Wigan vs Arsenal: 1-4, full-time report and player ratings – Another game of two halves
Written by Chris on April 11, 2009 23:30
I would like to start today’s match report by wishing all the best to Johan, who suffered a nasty injury which may keep him out of the pitch for the rest of the season. Not just because we’re short of defenders but because the 22-year old was surely looking forward to Champions League action and an F.A. Cup semi-final at Wembley. Instead, he now has to recover from the injury so all the best to the youngster.
Today’s match was in a way similar to Villareal’s where we were under heavy pressure in the first half but dominated the second, which however started with Wigan on the attack and having a free kick which Rodallega blasted high. But in a way, that was it for Wigan. After that, the Gunners took control of the match and in the 60th minute it was 1-1. Nicklas Bendtner raised high in the air to flick the ball to Arshavin who shielded it and made sure it broke in the path of Walcott who made no mistake from close range.
Eleven minutes later we took the lead. Cesc Fabregas found space on the left and crossed the ball for Mikael Silvestre to side-foot in from the six-yard line. Five minutes later, Arshavin hit the post with van Persie scoring from the rebound, but from an offside position. Wigan’s reply to all this saw Ben Watson trying his luck from a free kick but Fabianski comfortable saved.
In stoppage time we scored twice. First, Koumas passed the ball straight to Arshavin who made no mistake and then it was Alex Song’s turn to go on the scoresheet after zig-zagging his way past the Wigan defense.
We’ve had many other matches like this throughout the season, Blackburn away and Villareal early in the week to mention two of them. Considering how shocking some of our players were, we of course have to be happy with the scoreline. Wenger’s gamble to use Bendtner alone, upfront, didn’t really pay-off as it did against Manchester United and Silvestre, despite scoring, was terrible at the back and this is no good news now that we’re short of players at the back.
So what to do back there, now that Johan is also sidelined? I would actually move Song alongside Toure and use Silvestre as left back, as Gibbs was very disappointing today. I’m not sure how serious Diaby’s injury is but if he recovers, he can take Song’s spot in midfield. As it is, I’m afraid there aren’t many other options for the boss.
Fabianski: 5 – Shocking display and this worries me. He did well against Villareal but today, despite an early catch from a long throw-in which was supposed to give confidence, he failed.
Gibbs: 4 – A very poor match for the youngster. Should have seen red and almost always second best in challenges.
Sagna: 6,5 – I think he did pretty well on the right to block Wigan’s attacks.
Toure: 6,5 – Quite solid, the only remaining regular defender of the side.
Djourou: 6,5 – He was having a good, solid game at the back, shame about the injury.
Denilson: 5 – Too many balls given away and kept the ball in very dangerous areas rather than getting rid of it. Complete different match after he was taken off.
Song: 6,5 – Like Silvestre, the goal can’t cancel out some mistakes in midfield. Alex can go from incredibly solid to giving the ball away cheaply in seconds, and that worries me.
Fabregas: 6,5 – Not the best of matches, was right when he said he still needs matches to get back on track.
Walcott: 6,5 – Was surprised to see him substituted and so was he – it seems, He had a very good match on the right.
Arshavin: 7,5 – Had a very quiet first half but in the second, he scored and he provided, another one who can make the difference out there.
Bendtner: 5 – No ManUtd repeat for the big boy as a lone striker.
Silvestre: 5 – He scored, fair enough, but too many mistakes at the back.
Van Persie and Adebayor: 7 – These two came in and completely changed the match.