with a great goal. Totally against the run of play Bendtner fed the young England forward an inch perfect ball and the Arsenal striker spanked it past the helpless Kirkland. We went into half time wondering if not taking our chances would sting us.

Two minutes after the restart things got a whole lot worse as an unmarked Silvestre popped up for a corner to head home, a soft goal that must have sent Martinez fuming. We hadn’t even got into our stride and we were two down and were having to listen to how great the Arse were from their travelling 4,000 or so.

We didn’t let our heads go down though, we never do and N’Zogbia could have got a goal back almost immediately, but his shot lacked any serious power and the Gunners keeper saved easily. We then took advantage of Arsenal’s arrogance as we took on their midfield and won lots of ball.

McCarthy was looking more and hungrier and with help from a very impressive second half performance by Ben Watson managed a couple of teasing shots himself. The first was nicely saved, but the second took all the experience of Campbell to block and put it out for a corner.

Watson himself was looking like he wanted in on the action and fired off a warning shot for the Arsenal defence, the ball managed find a route through to goal but Fabianski saw it late and saved well. N’Zogbia went on another jinking run but again his shot left a lot to be desired and crept just wide of the post.

Bramble committed ABH on Walcott, the young Gunner certainly felt this tackle, but it strangely got the crowd up and singing and the team responded to it. Just two minutes later the volume seemed to have spurred substitute Victor Moses on as he took on two defenders, got to the byline line to pull back a great ball that landed straight in the path of Ben Watson who made no mistake from 10 yards, 1-1 and how the ground went daft.

The volume levels inside the ground now went up tenfold as we could see the team having belief oosing through them. It took some great defending from Silvestre to deny Rodallega and Campbell was in the right place at the right time to cut out another Moses charge.

In the final couple of minutes though we a free kick on the edge of the area, the ball was put out for a corner, a great saving header from Sagna. We launched the ball in from the corner only to have a header from Watson cleared off the line by Nasri and scrambled out for another corner.

N’Zogbia fires another corner in which the flapping keeper seemed to have caught only for him to lose control of the ball and drop it on to Brambles head and see it go over the line for Latics equaliser. We went into ecstasy over this and knew we only need to hang on another 4 minutes for a great draw and confidence boost.

The players had other thoughts though and sensed that they could get more out of the game and how right they were. A minute into injury time Charles N’Zogbia got the ball on the right and went on a jinking little run past three defender and unleashed a storming drive that left the Arsenal keeper rooted to his spot as watched the ball creep in of the post and send the DW Stadium into raptures.

It was too late for Wenger’s boys to come back from and Latics made history. It also took us 6 points away from Hull City and that final relegation place, a win at the world cup winners (sic) next week would definitely see us safe, although it could well be that we already are.

Report by Jayt

Cockney Latic Man of the Match: Mohammed Diame
Referee: Lee Mason (Bolton)
Attendance: 22,113
1 Chris Kirkland 21 Lukasz Fabianski
25 Mario Melchiot 3 Bacary Sagna
2 Steve Gohouri 31 Sol Campbell
19 Titus Bramble 22 Gael Clichy
31 Maynor Figueroa 18 Mikael Silvestre
27 Mohamed Diame 37 Craig Eastmond
8 Ben Watson 2 Abou Diaby
24 James McCarthy 52 Nicklas Bendtner
14 Charles N’Zogbia 14 Theo Walcott
18 Marcelo Moreno 7 Tomas Rosicky
20 Hugo Rodallega 8 Samir Nasri
13 Vladimir Stojkovic 24 Vito Mannone
17 Emmerson Boyce 30 Armand Traore
7 Paul Scharner 27 Emmanuel Eboue
15 Jordi Gomez 43 Conor Henderson
11 Victor Moses 32 Fran Merida
9 Jason Scotland 11 Robin van Persie
16 Scott Sinclair 12 Carlos Vela
24′ Yellow Card Mohamed Diame    
37′     Yellow Card Samir Nasri
41′     Goal Theo Walcott
48′     Goal Mikael Silvestre
62′ Player Off Marcelo Moreno
Player On Victor Moses
68′ Yellow Card Titus Bramble    
80′ Goal Ben Watson    
81′     Player Off Theo Walcott
Player On Emmanuel Eboue
81′     Player Off Tomasz Rosicky
Player On Fran Merida
89′ Goal Titus Bramble    
90′     Player Off Craig Eastmond
Player On Robin van Persie
90′ Goal Charles N’Zogbia