Both ends of the table were affected considerably on Monday 16th April 2012 at the Emirates Stadium, when Premiership strugglers Wigan Athletic pulled off a shock result by defeating Arsenal by the score line of 1-2. The Latics, hot off the back of their last result, an amazing home victory over league leaders Manchester United, carried on this momentum when they went up 0-2 up in the first eight minutes thanks to goals from Franco Di Santo and Jordi Gomez. With Arsenal suddenly down by two goals in front of a less than impressed home crowed, the Gunners soon awakened to the demands of the home support and clawed back a goal courtesy of Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen to make it 1-2.
An uphill struggle for most of the season; Wigan were determined not to lose this imperative advantage that they had acquired over the Gunners. Despite throwing everything at the Latics, Arsene Wenger’s men could simply not break down the Wigan team and fully take any chances that came their way. Some incredible goalkeeping from Ali Al Habsi ensured any Arsenal attack was kept at bay and for this, the keeper put in a star performance worthy of recognition. It was squeaky bum time when towards the end of the second half, five minutes of extra time were rewarded. Nerves from the 200 strong Wigan away support were on a knife edge. The final whistle came and Roberto Martinez’s Wigan secured a vital three points in their quest for survival. With the win, the Latics now go five points clear of the drop zone and go to Fulham this weekend, looking to carry on this great run of form. If Wigan were able to pull off another great escape, this would be another great measure of success for young manager Roberto Martinez, a coach with a passion for attractive football but has had to adopt this approach with little resources to depend on.
As for the home side Arsenal, this defeat saw Arsenal squander a chance to fully secure the third Champions League spot. A win would have seen them eight points clear of nearest Champions League chaser Spurs. After this defeat, they must now wait anxiously to see if Spurs will produce a result against QPR and take advantage of their slip up.
Down at the Emirates Stadium, WinkBall video reporters Alex and Billy were speaking to both sets of fans getting their predictions and post match reactions to the game.