Plucky Wigan net three times in the final ten minutes to all but end Arsenal’s title challenge
WIGAN ATH (3) vs ARSENAL (2)
ARSENE WENGER finally conceded defeat in the race for the title last night – and then tore into his Arsenal troops for good measure after watching them crash to a dramatic late collapse at Wigan.
The Gunners look poised to move to within three points of leaders Chelsea after goals either side of the break from Theo Walcott and Mikael Silvestre put them in cruise control at the DW Stadium.
But Wenger’s men proceeded to press the self-destruct button and Wigan took full advantage, staging an astonishing fightback in search of the three points needed to guarantee their Premier League survival.
Ben Watson halved the deficit with a side-foot finish, before defender Titus Bramble seized on a fumble from birthday boy reserve keeper Lukasz Fabianski to level with two minutes remaining.
And then, in the first minute of time added on, Charles N’Zogbia completed one of the most incredible comebacks in Premier League history with a sublime strike from 20 yards, leaving Wenger fuming.
“I believe we were not focused, not disciplined and were caught,” the Frenchman said. “In football you have to stay focused for 90 minutes otherwise you run the risk of being punished.
“That is especially the case against a team with nothing to lose, fighting not to go down. You knew they would not give up, and in the end we were punished for that.
“Even at 2-0 I never thought the game was over. I could see we were having difficulties keeping the ball, creating other chances, and when you do not create chances in football you are in trouble.
“After going 2-0 up our game lacked cohesion and discipline, and I always felt we could be punished.”
With his side still six points behind Chelsea with three matches remaining, Wenger has naturally conceded the title and a fifth straight season without winning a trophy.
Instead, Wenger admits he has now turned his attentions to fighting off the fast-finishing Tottenham and Manchester City in the battle to finish third.
“My target is to win the next game, that’s all we can do,” Wenger went on. “Manchester City and Spurs can still catch us, so we have to win at least one of our remaining games.”
Asked as to who his money was now on for the title, Wenger added: “I don’t mind and I don’t care.
“All I know is if we had won today then we would have been back in it.”