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Wednesday 16 April 2014

On this day in 2012: Wigan on fire against the Gunners

Looking back at Premier League history, we recall Wigan Athletic’s shock win at Arsenal

  • Goals from Franco di Santo and Jordi Gomez (right) gave Wigan a quick-fire 2-0 lead

  • Thomas Vermaelen pulled one back for Arsenal, but Wigan held on for a superb victory

  • Wigan manager Roberto Martinez inspired a remarkable end-of-season run of form

Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

16 April 2012 - Arsenal 1-2 Wigan Athletic

Wigan Athletic scored twice in the first eight minutes to secure their fourth win in five matches and boost their hopes of staying in the Barclays Premier League.

Franco di Santo put the Latics ahead in the seventh minute and Jordi Gomez doubled the lead 94 seconds later. Thomas Vermaelen pulled one back in the 21st minute but it was not enough to prevent the Gunners slipping to their third home defeat of the season.

In their previous two matches, Wigan had beaten Manchester United 1-0 and lost 2-1 at Chelsea and manager Roberto Martinez said: "I'm so satisfied because that wasn't an accident.

"In eight days to play those three sides is such a big task, but today in the manner that we coped physically and tactically Wigan Athletic should be very proud."

Arsenal made a bright start but were rocked when Wigan surged ahead with their quick-fire salvo.

The opener came on the break when James McCarthy won a tackle on the edge of his own penalty area and found Victor Moses who passed to Gomez. His through ball was met by Di Santo who slotted past Gunners goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

Moses was also involved in the second goal as he ran unchallenged down the left and found Gomez who scored at the second attempt after Szczesny saved his initial effort.

It was the Spaniard's fifth goal of the season but first since the middle of December.

Vermaelen put the hosts back into the match when he powerfully headed home a cross from Tomas Rosicky for his sixth goal of the season.

Arsenal poured forward in search of the equaliser but despite dominating the rest of the match they could not beat Ali Al Habsi.

In fact Wigan came close to a third goal when a curling shot by Moses was turned away by Szczesny.

The result meant Wigan move up a place to 16th and five points clear of the relegation zone while Arsenal remained in third.

"We didn’t defend well enough for the first goal but played quite well in the first half although we lost our cohesion in the second half," said Gunners manager Arsene Wenger. "We had to throw everything forward but they defended well."

Arsenal ended up finishing third to secure an automatic qualification place for the following season's UEFA Champions League.

Wigan, who were three points adrift safety on 21 March, ended up finishing 15th after notching up seven wins from their last nine matches in a sensational run of form. This meant they would play in the Barclays Premier League for an eighth successive season.

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Key Points

  • Premierleague.com looks back through the annals of history of the competition
  • A memorable event or match from each day of the year will be selected
  • We remember when Wigan's remarkable fight against relegation continued with a shock 2-1 win against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium