NAL 4 vs WIGAN ATHLETIC 1
ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger warned his team they must still win their final Premier League fixture at Newcastle, despite taking a huge step towards cementing a top-four place with a victory that relegated Wigan.
Two goals from Lukas Podolski, an expert striker’s finish from Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey’s late breakaway effort lifted the Gunners back into the Champions League places at the expense of Tottenham.
But anything other than three points in the north-east on Sunday could allow Spurs to regain the upper hand, and Wenger is demanding a win at St James’ Park.
“I think we’ll have to win,” he said. “It’s all open but it depends on our result. Even third place is not out of sight if we win the game. I am confident because we have experience and we have played for a long time now under massive pressure and always found solutions.”
Wenger praised Podolski and Walcott for reviving Arsenal after Shaun Maloney’s free-kick handed Wigan a lifeline and curdled the Emirates Stadium atmosphere.
“They produced and they scored the goals,” he added. “Walcott had a great night from the start, off the blocks he was always dangerous. They stepped up and produced a quality game.
“We’ve known for a long time we need absolutely three points from every game. Sometimes that takes some creativity from your team and you could see as soon as it became 3-1 we played with more freedom.”
Santi Cazorla provided the first of his four assists for the opening goal, his corner reaching Podolski, who nodded in on 11 minutes.
Maloney’s equaliser, a deft set-piece over the wall, enraged the home side.
But Walcott, Podolski and Ramsey all found the target in the second period to lighten the mood.