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Emirates Stadium (ATT 60,126) 24th November 2007 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: P Walton

Arsenal Arsenal vs Wigan Athletic Wigan

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Arsenal get late win over Wigan

Gunners punish unlucky Latics with two late goals

Last Updated: 24/11/07 5:49pm

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Gallas: Winner

Gallas: Winner

Arsenal recorded another late victory at the Emirates Stadium, scoring twice in the last 10 minutes to defeat an unfortunate Wigan side.

In what was Frank Barlow's final game as caretaker manager before Steve Bruce takes over on Monday, an Arsenal side missing a number of key men including Cesc Fabregas, Gilberto Silva, Alexander Hleb and Robin van Persie struggled to find any space against a resilient Wigan side.

But, as the visitors appeared to have done enough to earn a point, William Gallas headed home from close range before Tomas Rosicky made it 2-0 a couple of minutes later on the counter-attack.

But there was bad news for Arsene Wenger as the lively Theo Walcott was stretchered off 10 minutes from time following a collision with the returning Emile Heskey.

It was a bright start by the home side, with Walcott involved in the early sorties deep into Wigan territory.

No rhythm

However, in the fifth minute, the Latics - who had lost seven straight in the league - thought they had snatched a shock lead when Marcus Bent was put clear and beat Manuel Almunia only to be called back by the offside flag.

Wigan had another chance when Paul Scharner sent a free header wide from a left-wing corner.

Arsenal were unable to find their normal passing rhythm as Wigan were quick to close the hosts down.

After 21 minutes, though, the Gunners cut the visitors open with a fine exchange of passes on the edge of the box.

Full-back Bacary Sagna fed Emmanuel Adebayor, who turned his marker and played a neat one-two with Walcott. The African then drilled in a low shot from the penalty spot, which Mike Pollitt kept out with a fine reaction save.

Walcott was at the centre of Arsenal's attacks - and a dash down the right to cut the ball back from the goal-line deserved better than Emmanuel Eboue to miss his kick completely inside the six-yard box at the near post.

There was a warning for Arsenal, though, when Bent put a header over following a deep cross from Emmerson Boyce.

With 10 minutes to go to the break, a desperate block from Salomon Olembe denied Walcott - in the Wigan six-yard box again.

Slowly Arsenal started to mount a sustained period of pressure, if without being able to find a telling pass with which to unlock the Wigan defence.

The home fans were starting to show their frustrations as promising attacks came to nothing with almost an hour played.

When a flowing move did release Adebayor into the box, Boyce made a fine saving tackle.

Then suddenly at the other end, a mix-up between Gallas and Kolo Toure gifted the ball to Bent just outside the Arsenal area. However, the Wigan striker was not able to make the most of his unexpected chance and drilled a low shot wide.

Reckless

Pollitt again showed good reactions to beat away the ball at his near post following a deflected free-kick from Denilson.

Tempers flared when Bent went through to back of Denilson in the centre circle, and after calm was restored, referee Peter Walton consulted his assistant and showed the Wigan striker only a yellow card.

Gallas and Heskey were then also both shown yellow cards following a needless altercation, before a reckless sliding challenge from the Wigan striker left Walcott in a heap on the far side and he was carried off, replaced by Nicklas Bendtner.

Arsenal finally got themselves in front with just seven minutes left.

Sagna's first-time cross to the near post saw Gallas arrive ahead of marker Titus Bramble to nod the ball past Pollitt.

The result was assured when Rosicky was fed on the overlap by Bendtner and he made no mistake from the edge of the box, netting off the inside of the far post.

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ArsenalTeam StatisticsWigan Athletic
2Goals0
01st Half Goals0
3Shots on Target1
8Shots off Target6
5Blocked Shots2
6Corners4
9Fouls17
6Offsides3
1Yellow Cards4
0Red Cards0
85.4Passing Success72.6
17Tackles33
76.5Tackles Success78.8
67.9Possession32.1
57.1Territorial Advantage42.9

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Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 16 39
2 Manchester City 16 36
3 Manchester United 16 31
4 West Ham United 16 28
5 Southampton 16 26
6 Arsenal 16 26
7 Tottenham Hotspur 16 24
8 Newcastle United 16 23
9 Swansea City 16 22
10 Everton 16 21
11 Liverpool 16 21
12 Stoke City 16 19
13 Aston Villa 16 19
14 West Bromwich Albion 16 17
15 Sunderland 16 16
16 Crystal Palace 16 15
17 Burnley 16 15
18 Queens Park Rangers 16 14
19 Hull City 16 13
20 Leicester City 16 10

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