Wigan pay the penalty – Wigan Athletic 1 Arsenal 1 (Arsenal win 4-2 on pens)

Jordi Gomez

Jordi Gomez penalty gave Wigan the lead

Wigan were just eight minutes away from a second FA Cup final but ultimately succumbed 4-2 to Arsenal in the penalty shoot out.

Wigan took the lead through a Jordi Gomez penalty on 62 minutes after Callum McManaman had been brought down, but the Gunners equalised with eight minutes of normal time remaining when Per Mertesacker scored from close range.

Despite chances at both ends no further goals were scored in extra time and the match went to penalties. Mikel Arteta, Kim Kallstrom and Olivier Giroud were all on target for Arsenal – while James McArthur and Jean Beausejour scored for Wigan – leaving Santi Cazorla to send a relieved Gunners through.

Like in previous FA Cup ties Wigan were once again the underdogs but performed admirably against supposedly superior opposition. Latics matched Arsenal in most areas of the pitch with James McArthur, Jordi Gomez and Callum McManaman in particular producing stand out displays.

Arsenal were the first to show and Scott Carson saved well from a Yaya Sanogo header but Wigan were not overawed. With Callum McManaman at his best and tormenting Nacho Monreal, Wigan looked like they could overcome the less than impressive Gunners. 

On 63 minutes McManaman was the key to Wigan going ahead when he was brought down by Mertesacker as he weaved across the Gunners area.

There was an injury to Monreal, which meant a four-minute delay before Gomez could take his kick, but he showed impeccable calmness to beat Fabianski from the spot.

An increasingly agitated and under pressure Arsene Wenger replaced Lukas Podolski with Olivier Giroud.

Arsenal surged forward in search of an equaliser.

Sagna headed against the post and Carson saved superbly from substitute Kieron Gibbs before on 82 minutes Mertesacker got on the end of a miscued shot by Gibbs to draw Arsenal level.

The match ended level and although Arsenal had more possession in extra time, Wigan always looked capable of snatching something on the break. Substitute Nick Powell surged forward on one such counter attack and outpaced several Arsenal defenders before disappointingly firing wide of the target.

Latics biggest scare came when Oxlade-Chamberlain’s powerful shot crashed against  the angle of post and bar with Carson beaten.

Then came the penalties. Perhaps the biggest surprise and disappointment for Latics fans was that substitute Gary Caldwell was chosen as the first penalty taker. Caldwell had not played a first team game since being injured last season and it was important Wigan got off to a good start.

Gomez who had already scored a penalty was the obvious choice to take the first spot kick, but was held back for later. The decision was to prove crucial as Caldwell’s low kick was easily saved by Fabianski.

Mikel Arteta scored comfortably for the Londoners before loanee Jack Collison stepped up for Latics and Fabianski once again saved.

Substitute Kim Källström converted for the Gunners and so did Jean Beausejour for Latics.

Olivier Giroud then scored and so did James McArthur before Santi Cazorla converted to send the ecstatic Gunners through to the final.

About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, FA Cup, Per Mertesacker, Uwe Rösler, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Wigan pay the penalty – Wigan Athletic 1 Arsenal 1 (Arsenal win 4-2 on pens)

  1. unbaisedgooner says:

    Matched Arsenal in most aspects of the match? Shots Wigan 9 Arsenal 27 possession 38% to 62% penalty area clearances Wigan 54 Arsenal 30 plus Arsenal struck the woodwork twice u want me to go on or do u wanna admit yr slightly biased in yr article

    • ianhaspinall says:

      Slightly biased yes, but isn’t everyone who supports their team, even you? I stick with my view that Wigan matched your team and despite
      Arsenal pressure, which I identified in the article, Wigan were unlucky to concede so late in the game. Good luck in the final.

      • unbaisedgooner says:

        Sorry yr wrong it not biased to point out facts it is to deny them, Wigan played for pens got them an lost them as for being unlucky to concede so late what about being lucky when we hit yr woodwork twice by all means defend yr team but dont pretend you matched us, u didnt, u contained us at best but good luck getting back to the premiership

  2. Jme says:

    Another Arsenal fan avoiding the fact they were lucky, boring listening to you guys on the train too. You were only cocky once you nicked the win! Could hear your seats squeeking during the game. Yes you were always going to be ahead when it came to shots and statistics etc but you’re telling me you weren’t worried you were gonna get beat? Stats aside, it was a very even match and I for one was not panicking like I have in previous encounters with top prem teams like yourselves. Wenger and arsenal got away lucky and all neutrals say the same. In a normal game it would have been a draw which when it comes to stats means we matched you. And finally their isn’t a more biased manager I know than Wenger.

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