Wigan Athletic vs Arsenal, 0-4: Full time analysis and player ratings
Written by Chris on December 3, 2011 21:30
Arsenal eased past Wigan Athletic as they get all three points and continue their unbeaten run, in the English Premier League.
In a way, we expected it to be easy considering the position in the table Wigan occupy but at the same time it was maybe easier than anyone would have expected before the game.
Make no mistake, in the initial part of the game I was a little bit concerned with what was going on back there in the defensive department, especially on the wings as both Laurent Koscielny and Andre Santos made mistakes that other teams would have maybe punished us for but after we settled down it was smooth sailing as we registered our eight win in the Premier League and move up to 5th in the table.
Incidentally, I cannot remember the last time we scored two goals in the first half of a game so this win not only allows us to continue our unbeaten run in the domestic league but it will surely inject more confidence in our players.
One thing that bothered me in today’s game is that no changes were made by our manager before minute 79. Granted, key players will be rested in mid-week but with eight games to be played this month I would have taken off the likes of Robin van Persie, Aaron Ramsey and Gervinho immediately after the third goal and as soon as rain started to pour down relentlessly.
The only explanation I can give for this decision is to improve our goal difference as we started the game with +3 against the +31 of Manchester City and the +17 of Manchester United but it would have been a good idea to rest players and give the likes of Francis Coquelin and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain a run against a very poor Wigan side.
But anyway, Olympiacos are next and it will be a golden opportunity to rest key players and give those who did so well against Manchester City another regular start as they deserve to feature in the Champions League.
As always, whether you agree with my ratings or not, submit your own at Arsenal Interactive and make sure to share them on Twitter and Facebook.
Match Video Highlights
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Szczesny: 6 – Untroubled. As said in the introduction, Wigan had half-chances in the first half but they only “troubled” our goalkeeper on minute 5 after taking advantage of some terrible defending.
Koscielny, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Santos: 7 – Not easy to rate the players individually today since, as already said, Wigan were extremely poor in all areas of the pitch. Having said that, one cannot ignore Thomas’ second consecutive goal from a corner and the fantastic 45th minute tackle made by Per to block Mohamed Diane, top class.
Ramsey: 7 – It was nice to see Aaron on the pitch after what happened last week. Yet again, he was involved in many of our moves and made a number of very interesting runs in the Wigan penalty box, including the one in the 49th minute for which we should have been given a penalty.
Arteta: 8 – The passing and work rate of the Spaniard were brilliant as he opened the scoring on minute 27. Granted, the goalkeeper should have done better but this is why we should try more our luck from distance as mistakes can happen anytime.
Song: 6,5 – Brilliant start as he won two balls in midfield inside the first four minutes of the game but as it was the case against Borussia Dortmund I felt that there were occasions in which he kept the ball instead of passing it to his team-mates.
Gervinho: 7,5 – He desperately needed this goal, the Ivorian. Was excellent throughout as he produced a fantastic run on minute 33 ended with a bad pass followed by another excellent run this time finished with a great pass for Robin with the Dutchman’s effort saved by Ali Al Habsi. And of course, the one to score the third.
Walcott: 7 – The one to assist Robin when we scored the fourth, Theo continues to perform consistently as he also delivered a very good cross on minute 17 that almost resulted in a Gary Caldwell own goal.
van Persie: 7,5 – Fantastic first-time effort on minute 34 after Gervinho’s aforementioned run, top work in the 61st minute with his shot saved with the Ivorian scoring from the rebound and of course the one to seal the game in the 77th minute as he made no mistake after meeting Theo’s pass.
Arshavin/Coquelin/Benayoun: No Vote – Only ten minutes on the pitch for these three as Francis showed inexperience when he was foolishly booked on minute 84.