Report: Arsenal 4-0 Wigan
Arsenal’s response to the Manchester advertisity was an emphatic one as an abnormal brace from Vermaeleen fired them to a 4-0 win over Wigan today.
Wenger’s men may have faltered in the big clashes so far this season but have been well on track when it comes to home form and ruthlessness against weaker opponents after another four-goal thrill at the Emirates today.
It took only 25 minutes for Arsenal to announce their intent of grabbing maximum points today as Van Persie swung over a corner from the right and Vermaelen thundered the ball home with a high climb over Bramble and Thomas. It was his second this week after netting in his native Belgium.
In the first half Eboue went over with shot and set up a chance for Van Persie with a powerful run and precise low cross, then a minute later was cautioned for trying to handball Eduardo’s cross towards goal.
He went close again before the break after Van Persie sent him through – just one of Arsenal’s many chances.
Van Persie broke theffside trap in the dying moments of the opening half but his scissor-kick lacked power and limped wide, William Gallas had an effort cleared off the line, while Maynor Figueroa bravely blocked Abou Diaby’s shot on goal in the penalty area.
Wigan’s tactic was to contain and counter-attack, and they gave the hosts a huge scare before the break.
Emmerson Boyce’s header was saved by Vito Mannone – with the Wigan defender also claiming a handball by Gallas – then the rookie goalkeeper bravely saved again when the rebound fell for Bramble.
It was a decent contribution from the man deputising while Manuel Almunia has a chest infection, particularly as there was little else to do in the match.
Vermaelen’s second goal, three minutes after the restart, was a classic strike that a centre-forward would have been proud of. The defender picked up a loose ball and exchanged passes with Eboue before curling his finish around Chris Kirkland and into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area.
The third goal came just before the hour mark. Eduardo struck the post with a volley from Gael Clichy’s cross, then Diaby prodded the rebound back in the path of the Croatia forward. Eboue got the telling deflection to divert Eduardo’s shot beyond Kirkland.
Alex Song almost added another after a surging run from the halfway line – but his finish hit the outside of the post.
Eboue’s cult-hero status with the Arsenal fans was confirmed when he was substituted in the 73rd minute and cheered off as Tomas Rosicky replaced him.
Paul Scharner tapped in after Mannone made a decent save – but the assistant referee ruled it offside.
Fabregas, in stoppage time, tapped home Nicklas Bendtner’s cross for the fourth.