Arsenal vs Wigan Athletic Match Report
Posted on January 23rd, 2011 at 4:10 AM
An extremely one sided game today between Arsenal and Wigan Athletic saw Robin Van Persie show the magic that we've missed throughout his long periods of absence. By chance of winning the Fans Forum competition on Friday evening I was able to attend the match and happily experienced this with an exceptional view from some of the stadiums best seats!
As usual on a Friday night I was listening into the Fans Forum hosted by Tom Watt on Arsenal TV and the weekly competition came up, this weeks question was "What was the score the first time Wigan ever met Arsenal in the Premier League?" The answer was of course a 3-2 Arsenal win back in 2005. Having submitted my entry I didn't really expect much as you do from competitions but at the end of the show Tom announced my name and I'd won! It was a pretty good surprise and feeling to know I'd be at the game in less than 12 hours time!
So I'd like to say a massive thanks to the Fans Forum for the tickets and getting them all arranged in such a short time. The seats had an exceptionally good view and I'll remind you that you can listen in to the Arsenal banter every Friday evening and be in with a chance of winning these tickets yourself by joining in any time after 17:15 at ArsenalTV!
(Click the above images to see them a lot larger)
Being in seats with such a great view it seemed a shame to not spend as much time in them as possible, after enjoying the usual beer and hot dog deal whilst watching the closing moments of the Liverpool game we headed out to enjoy the pre match atmosphere and watch both sets of players warming up.
The last home Premier League game I'd been to was Manchester City, a good match but disappointing scoreless draw. During that game I was seated in the upper Clock End, gate 152 if I remember correctly, when your in the upper tier you get a better view of the game overall but it's harder to see close up skills which is vital when watching the likes of Robin Van Persie, Fabregas, Nasri ... need I go on! So being so close gave a better view of just how quick minded and footed all of these players are.
The game began with strong fast possession for Arsenal and it carried on like this throughout. Wenger's choice to play what is currently seen as our strongest line up paid off and chances were being created in quick succession. Wigan Goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi was being thoroughly tested having to make multiple top class saves to keep the score lines level.
Inevitably with continuous attack the deadlock was broken when a pass from Alex Song allowed Robin Van Persie to powerfully shoot and score, slight frustration from the few missed chances was eased and the crowd could enjoy the game knowing that Arsenal now had the lead.
The Gunners continued on to half time in complete dominance and Arsenal keeper Szczesny had very little (if anything) to do.
Wigan made a double substitution at half time to try and get back into the game, from what I witnessed the change had no impact upon game play and Arsenal went on as they had throughout the first half.
It only took another 14 minutes before the lead was doubled after another exceptional pass by Fabregas let Van Persie in allowing him to double his goal tally for the game.
The three points looked to be in the bag but still Arsenal pushed on and in the 70th minute a through on goal Cesc Fabregas was taken down inside the penalty area by last man Gary Caldwell, a straight red card and penalty. Van Persie stepped up to take and in extraordinary fashion smashed the ball over and into row Z (possibly ZZ), not like him but as he'd already scored 2 we let him off..
For Wigan playing 11 against 11 was hard enough, with only 10 men there was no chance of them getting anything from the game but they needed to stay strong for damage limitations, in fairness their play didn't get any worse but their attack most certainly didn't improve.
The three points were finalised in the last few minutes when Theo Walcott managed to show the strength he now has to hold off two defenders and allow Van Persie to slot home for his first Arsenal hat trick, something he thoroughly deserved and enjoyed, it's good to have you back Robin, you've been thoroughly missed in the red and white!
Fantastic game by the gunners, the scoreline could have been much worse for Wigan but we got the 3 crucial points and go 2nd -@AFC4lyfe
Little did anyone know Man Citys title hopes would be Bent later on in the evening as a certain Darren Bent managed to secure a win for Aston Villa with a goal on his debut for the club, pretty much a perfect rounding off to a perfect day and week for the Gunners, now all we need is a win Tuesday evening in the Carling Cup and a good result in the next round of the FA Cup to send spirits and moral soaring just in time for a certain Catalonian clubs visit.
The only slight downer to the day was not being able to find the Pink Goalkeeper shirt in the Armoury that Szczesny had informed us via Twitter was available to buy, sadly this was not the case but my quest to add that Arsenal shirt to my collection will continue!
Won forty quid today, had
Written by Dan
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