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November 30, 2010
• Emirates Stadium, London
Referee: M. Atkinson
• Attendance: 59525
A. Alcáraz 41' (own goal)
N. Bendtner 65'
90' + 4'
And that's full time! Arsenal run out 2-0 winners over a poor Wigan side. They took a while to get started in the cold weather, but once they did a 4-0 scoreline would not have seemed out of place. Arsenal march into the semi-finals, along with West Ham who have somehow managed to beat Manchester United 4-0 tonight! Hope you enjoyed the game, this is Alex Young signing off. Night!
90' + 2'
Oh and we have two more Arsenal supporters on the pitch. The first was funny, this isn't. Like George Clooney said in Ocean's 13, never do the same gig twice. Tut, tut.
Off the line! One final bit of excitement before the referee blows his whistle as Nasri basically strolled through a tired Wigan defence, and then around the goalkeeper but Alcaraz cleared the shot off the line.
A comical moment for Arsenal fans. A boy of about 12-years-old runs across part of the pitch and shake Wenger's hand. He posed more of a threat to Arsenal than Wigan have recently as he actually stopped them passing.
We've got three minutes and then injury time here. It's all Arsenal at the moment, just calmly playing the ball around the pitch as Wigan pretend to care.
Walcott again coming close to adding a third, but his poor first touch when entering the area puts him off and in the end he can only direct his shot straight at Al Habsi.
Yellow Card H. Thomas
Nice build-up play from Arsenal sees Eastmond's low cross into the Wigan area cleared, but only as far as Walcott who spanks it towards the far corner of the net but McCarthy gets his body down low to clear. Walcott screams for a penalty, but no-one else does.
The official attendance is announced at the Emirates as over 59,000. I think some of the Arsenal staff are being slightly optimistic with that. It is absolutely nowhere near that.
Denilson splits the defence with ease as he plays in Walcott. The England forward opens up his body well but angles his shot across the face of the goal and just past the wrong side of the post. Very close, that.
Robin van Persie
Arsenal bring on Craig Eastmond for Robin van Persie and Samir Nasri for Jack Wilshere. Wenger isn't lying down here.
I've been mentioning slack Arsenal passes all night, but this time it's Wigan who are the gulty party. Vela latches onto one and drives down on goal, but Al Habsi closes down well and averts the danger.
Slightly strange from Boselli. He tries to control the ball, slips on it but in doing so tricks two Arsenal defenders and carves an opening for himself. He doesn't capitalise though. You have to feel sorry for him, he hasn't had any kind of service tonight.
I must admit that it's strange that Roberto Martinez hasn't changed his gameplan yet. They have been playing 4-5-1 all night, just waiting to break. Have to expect him to bring on another striker sooner rather than later.
Assist Carlos Vela
Goal Nicklas Bendtner
BENDTNER SCORES! 2-0 ARSENAL! It was only a matter of time. Carlos Vela, who has not had the best of nights, redeems himself for his early failings but whipping the perfect ball across the Wigan six yard box right between defenders and goalkeeper and Bendtner is on hand to slide the ball into the back of the net. Game over surely.
...and again it fails to clear the first man. Deary me.
N'Zogbia is the only real threat for Arsenal, not surprising considering he's the only Wigan player on the pitch, who has scored more than once this season. He wins another corner...
Another mistake from Arsenal, this time from Wilshere, let's N'Zogbia in but Arsenal regain composure quickly and quash the danger. Bar the odd mistake from Arsenal, Wigan don't look like scoring here.
Again Arsenal come at Wigan. It's 4 vs 4 but Walcott's final delivery into the box fails to find an Arsenal player. Walcott did well to get the ball in after an overhit pass from Bendtner.
Arsenal come straight back, winning a couple of corners that come to nothing. Then Walcott steams down the right hand side, cuts inside and tries his luck from 25 yards. It bounces twice and Al Habsi easily picks up the ball. Reasonable effort I guess, but it would have to have been a big mistake from Al Habsi for that to go in.
Now it's Wigan's turn to attack. N'Zogbia works his way down the left-flank but as he tries to cut into the area Djourou pushes the ball out for a corner, unfortunately the corner doesn't clear the first man and the danger is gone.
Arsenal have definitely come out with more intent after a poor first half. Van Persie slips through Walcott but more great defending from Alcaraz and the other Wigan defenders clear the danger.
Well Van Persie is made of tougher stuff than I gave him credit for as he trots back up the pitch to continue.
Immediately some action, and it's not good news for Arsenal. Carlos Vela whips in a cross from the left-flank towards Van Persie in the Wigan area, but as the Dutch forward jumps to head the ball he clases heads with Alcaraz. It looks nasty and I am not sure he will continue here...
We are back underway at the Emirates. Arsenal lead 1-0.
45' + 4'
As the half draws to a close, Bendtner kicks out at McCarthy just as the referee blows his whistle. The Danish striker walks off (possibly whistling, reports are unconfirmed) and gets away with it. It's 1-0 Arsenal here. I'll be back in about 10 minutes.
45' + 2'
A lovely one-two between Vela and Van Persie sees Vela drive into the area but as he tries to gain his composure he slips on the wet surface. It's not the Mexican's night so far...
Entering injury time here, the board shows four minutes after the long delay for the Moses injury.
Arsenal again attack with Walcott charging down the left-flank. As the forward makes his way into the area, he tries a cross towards Bendtner and immediately shouts of handball against McCarthy ring out. It's possible but either way none of the officials spot it.
Assist Theo Walcott
Own Goal Antolín Alcaraz
GOAL! ALCARAZ OWN GOAL!! So that penalty decision doesn't seem to matter as only a few minutes later a Walcott corner is headed in by Alcaraz under barely any pressure at all.
That must have been a handball! As Wigan wait to get their substition on, Arsenal attack through Van Persie. The Dutchman lifts the ball to the far post towards Vela and Figueroa appears to handle the ball. Both linesman and referee miss it however to the frustration of Vela. Surely that should have been a penalty and Figueroa should have recieved a second yellow. In the aftermath Charles N'Zogbia comes in for the injured Moses.
And Moses is stretchered off, it doesn't look too serious though despite that. By the way, in the build-up to that chance Figueroa recieved a yellow card for a foul on Walcott. Still waiting for the Wigan sub.
Yellow Card Maynor Figueroa
Victor Moses drives towards the area, but as Djourou tackles him cleanly the young striker falls awkwardly and it looks like his game is over.
An Arsenal freekick from the center circle plays in Bendtner. The tall striker, running away from goal, lifts a looping cross to the back post but brilliant defending from Gohouri, taking it confidently on his chest, diverts the danger.
Hendry Thomas flattens Walcott on the right flank. Van Persie delivers a lovely in swinging freekick into the Wigan area but head tennis between the Wigan defenders sees the chance cleared.
Wigan arn't shaken. More neat passing sees Boselli played in but the striker is five yards offside. Would have been very nice otherwise.
How did Vela miss that? Another brilliant set-up, this time from Van Persie, frees Vela through the centre. The Mexican looks odds on to slot the ball home but instead sees his dinked effort trickle past the post. Should be 1-0.
A fantastic pass from Jack Wilshere frees Carlos Vela down the left flank, Walcott is screaming for it a the near post but Wigan get back quick to clear for a corner.
Another poor pass from Arsenal again lets Boselli in, but against the striker can't compose himself quickly enough and the chance is gone.
A very nice passage of play from Wigan consisting of 15-20 passes ends up going back to Al Habsi in the away team's goal but impressive none-the-less.
Free header for Koscielny! But the defender can only make connect with the ball with the back of his head, and the chance goes harmlessly over. Arsenal slightly growing here, but so are Wigan.
Wigan's McCarthy goes in hard on Wilshere, leading the youngster to grimance and hold his knee a la Peter Griffin. No yellow card for McCarthy and the freekick comes to nothing.
If Arsenal don't kick into gear soon, we could well have a "cupset" on our hands. Mistakes all over the place at the moment.
Yellow Card Carlos Vela
A terrible backpass from Eboue let's in Boselli, but the striker is forced wide as he tries to run down on goal. Eboue gets away with it, but the defender did not even look when passing it back. Wenger will not be happy.
Now it's Arsenal's time to control possession, and they pass it in front of the Wigan defence looking for a gap which just isn't appearing yet.
As I say that, Wigan launch their first attack as Victor Moses drives forward and strikes at Szczesny's near post, but it goes wide.
Despite their superior possession so far, Wigan are doing precisely nothing with it. It looks like Wigan are just going to sit and try to frustrate Arsenal. Probably not the best idea against a strong home side.
Wigan, looking very unsure in defensive in the early stages, have just managed to get their foot on the ball and are currently passing it around to regain some confidence.
And almost immediately a goal for Arsenal! Van Persie flings in a freekick from around 30 yards out, and Bendtner manages to head the ball wide. He really should have at least got that on target.
And we are underway!
Arsene Wenger has kept with a strong line-up after convincing wins against Tottenham and Newcastle in previous rounds, but after losing against those two teams in recent weeks in the Premier League, and a lack of any silverware for over five years, Wenger will no doubt be looking for a victory over a Wigan side that have only managed to score once in five visits to the Emirates Stadium, while conceding 12.
So, Arsenal have made nine changes from the team that beat Aston Villa 4-2 last Saturday. Skipper Cesc Fabregas remains sidelined, but striker Robin Van Persie makes his return to the starting line-up. Wigan make just the five changes from the 3-1 loss to West Ham with recording-signing Mauro Boselli coming in for Franco Di Santo to partner Victor Moses up front.
Wigan: Al Habsi; Stam, Caldwell, Alcaraz, Figueroa; Thomas, Watson, Gohouri, McArthur; Moses, Boselli. Subs: Di Santo, N'Zogbia, Pollitt, Gomez, Diame, McManaman, Mustoe.
Arsena: Szczesny; Djourou, Koscielny, Eboue, Gibbs; Walcott, Denilson, Wilshere; Van Persie, Vela, Bendtnar. Subs: James Shea, Sagna, Arshavin, Eastmond, Emmanuel-Thomas, Nordtveit.
Good evening and welcome to Goal.com's live coverage of Arsenal vs Wigan in the quater-final of the League Cup. My name is Alex Young, and here come the line-ups...
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