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Page last updated at 15:55 GMT, Saturday, 19 September 2009 16:55 UK

Arsenal   4 - 0   Wigan

By Phil Dawkes

Thomas Vermaelen scores his first
Vermaelen has scored four times for Arsenal since joining from Ajax

Arsenal produced an incisive, attacking display to cruise to a comfortable victory against a lacklustre Wigan.

Centre-back Thomas Vermaelen rose to head the Gunners into the lead from a corner before curling in his second from the edge of the box.

Arsenal's third came when a shot by Eduardo found the net courtesy of a deflection from Emmanuel Eboue, who may well ultimately claim it.

A back-heel finish by Cesc Fabregas in injury time crowned a superb win.

Headlines in the week leading up to the game had been dominated by the fall-out from the more unsavoury aspects of Arsenal's 4-2 defeat at Manchester City.

Seven days on, and without a pumped-up former Gunner in the opposition ranks, Arsenal showcased the authoritative, possession football that is their staple.

However, in the early stages a quality final ball was lacking and the home side were limited to a brace of long-range snap-shots from Robin van Persie and Abou Diaby and a free-kick from the former which flashed past the post.

Arsenal 'continuity' pleases Wenger

Van Persie was presented with a better opportunity after 20 minutes when Eboue was released down the right before driving over a cross from near the byline, but the ball was just behind the striker and he was only able to steer a tame effort wide of goal.

After softening up their opponents with these early jabs, Arsenal landed the first hammer blow from which Wigan never recovered, when Van Persie swung over a corner and Vermaelen rose above a trio of Wigan defenders to plant a powerful header past keeper Chris Kirkland.

The Gunners maintained the pressure following the goal and Van Persie again carved out a good opportunity, threading in Eboue behind the Wigan defence on the right but the midfielder's shot flashed across goal.

Having demonstrated his nerves early on with a header outside the area that almost gifted Wigan a chance, young goalkeeper Vito Mannone made a fine save to preserve Arsenal's lead, parrying Emmerson Boyce's six-yard header from a corner.

606: DEBATE
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It was be Wigan's only meaningful effort of a half in which they were lucky not to be trailing by more.

Just prior to the break, Kirkland saved well at the feet of Van Persie as he slid in to meet an Eduardo cross, and moments later the Dutchman failed to connect with a swivelling volley after Fabregas' delicate chip had found him unmarked with his back to goal.

It did not take long for Arsenal to double their lead following the re-start and it was again Vermaelen who scored.

The Belgian brought the ball forward, found Eboue on the right and continued his run to enable him to meet the return pass before curling a superb shot into the top-right corner of the net from the edge of the box.

Arsenal's midweek match-winner Eduardo was the central figure in the third goal, striking a post with a volley from a Gael Clichy cross before driving in a follow-up effort which found the net courtesy of a telling deflection off Eboue.

So often limited in the game by his role as Arsenal's midfield anchor, Alexandre Song shook off the shackles and was almost rewarded for it when he collected the ball on the half-way line and drove forward before unleashing a shot that struck the outside of the post.

We weren't ourselves - Martinez

So few were Wigan's chances to score that it seemed almost cruel when substitute Paul Scharner side-footed home following Mannone's save from a Jason Scotland shot, only for the Austrian to be adjudged offside.

It would have been more than the away side deserved though and their misery was compounded in injury time when Van Persie found substitute Nicklas Bendtner on the right and his drilled cross was back-heeled into the net by Fabregas.


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger:
"It is a continuance of our performances since the start of the season.

"We showed our resilience, a great attitude and played with fluency. Our job is not to talk too much but to win games.

"We were faithful to the way we wanted to play up until the end of the game. Everybody worked hard for the team."

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez:
"We couldn't be ourselves and from that respect and we made it easy for Arsenal.

"We allowed them to have that rhythm on the ball and dictate things.

"It's a tough start we've had to this campaign but we'll get back to our best and learn from today."

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Arsenal 4-0 Wigan FT
(HT 1-0)
  • Vermaelen 25
  • Vermaelen 49
  • Eduardo 59
  • Fabregas 90

    Arsenal

    Substitutes

    Wigan

    Substitutes

    Ref: JonesAtt: 59,103
    ARSENAL
    WIGAN

    Possession

    • Arsenal 72%
    • Wigan 28%

    Attempts on target

    • Arsenal 11
    • Wigan 5

    Attempts off target

    • Arsenal 12
    • Wigan 3

    Corners

    • Arsenal 6
    • Wigan 4

    Fouls

    • Arsenal 6
    • Wigan 18
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+3:19 The referee blows his whistle to end the game.
    • 90:00+3:02 Tomas Rosicky takes a shot. Save by Chris Kirkland.
    • 90:00+1:19 The referee gives a free kick against Robin van Persie for handball. Chris Kirkland takes the direct free kick.
    • 89:42 The ball is delivered by Nicklas Bendtner,
    • 89:41 Assist by Nicklas Bendtner.
    • 89:41 GOAL - Francesc FabregasArsenal 4 - 0 Wigan Francesc Fabregas scores a goal from deep inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Arsenal 4-0 Wigan.
    • 87:24 Bacary Sagna produces a cross, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Nicklas Bendtner goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
    • 86:33 Substitution Scott Sinclair comes on in place of Hugo Rodallega.
    • 85:00 Unfair challenge on Tomas Rosicky by Mohamed Diame results in a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Robin van Persie, Hendry Thomas makes a clearance.
    • 83:02 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Hugo Rodallega, Headed effort from inside the area by Hendry Thomas misses to the left of the goal.
    • 82:10 Nicklas Bendtner fouled by Mohamed Diame, the ref awards a free kick. Nicklas Bendtner takes the free kick.
    • 81:19 The referee blows for offside against Paul Scharner. Vito Mannone restarts play with the free kick.
    • 81:10 Jason Scotland takes a shot. Save made by Vito Mannone.
    • 76:21 Charles N'Zogbia fouled by Alexandre Song Billong, the ref awards a free kick. Hugo Rodallega fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick, save made by Vito Mannone.
    • 75:35 Aaron Ramsey produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the area and misses to the left of the goal.
    • 72:49 Substitution Tomas Rosicky replaces Emmanuel Eboue.
    • 72:49 Substitution Nicklas Bendtner joins the action as a substitute, replacing Da Silva Eduardo.
    • 68:44 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Francesc Fabregas, Emmerson Boyce makes a clearance. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Robin van Persie, Mario Melchiot makes a clearance.
    • 68:09 Aaron Ramsey produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that goes over the bar.
    • 67:30 Da Silva Eduardo takes a shot. Save made by Chris Kirkland.
    • 66:37 Foul by Titus Bramble on Robin van Persie, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Francesc Fabregas.
    • 65:55 Substitution Aaron Ramsey comes on in place of Vassiriki Diaby.
    • 65:17 Shot by Alexandre Song Billong from inside the penalty box bounces off the post.
    • 64:34 Booking Paul Scharner is cautioned by the ref for dissent.
    • 62:30 Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Robin van Persie.
    • Correction - 58:08 Shot by Da Silva Eduardo from deep inside the penalty area hits the post.
    • 58:08 Effort from inside the penalty box by Gael Clichy hits the post.
    • 58:07 GOAL - Da Silva EduardoArsenal 3 - 0 Wigan Da Silva Eduardo fires in a goal from inside the penalty box low into the middle of the goal. Arsenal 3-0 Wigan.
    • 57:25 Hugo Rodallega takes a shot. Save made by Vito Mannone.
    • 56:18 Substitution Jason Scotland joins the action as a substitute, replacing Jordi Gomez.
    • 56:18 Substitution Paul Scharner joins the action as a substitute, replacing Jason Koumas.
    • 52:34 Francesc Fabregas takes the direct free kick.
    • 52:34 Booking Booking for Jordi Gomez.
    • 52:26 Jordi Gomez challenges Alexandre Song Billong unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 50:56 Robin van Persie is ruled offside. Chris Kirkland restarts play with the free kick.
    • 48:35 Assist on the goal came from Emmanuel Eboue.
    • 48:35 GOAL - Thomas VermaelenArsenal 2 - 0 Wigan Thomas Vermaelen finds the net with a goal from inside the penalty area to the top left corner of the goal. Arsenal 2-0 Wigan.
    • 46:23 Free kick awarded for a foul by Jordi Gomez on Alexandre Song Billong. Free kick taken by Thomas Vermaelen.
    • 45:01 The second half kicks off.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+3:12 The first half comes to an end.
    • 45:00+1:25 Effort from deep inside the area by Robin van Persie misses to the left of the goal.
    • Correction - 41:39 Robin van Persie takes a shot. Save by Chris Kirkland.
    • 41:39 Da Silva Eduardo takes a shot. Chris Kirkland makes a save.
    • 40:59 Shot on goal by Jordi Gomez from just inside the area clears the crossbar.
    • 40:19 Corner taken right-footed by Jason Koumas, Vassiriki Diaby makes a clearance.
    • 39:04 Direct free kick taken by Titus Bramble.
    • 39:04 Booking Booking for Alexandre Song Billong for unsporting behaviour.
    • 38:59 Foul by Alexandre Song Billong on Jordi Gomez, free kick awarded.
    • 37:59 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Thomas Vermaelen by Hugo Rodallega. Francesc Fabregas takes the direct free kick.
    • 35:56 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Jordi Gomez, Emmerson Boyce takes a shot. Save by Vito Mannone. Shot by Titus Bramble from 20 yards. Blocked by Bacary Sagna.
    • 34:26 Unfair challenge on Charles N'Zogbia by Gael Clichy results in a free kick. Charles N'Zogbia takes the direct free kick.
    • 33:55 Effort from inside the area by Emmanuel Eboue misses to the left of the target.
    • 33:06 Foul by Charles N'Zogbia on Gael Clichy, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Vito Mannone.
    • 31:42 Corner taken by Jordi Gomez, Vassiriki Diaby manages to make a clearance.
    • 30:01 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Robin van Persie by Mohamed Diame. Free kick crossed by Robin van Persie, Emmerson Boyce manages to make a clearance.
    • 29:25 Francesc Fabregas takes a inswinging corner.
    • 27:49 Free kick awarded for a foul by Alexandre Song Billong on Jordi Gomez. Titus Bramble takes the direct free kick.
    • 25:31 Titus Bramble concedes a free kick for a foul on Da Silva Eduardo. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from Robin van Persie. Mario Melchiot challenges Francesc Fabregas unfairly and gives away a free kick. Francesc Fabregas restarts play with the free kick.
    • 24:23 The assist for the goal came from Robin van Persie.
    • 24:23 GOAL - Thomas VermaelenArsenal 1 - 0 Wigan Thomas Vermaelen finds the back of the net with a headed goal from inside the box. Arsenal 1-0 Wigan.
    • 23:54 Da Silva Eduardo produces a volleyed right-footed shot from 20 yards. Blocked by Emmerson Boyce. Corner taken left-footed by Robin van Persie,
    • 22:30 Free kick awarded for a foul by Hugo Rodallega on William Gallas. Vito Mannone takes the free kick.
    • 22:12 Chris Kirkland takes the free kick.
    • 22:12 Booking Emmanuel Eboue booked for unsporting behaviour.
    • 22:07 Handball decision goes against Emmanuel Eboue.
    • 21:21 Free kick awarded for a foul by Emmerson Boyce on Robin van Persie. Francesc Fabregas takes the direct free kick.
    • 20:12 Emmanuel Eboue produces a cross, Effort on goal by Robin van Persie from inside the box misses to the right of the target.
    • 18:56 Emmanuel Eboue produces a left-footed shot from inside the area that clears the crossbar.
    • 15:01 Mohamed Diame challenges Vassiriki Diaby unfairly and gives away a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Francesc Fabregas. Unfair challenge on Robin van Persie by Jordi Gomez results in a free kick. Strike comes in from Robin van Persie from the free kick.
    • 13:28 William Gallas takes a shot. Clearance by Titus Bramble. Shot from deep inside the area by Vassiriki Diaby clears the crossbar.
    • 12:44 Corner taken by Francesc Fabregas played to the near post, save made by Chris Kirkland.
    • 11:44 Hendry Thomas gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Vassiriki Diaby. Direct free kick taken by Thomas Vermaelen.
    • 11:27 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gael Clichy by Charles N'Zogbia. Gael Clichy takes the free kick.
    • 7:27 Effort on goal by Robin van Persie from just inside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the target.
    • 6:46 Foul by Maynor Figueroa on Robin van Persie, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Francesc Fabregas.
    • 6:23 Hugo Rodallega takes a shot. Thomas Vermaelen gets a block in.
    • 5:19 Vassiriki Diaby challenges Hendry Thomas unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Titus Bramble.
    • 2:40 Thomas Vermaelen gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Hugo Rodallega. Mario Melchiot takes the free kick.
    • 1:59 Francesc Fabregas takes a shot.
    • 0:42 Free kick awarded for a foul by Hendry Thomas on Emmanuel Eboue. Robin van Persie takes the free kick.
    • 0:00 The match begins.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    Premier League results

    19 Sep 2009 23:59 UK

    Home Team Score Away Team Time
    Arsenal 4-0 Wigan R
    Aston Villa 2-0 Portsmouth R
    Bolton 1-1 Stoke R
    Burnley 3-1 Sunderland R
    Hull 0-1 Birmingham R
    West Ham 2-3 Liverpool R

    Premier League table snapshot

    As it stood on 19 Sep 2009 23:59 UK

    Position Team P GD PTS
    1 Chelsea 5 9 15
    2 Man Utd 5 8 12
    3 Liverpool 6 7 12
    4 Man City 4 6 12
    5 Tottenham 5 5 12
    6 Aston Villa 5 5 12
    7 Arsenal 5 9 9
    8 Sunderland 6 0 9
    9 Burnley 6 -5 9
    10 Stoke 6 -2 8
    11 Birmingham 6 -1 7
    12 Fulham 4 -2 6
    13 Wigan 6 -8 6
    14 West Ham 5 -1 4
    15 Blackburn 4 -1 4
    16 Bolton 5 -2 4
    17 Wolverhampton 5 -4 4
    18 Hull 6 -8 4
    19 Everton 4 -6 3
    20 Portsmouth 6 -9 0


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