Football: Roberto Martinez's miracle men march on and, as with their brilliant win over Manchester United, don't let anyone dare tell you this was a smash and grab.
Goals from Franco di Santo and Jordi Gomez rocked Arsenal in the first 10 minutes and, though Ali al-Habsi's goal was later breached by Thomas Vermaelen, Wigan had chances of their own to extend their advantage. In the end, their win, which takes them up into 16th in the Premier League – five points clear of Bolton in 18th – was more comfortable than the one-goal margin suggests.
They were helped in part by a home performance that began in hideously complacent fashion. Gunners manager Arsene Wenger seethed at times at their visitors' time-wasting, but deep down he must know his side deserved nothing. Arsenal could have put an eight-point gap between themselves and third-place Tottenham with a victory, but a lunchtime date with Chelsea this Saturday now takes on greater significance.
It had all begun so well for the hosts. After just two minutes, Vermaelen made one of his purposeful charges forward before drilling a crisp effort wide of Ali al-Habsi's goal.
On six minutes, the Oman international was again called into action, tipping over from Yossi Benayoun's header.
But the buoyancy of Arsenal's start could not have been more misleading. Wigan broke from the resulting Arsenal corner, which like so many set-pieces from Wenger's men could only find the first opposition defender. However it would be a disservice to Wigan to blame what happened next on the north Londoners' poor play.
Gomez broke down the left flank and, with Arsenal's defenders sluggishly running back from the Latics' area, the Spaniard squared to striker di Santo, who had heroically bust a lung to make himself free through the middle. Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny came out to meet him at the edge of the area, the Pole smothering the Wigan man's initial effort, but the ball continued its journey goalwards, as did di Santo who slotted home into an empty net.
Wigan's tiny travelling support, who can't have numbered much more than 150, went wild, even if they were barely audible above the gasps of astonishment from the home faithful.
There was a numbness around Ashburton Grove, which only intensified a minute later when Martinez's men doubled their lead. This time, it was impossible not to take issue with the slackness of the Arsenal defending. Victor Moses wriggled down the left flank and put a cross in, which Arsenal really should have cleared. Nonetheless it fell to di Santo, who failed to finish, but the ball broke free and Gomez showed greater desire to get to it first to stab home.
Wenger spun around in disgust at his colleagues on the Arsenal bench, who looked utterly bemused by what they were seeing. The tiny enclave of Wigan fans again bubbled with excitement. Shortly afterwards, Mikel Arteta exited the field injured and was replaced by Aaron Ramsey.
There had been an extreme lethargy to the home side's display until that point, but they soon woke up. Benayoun tested al-Habsi with a looping header and then Vermaelen clawed a goal back for the hosts with a bullet header from Tomas Rosicky's inviting cross.
Arsenal continued to turn the screw and were within inches from equalising when Vermaelen's central defensive partner Johan Djourou drilled a half volley wide from the edge of the area.
It was frenetic stuff — and there were still less than 30 minutes on the clock. Arsenal fans might have been asking themselves why it had taken their team so long to wake up in the match. Those of a Wigan persuasion could justly ask why their team had taken so long to wake up this season.
Yet if anyone had tried to reduce the Latics' victories over Liverpool and Manchester United to bad days at the office on behalf of those illustrious teams, they were surely changing that view now.
If Wigan were to continue that impressive sequence, they needed to disturb Arsenal's momentum, which they did very effectively when, on two separate occasions, their players stayed grounded after seemingly minor fouls. Wenger gave fourth official Kevin Friend a piece of his mind, but his team went in at the interval still a goal down.
One sensed that whoever got the first goal in the second half would go on to win the game. Arsenal started the stronger, Andre Santos firing an effort across goal that van Persie, then Theo Walcott failed to connect with.
It was one of those nights for Walcott when nothing went right for him. Arsenal were struggling for width anyway and they were not helped by their England winger, whose opening moments of any match are usually a strong indicator of how he will play. He started badly and got steadily worse as the night went on.
Wigan's Moses, who represented England at under-16, under-17, under-19 and under-21 levels, but opted to play for the Nigeria, was faring much better.
He was causing Arsenal right-back Bacary Sagna all kinds of problems and evaded him again on 52 minutes, the former Crystal Palace man leaving his marker trailing before darting into the area. He then cut inside of Djourou and delivered a string drive which Szczesny did well to palm away.
Arsenal, though defending poorly, remained potent in attack. Benayoun released van Persie down the left side of the Wigan box and the Dutchman cut back to the onrushing Santos. He had more time than he thought and in the end skewed his effort horribly wide.
Yet back again Wigan came, this time Moses bursting clear after more indecision in the Arsenal defence. The 21-year-old was through on goal, but opted to shoot from outside the area instead of driving in closer on Szczesny who got down well to save.
Wenger decided it was time for a change, but instead of hauling off Walcott, removed the impressive Benayoun and instead of introducing the precocious Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, he opted for the erratic Gervinho.
Oxlade-Chamberlain eventually came on for Djourou, but neither he nor Gervinho made any impact on the match, and it was to Wigan's credit that they were very comfortable for the last 15 minutes here, confidently passing the ball on the slick Emirates turf rather than resorting to hoofing the ball clear.
As it turned out al-Habsi barely had a save to make in the second period as Wigan defeated the Gunners for only the third time in their history.
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