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29 December 2010
• The DW Stadium, Wigan
Referee: L. Probert
• Attendance: 17014
B. Watson 18'
S. Squillaci 81' (own goal)
A. Arshavin 39'
N. Bendtner 44'
The home fans were cheering every clearance in the last few moments as Wigan held on for a valuable point that separates them from the relegation zone. Squillaci's late own goal means that Arsenal miss the chance to go level on points with league leaders Manchester United and remain in third behind Manchester City.
FULL-TIME: Wigan 2-2 Arsenal
There are four minutes of stoppage time at the DW Stadium. Can either side find a winner?
Wigan get a bit lucky there as Nasri's free-kick from outside the area is deflected away by McArthur in the wall. The ball appears to have struck the Wigan player's hand on the replay, but Lee Probert only awards a corner.
As Alex Fisher at the DW Stadium confirms, that will go down as an own goal: DW is rocking now, own goal by Squillaci under pressure from Gary Caldwell. Here come Nasri and Walcott to save things for Arsenal.
Own GoalSébastien Squillaci
GOAL FOR WIGAN!!!! Watson delivers a great corner to Rodallega at the far post, who then heads back across goal where a combination of Gary Caldwell and Squillaci put the ball into the Arsenal net.
Red CardCharles N'Zogbia
SENDING-OFF FOR WIGAN!!!! Is that the end for Wigan tonight? Charles N'Zogbia throws a head-butt at Jack Wilshere and the Latics midfielder is rightly given his marching orders by Lee Probert.
Yellow CardGary Caldwell
Great chance on the counter-attack for Wigan as N'Zogbia plays a one-two with McArthur before driving into the Arsenal box. Fabianski does well to save the Wigan midfielder's strike and Arsenal clear at the second attempt.
Gary Caldwell is shown the first yellow card of the match for hauling down Chamakh as the Arsenal striker turned on the half-way line.
That would have been a brilliant goal. A fantastic Arsenal move ends in Wilshere chipping a ball over the Wigan defence for Arshavin. However, Al Habsi does well to get down and save the Russian's strike.
Nasri and Walcott are warming up on the sidelines. Could Wenger be tempted to look to his strong bench to wrap this game up? As things stand, Wigan are still very much in this game.
Sagna gives the ball away to Cleverley who is able to drive into the area from the right hand side. However, the midfielder puts his curling shot over the bar to Fabianski's relief.
Stam does brilliantly to dance into the Arsenal box and play the ball to Rodallega, but the Wigan striker is unable to get his shot away.
A great run by Wilshere into the Wigan box results in a Sagna cross being headed rather unconvincingly behind for a corner. Chamakh goes close with a great header from the resultant set-piece.
Arsenal need another five goals to go top of the table tonight (barring any more Wigan goals), though Arsene Wenger will be probably be more than happy with just three points.
Not much happening in the second half yet, with Arsenal just shading possession. Diame is almost able to get on to the end of a cross into the Arsenal box, but Sagna clears.
We're back underway at the DW Stadium....
Arsenal have Andrey Arshavin to thank for getting them back into this match before the break. As well as a sublime finish for the equaliser, he also set up Bendtner for the Gunners second goal. Arsene Wenger's side should now be able to approach the second period with more confidence than they showed in the first half, although they will have to keep an eye on N'Zogbia and Rodallega who have looked dangerous all night.
HALF-TIME: Wigan 1-2 Arsenal
45' + 4'
A chance for Wigan late into the first half as Rodallega is played in down the right. However, Fabianski does well to turn the striker's fierce shot round the corner of his near post.
GOAL FOR ARSENAL!!! The Gunners have completely turned this match around. Arshavin breaks from midfield and plays a pass with the outside of his boot to the edge of the Wigan area. With a bit of luck, the ball falls to Bendtner who finds himself free in the area and subsequently slots home to Al Habsi's left.
GOAL FOR ARSENAL!!! Chamakh plays in Bendtner whose shot is well saved by Al Habsi. However, unfortunately for the Wigan 'keeper, his parry only goes as far as Arshavin who puts the ball into the back of the net with a brilliant overhead kick. Stunning stuff from the Russian.
Watson is nearly through after a lobbed ball from midfield, but Fabianski is able to collect the ball first. Wigan starting to look dangerous again.
Rodallega bullies Koscielny off the ball before charging down the right flank and playing a ball into N'Zogbia just on the edge of the area. However, the pass is just too far in front of the Frenchman and Arsenal are able to clear.
Just to remind you that an Arsenal victory would put them level on points with Manchester United and Manchester City at the top of the table tonight.
Meanwhile there is a bit of a stoppage as Hendry Thomas receives treatment following a collision with Rosicky.
Jack Wilshere is brought on for Abou Diaby as Arsenal make an early change.
A brilliant intervention by Gary Caldwell prevents an Arsenal equaliser. Rosicky's deflected shot from outside the area is spilled by Al Habsi, but the Wigan defender throws his body at the ball before it can reach the waiting Bendtner or Koscielny.
Rodallega is brought down by Fabianksi as he goes one on one with the Arsenal 'keeper. However, just a corner is given by Lee Probert.
Penalty GoalBen Watson
GOAL FOR WIGAN!!! Ben Watson converts the spot-kick confidently as he smashes the ball into the back of the net to Fabianski's right. The penalty was awarded after N'Zogbia was brought down by the leg of Koscielny, although replays suggest the contact could have been just outside the area.
PENALTY TO WIGAN!!!!
Diame and Rodallega combine brilliantly as the midfielder breaks through on goal. However, Diame cannot collect the ball that would have put him one on one with the goalkeeper.
Bendtner is fouled by Gary Caldwell on the edge of the area causing referee Lee Probert to award a free-kick that the Gunners striker takes himself. However, his shot is deflected behind off what looked to be one of his own team-mates in the wall.
Arsenal seem to have recovered from their lethargic start and have started to enjoy a bit more of the ball. However, N'Zogbia and Rodallega look like they could cause the Gunners a few problems tonight.
Wigan have dominated the first five minutes but could be behind as Rosicky plays in Arshavin on the edge of the area. However, the Russian's looping shot goes over the bar.
A worrying start for the Gunners as Charles N'Zogbia charges down the right and delivers a brilliant cross into the area but no Wigan player is there. Then, just seconds later, Rodallega is presented with a great chance to head home from the edge of the six-yard box but he cannot quite stretch enough, and the ball bounces off his outstretched hand and away from danger.
Wigan get us underway in their blue and white home kit, and will be kicking from right to left in the first half. Arsenal are in their yellow away strip.
Our man at the DW Stadium tonight is Alex Fisher and he's already offered his thoughts on those line-ups: So that's one change for Wigan as Honduran midfielder Hendry Thomas returns following his suspension in place of James McArthur. Wigan defender Maynor Figueroa also returns to the matchday squad but only makes the bench as youngsters Daniel de Ridder and Jordan Robinson drop out. James McArthur drops to the bench. Arsenal make eight changes from the side who beat Chelsea on Monday night, with only one a forced change due to Cesc Fabregas' suspension. Fabianski, Sagna and Koscielny are the only survivors from the 3-1 win over Chelsea. Nicklas Bendtner returns to the starting line-up while Robin Van Persie is not included at all. Five of Arsenal's starting line-up from the Chelsea game (Nasri, Walcott, Wilshere, Djourou and Clichy) drop to the bench while Song joins Van Persie in not featuring at all.
Arsenal subs: Nasri, Vela, Walcott, Wilshere, Djourou, Clichy, Szczesny Wigan subs: Boselli, Pollitt, S.Caldwell, Gomez, McArthur, Figueroa, McManaman
Wigan: Al Habsi; Stam, G.Caldwell, Alcaraz, Gohouri; Cleverley, Diame, Watson, Thomas, N'Zogbia; Rodallega
Arsenal: Fabianski; Sagna, Koscielny, Squillaci, Eboue; Rosicky, Diaby, Denilson, Arshavin; Chamakh, Bendtner
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's live commentary of tonight's Premier League clash between Wigan Athletic and Arsenal at the DW Stadium. Team news coming up next...
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