Report: Wigan 1-1 Arsenal (Arsenal win 4-2 on penalties)

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Mertescker goal - Wigan

Arsenal: Fabianski, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Monreal, Arteta, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski, Sanogo

Subs: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Kallstrom, Akpom, Eisfeld, Giroud.

It wasn’t fun, in any way, but Arsenal booked their place in the FA Cup final with penalty shoot-out win over Wigan at Wembley this afternoon.

Arsene Wenger sprang something of a surprise, handing a start to Yaya Sanogo ahead of Olivier Giroud, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey returned to the starting line-up.

The England man almost found himself through on goal inside 60 seconds, but Sanogo’s flick rebounded off him and into the arms of Scott Carson. And the roles were reversed in the 6th minute, this time the Ox’s great cross was headed straight down into the ground and at the Wigan keeper by the young Frenchman. Either side of Carson and he’d have scored but it was a good effort.

As expected Arsenal dominated possession with Wigan sitting deep and organised behind the ball. When they did push forward, Aaron Ramsey found Oxlade-Chamberlain with a wonderful long ball over the top, but Carson blocked the lobbed effort out for a corner.

With Wigan so defensive, and Arsenal not exactly willing to leave space in behind by pushing too far forward, it became a game of many passes but not much in the way of chances or attacking play.

Ramsey’s fine 26th minute pass to Sanogo resulted in an Arsenal corner, which ended up with Bacary Sagna at the back post. On his left foot, and from a tight angle, he put the ball back across goal and just beyond the far corner.

At the other end a Jordi Gomez cross skimmed the top of the crossbar, before McManaman steamed past Vermaelen into the box, and put in a low cross which Mertesacker cleared. Sanogo fired a shot high and wide, but Arsenal fans in the stadium were growing obviously frustrated at Arsenal attacking struggles.

McManaman again showed Arsenal needed to be aware, firing a shot just over from a tight angle after again getting some joy against Vermaelen, and Lukasz Fabianski was forced into his first save of the day after Fortune got a good shot away.

Lukas Podolski curled a free kick not far wide in the 40th minute, before Yaya Sanogo was put through on goal a moment later. His pace took him away from the defenders but his first touch was poor and that allowed Carson to get out and block the shot.

It meant the teams remained scoreless at the break, and although Arsenal certainly had more of the ball, they definitely lacked end product in their attacking play.

As expected there were no changes on either side at half-time, and not much change in the way of the game. Sanogo was easily eased out of the way when chasing a Cazorla pass into the Wigan box, and Mikel Arteta had to be alert at the other end, making an excellent block as the Latics threatened.

There was a bit more pace to Arsenal’s passing in the second period, but in the 59th minute Wigan were awarded a penalty when Per Mertesacker brought down Callum McManaman in the box. There was a delay before the taking as Monreal got treatment for an injury picked up in the build up to the penalty concession, and the Spaniard was taken off on a stretcher.

However, Wigan’s Spaniard, Jordi Gomez, stepped up and fired home the penalty to put the Championship side 1-0 up, while Kieran Gibbs came on for Monreal. Ramsey then put in a good cross for Sanogo which the striker prodded over the bar.

Arsene Wenger then put on Olivier Giroud for Lukas Podolski, a decision which was met with boos, although in truth the German had been peripheral. Oxlade-Chamberlain tested Carson from distance but found the keeper up to the task, and although the Gunners huffed and puffed they couldn’t find any way through.

An 80th minute corner almost saw an equaliser when the ball hit Sagna and rebounded off the post. Moments later Carson made a brilliant save from Gibbs who saw the ball cleared the ball off the line as it was creeping in, but in the 82nd minute the man who gave away the penalty provided salvation.

Arsenal had a corner, it came in, Vermaelen got a head on it Sanogo laid it off to Oxlade-Chamberlain who mishit his shot but Mertesacker was at the back post to head it home. 1-1, sweet relief, and the defender celebrated with real emotion after making the mistake which gave Wigan their penalty.

Giroud tested Carson with a low shot in the 87th minute which the keeper held well, before Mertesacker headed over from a corner. The referee added five minutes to the the 90 but neither side could find a winner in regulation time, so the game went into extra time.

Wigan had the first shot of the first period, Powell firing over the bar, before Aaron Ramsey squirmed into the box and saw an effort blocked. The Welshman then fired in a great cross for Sanogo which the youngster missed completely from inside the 6 yard box.

Sanogo then forced Carson into a good save and from the resulting corner hooked a shot over the Wigan bar. Oxlade-Chamberlain saw a shot blocked in the Wigan box, but the game slowed down with the players out on their feet, and after the first 15 minutes there were no more goals.

The second period was even slower but Arsenal were desperately unlucky not to be ahead when Oxlade-Chamberlain rattled the crossbar with a brilliant effort and the keeper beaten. At the other end Collison planted a header not far wide with Fabianski rooted to the spot. The Wigan forward also capitalised on an Oxlade-Chamberlain error, but put his shot wide.

Aaron Ramsey was replaced by Kim Kallstrom but in the end we reached the 120 minute mark and the game went to penalties.

Lukasz Fabianski saved the first Wigan spot kick, Arteta put Arsenal 1-0 up. The Pole saved the second too, as Kallstrom made it 2-0. Wigan scored their next one, Giroud put Arsenal further ahead, and Wigan forced it to go to Santi Cazorla, but in the end the Spaniard kept his composure to put Arsenal through to the final.

It wasn’t at all pleasant, but like getting a handjob from an old crone, we still got there in the end!

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189 Comments on "Report: Wigan 1-1 Arsenal (Arsenal win 4-2 on penalties)"

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JC

OX and FAB delivers!

We played much better after Giroud was brought in and we basically played with 2 strikers. We actually had targets inside the box when our players were crossing the ball. Something for Arsene to think about.

Just A Gentleman

Yes, we haven’t won anything ever since we went from 4-4-2 (or 4-4-1-1)! BUT WHO CARES, WEMBLEY AGAIN YAY ๐Ÿ˜€

Big Chief from Antarctica
Big Chief from Antarctica

Fabulous Fab! Gotta love him.

Roll out the red carpet, the red carpet!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jt6LIs4lme4

Eric

Completely agree. Giroud gets a lot of criticism, justifiably so, but the offense looked a lot scarier once he came on today.

Also no one is talking about how good Kieran Gibbs was today. Great on both sides of the ball.

zilla

He was brilliant.

rawgooner

Kieran has been one of our best and most consistent players and I always look forward to seeing him play. I sincerely hope hope he’s around for fucking ever cos he’s going to get better and the cunts with the cheque books will come knocking soon!

fabulous

I think we were better since Gibbs came on. But yeah Giroud brings another presence in the box. After we went behind we’re so flat, hoping on long balls to our two forwards, and I was dreading the options we had on the bench. Thank goodness we made that up with a bit more grit and passion which eventually got us the equaliser. Glad we got the win, now to go on and win fhe cup and seriously make this summer count in terms of transfers.

Remember the invincibles
Remember the invincibles

A final. Somehow. Thank fuck we had the bottle to score the penalties. Bradford was echoing through my head at the start. Smart of Arsen to throw in a set piece specialist at the death.

Clock End Mike

“Something for Arsene to think about”, JC? Surely it was he who made the choice to go 4-4-2, and one in the eye for those critics who say he never has a plan B. Actaully, it was more like 4-3-1-2, with Ramsey moving up alongside Cazorla and getting giving us some better opportunities by interchanging on that side, and Arteta playing in the middle behind them.

Actually, I thought Ramsey looked somewhat tentative and off the pace, unsurprisingly having started for the first time this year. You could still see how good he is, though, and he was our best player overall after the Ox, who was far and away our man of the match. Cazorla, generally poor during an unentertaining first, looked to benefit greatly from the change in formation, with more freedom.

Madhatter

Arsene’s stubborn. He won’t go back to 4-4-2 or any other formation. The fact that Giroud was brought in, was not a result of Arsene’s desire or plan to go 4-4-2 as a tactical change, but rather, he just had to throw in another striker to get another goal. We were desperate at that point.

Don’t get me wrong. I am a fan of Mr. Wenger. I love everything that he’s done for this club.

But I feel like as a club, we have not made a progress in the last 3 years. Every year, it feels like I am watching a re-run of what’s happened in the season before. (frustrating transfer saga, injuries, lack of tactical adjustments, etc)

birbicholi

something major happened three years ago though…he lost the player he was building arsenal around..now he has to wait for jack aaron theo alex gedion serge etc

Good-Bloke

Really good stuff, they looked like they wanted it and fought to the end. Thank you Arsene and players.

But I seriously don’t have the stomach for this anymore, can we not just win the final comfortably!? I like it much better when we do that.

Good-Bloke

How the fuck Wigan are not in line for automatic promotion is beyond me!
They should still be mixing with the ‘big boys’ all day long!

Sos

I think playing with two strikers simplifies our play a bit, i for one wouldn’t at all mind if we carried on that way, it may be a bit scrappier but at this point any win is a win.

Mooro

Never in doubt

Just A Gentleman

Always had the faith but come on, you couldn’t possibly have been 100% positive! I mean no way!

goonerbynature

His tongue was clearly in his cheek.

Just A Gentleman

I’m sorry, my detective skills are currently not working due to joy! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

Highberry

sitting at a wake (REALLY) and 1-1 was looking suitably depressed. Then Fab saves 2 and Santi scores the winner YES arm pumps the air. Black looks from the priest, from my wife and the whole family but I swear my mate in the box smiled COYG

Mooro

Lol. No fuckin way.

The attached should explain it if you don’t know.

http://espnfc.com/blog/_/name/arsenal/id/1683?cc=5739

Temi

Phew!!!

k

that was more stressful than losing

Bombay Gunner

I love Ozil’s tweets. He clearly wants this as much as we do.
I hope people realize just how much we have missed him.
He made all around him play better.

FUCKING FINAL HERE WE COME!

Gus

I’m exhausted

FReezin gooner

It was the longest 2 hours of my life

rawgooner

Fucking nearer 3!!

Smoking Cheddar

And when I asked, oh why she wore that ribbon? She said ‘it’s for the Arsenal..AND WE’RE GOING TO WEMBLEY!’

Angolan Girl Who Loves The Gunner
Angolan Girl Who Loves The Gunner

Again! ๐Ÿ™‚

Just A Gentleman

We love you Arsenal, we do,
We love you Arsenal, we do,
We love you Arsenal, we do,
Oh Arsenal we love you!

Just A Gentleman

Downvotes for loving Arsenal, what in the world?

NewUser

Don’t mind ’em.. probably John Terry and Jose.. and Ferguson and Daniel Levy (100 million man) .. Oh how i laughed and laughed.. Sniff..

And again… We love THE ARSENAL!!

rawgooner

The British thing of downing a winner FFS.

Alex Cutter

You should be embarrassed for singing after that “victory”.

rawgooner

I love ’em too. They are my love. They are the tart that sucks me off at a moments notice but then the same bitch that will fucking proclaim headaches for months on end. She will dress like a top, top model one day (do you see what I did there?) and then others look like a bag lady. But do i love her still? Of course I do, cos she stole my heart and no other cunt is gonna get it. So. Look at that beautiful lady on the pitch. Admire her, worship her, cajole her and applaud her. But never give up on her.

Fest Arse

Fabianski and Sanogo Love you men. One more game. We can do it. Some jobs were saved today. I

ร–zil's Eyes on Arsene's Hot Thighs
ร–zil's Eyes on Arsene's Hot Thighs

Nice to see the mention of Sanogo. I thought Giroud starting would not have changed anything. Sanogo actually made runs behind their defense. I honestly thought he couldn’t have been any worse than our back-pedalling Ollie. Ollie Leadboot wouldn’t even have been in those positions in the first place! Sanogo all day, everyday.

dink arnold

I was this close to possibly discovering the cunt stabber that may or may not exist deep inside of me.

Well done Fabinaski!! Up The Arse!

Javanese Gooner

YESSSSS !!!!!

Silent Stan's Content Mustache
Silent Stan's Content Mustache

This game only shaved 20 years from my life. Fuck it, well worth it.

Wish I Had Charlie George's Hair
Wish I Had Charlie George's Hair

Please rename the Emirates “Fabianski Stadium”

Whispering Whippersnapper
Whispering Whippersnapper

Saved Muller in the CL and now this….fuckin penalty specialist

Robert

He could have saved the penalty today, too, he was just unlucky.

Wish I Had Charlie George's Hair
Wish I Had Charlie George's Hair

It was a great effort – just needed gloves one size bigger!

zilla

Arsenal have to renew his contract. otherwise someone other team will get classy goal keeper. Starting to believe he better than Sir S.

Just A Gentleman

This was posted 52 minutes ago? ARSEBLOG YOU PREDICTION MASTER YOU! ๐Ÿ˜›

zilla

Mixed emotion but thank god for Fabianski but man we in the final !!!!!

Arsene's Bored Banker
Arsene's Bored Banker

Fuck yeah

Yankee_Gooner

There’s this obvious awareness about this win.

palace gunner

Well done fabianski & kallstrom scored his first for gunners the f.a cup finals coyg

NewUser

Kallstrom was like SHAZAM!!!

Mimir

We might berate our team for being sloppy today but Man City would have given an arm and leg to be stretched to penalties in their QF.
COYG

Arsene Nose

My little girl : Mummy, why is daddy crying?..

COYG!!!

Comedian

Fabulous hands.
Just win the match inside 90 mins in the final.

Mikolaj

I’m in love with Fabianski
Can’t help it guys

Aros

Fuck me, I’m happy!

onearsenewenger

had to change pants twice but it was worth it!!
WE ARE THE FAMOUS ARSENAL AND WE ARE GOING TO WEMBEREY!!!

Arsenal4Life

Ended watching the game with my bottom squeezing up like a rabbits nose.
What a game from the OX!
Let’s win the damn thing now!
COYG

goonerbynature

Fabianksi is starting the final.

goonero

Damn fucking skippy he is! If I were fabianski and anyone tried to tell me otherwise I would kick them square in the balls.

David

COYG!!! Fabianski should get the start in the final. Giroud must start over Sanogo, simple as that. He is too raw to be playing in a cup game.

Great goal by Mert!!! Next year’s captain!

Gargoyle

No! Just No! To deny Szczesney his first medal would absolutely crush him. It’s not like he isn’t better than Fabianski, ’cause he is. Penalty saves or not!

Gargoyle

I feel very hated. ๐Ÿ™

Crispy

Disagree mate. Fabianski got us there and deserves to start. Szczesney can support his team mates from the bench and be ready if there’s an injury and that’s all.

alx96

Giroud looked better because he entered the game later in the 2nd half.
Wigan defenders were tiring. I think Sanogo is faster and his movement is better then Giroud, he was getting behind defenders in the match.

Vescucci

Fabulous Flabby Hands!

Whispering Whippersnapper
Whispering Whippersnapper

*flappy…And it’s good to see how far he’s come. His performance was Lehmannesque with a bit of an Almunia brainfart thrown in for good measure.

*sigh* i’m going to have to call in sick tomorrow

Up the ARSE!!!

Tim

Don’t really know what to make of that performance. Obviously I’m pleased we’re in with the best chance of a trophy since 2005, but we really made hard work of that. I still think that fourth place is crucial, and then FA Cup + 4th will be a successful season, and we can build on that.

Let’s hope we can stick the ball in a bit earlier in the Final!

NewUser

Oh FFS.. Just enjoy the win, would you??

Flambo

Hopefully the result more then todays performance will give us confidence going forward for the final 6 games now, and although we only beat Wigan on pens, do remember they are the holders who knocked citeh out in the last round.

COYG!!!

Joey Sixpack

I’ve aged 20 years after that game. Now to the final!

ghanagunner

i was finally going to join the Wenger out squad if we had lost this match and I might very well do if we don’t win the Cup. but man that was gut wrenching to watch.

Swedegunner

me to, I had this written up to post here: “I’ve been defending the team and Wenger like crazy the last weeks but I’ve got nothing left. Something has to change. Fuck it, WENGER OUT.”

Now it just feels like I’m on morphine or something. That was some crazy anxiety relief

NorthernGoon

You’re a fanny.

Fan

Sign up Fabianski at double his current wages!

Swedegunner

The Kรคllstrรถm loan makes perfect sense now!!! FUCK YESSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NewUser

Like I said.. SHAZAM!!!

Yea I know.. So sue me..

texasgooner

HUGE win but this should take nothing away from our horrid performance for most of the game. The fact that Wigan were able to take us to penalties says more about what is going on than the fact that we actually won.

fabulous

Oh cmon mate. Not one Arsenal fan will deny we’re quite shit but if you can’t be happy at moments like these why support a team in the first place?

NewUser

I’m sorry?? WE ARE??? One – That’s you .. You’re in the minority mate.. We are THE ARSENAL and calling your club shit – well jokes on you, ain’t it.. Sod off!!

fabulous

Ah another self righteous fan. If you think we’re actually good on current form then god help you.Listen we’re all happy with the win let’s not make this about Wengerites vs anti Wenger. And I never get why the fuck it has to be either one or another. I love Arsenal but I’m also objective, and the teams performance since March has been really poor in the Wenger era. I’ll call it as I see it and if you disagree then we’ll just settle it on that. Don’t give me shit about “oh you can’t say that about our club, go and support another team” yada yada.

NewUser

Umm.. I said The CLUB.. i.e. THE ARSENAL.. Never said anything about Wenger/era.. Jumping to your own conclusions mate..

ANDR

Dude, they beat what was a fairly strong Man City side at the Etihad (not exactly the easiest of tasks). And in these kinds of knockout matches, quality often takes a backseat. Players are after all human too(the pressure and the enormity of the moment got to them probably).
The thing is we have booked a place in the finals and the chance to lift a trophy is still alive.

goonertilidie

Just enjoy the fact that we made it to the final. Gives us a much needed boost too.

Mpls

Maybe so, but they also knocked out City two years running, so I’m just going to enjoy the day!

Gunner pundit

Come on arsenal.

ontheup

I didn’t think about extra time and promised to cook dinner. As if it wasn’t stressful enough I had a bechamel ongoing during penalties. Never again.

I still can’t believe that had we lost on penalties it probably would’ve sealed Wenger’s fate. 1000 games + and down to a few spot kicks. Football, eh?

Dial Square

Jesus H. Christ – my fucking nerves are shot!

We’re through, boys! We did it! Oh God, I need a fucking drink…

JT

LOL at the ITV pundits so disappointed to see Arsenal through. A win was required, how we did it does not matter.

Joey Sixpack

I know right? You can tell the media really wanted us to lose. Well they can all piss off we’re coming back to wembley. Now, it’s just the small matter of 4th place..

Bonjour

Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane on ITV: “These Arsenal players need a reality check. Last season they celebrated finishing fourth at Newcastle, now they celebrate beating a Championship side on penalties. We are talking about Arsenal FC here.”

United should celebrate finishing above the relegation zone, and Keane should celebrate his own life for the fact that he became a footballer otherwise he would have become a drug dealer

Momo (@MuhamLAD)

It’s clear Roy Keane is bitter as f*ck when we’re clearly celebrating getting into a cup final

Murukesh Mohanan

Dumb fuck. It’s a cup. Doesn’t matter if it is 4th Division or 1st, all teams can win here. All teams should be treated as respectable opponents. Hard-fought wins should always be celebrated.

Murukesh Mohanan

*FA cup. Not ‘a cup’.

Dial Square

Agreed. The side we beat today beat Citeh. Twice.

ghanagunner

doesn’t even matter whether they beat city twice are not but all premiership teams were given a fair shot at it and we are still in it whiles all the rest have dropped off.

deano

To be fair to Roy grumpy Keane does he say anything nice about any team. I personally like Keane because I know no matter how bad my life can be at times I’m still happier than Roy Keane.

Mos

I’m pretty sure Lee Dixon wasn’t !

Auslaender

I’ll be really sad if Fabianski leaves us this summer ๐Ÿ™ Turned himself into a top pro and if he goes to another club they’ll be lucky to have him

Flambo

The commentators were saying something about him jointing shalke in the summer, a real shame. He’s been top top quality this season when called on, and also the tail end of last if I remember correctly.

Marduk

Oh my fuck. Shitstorm averted, let’s hope the shitslide of this fucked up season has enden now.

chris b

Just when you thought it might’ve been one of those days… Arsenal show grit and character, which is JUST what we wanted to see. I’ve never seen such a cool-as-you-like performance on penalties either! Again, such class and character!! COYG!!!

On a separate note, Roy Keane (for those who watched the game on ITV) WHAT a twat! so happy to see him eat his words and shut the f*ck up!

JT

I’m still waiting on a commentary mute option so that you can hear the noise from the stadium without the rubbish commentary

ghanagunner

maybe it is too late but i think if we’re gonna play giroud i think its better we play 4-4-2. just my opinion. i might be wrong though

Joey Sixpack

Some one should tell Roy Keane to stop being a cunt. Who wouldn’t celebrate reaching the FA cup final?

Fest Arse

Roy Keane

tizteezy

sanogo…..dat was a gud work ethic. oxlade, learn to change direction like TR7 wen running with the ball, yet great performance. we are staying at Wembley!!!!!!

G-man

FUCKING YEEEEEESSSSSSS!!!

Aamir

Thank God. Hopefully we can go on and rescue this season now. This should be the shot in the arm that the team needs.

I can’t remember ever feeling this tense during an Arsenal game in a long time.

Amusa

I’m just glad that we won.
Don’t care how!
We are into the final!!!!!!!

Topgunner89

Thank fuck

Gargoyle

‘Heart Attack Grill’ has got nothing on The Arsenal. Jesus… One step at a time I guess. Onto the next game.

NCGunner

Of all the things that could happen in terms of pressure…..fucking penalties.

That was guts right there.

nc

bip

Well played to wigan, I bit my fingers off man that was intense.
And we won.
Yes yes yes yes yes.

Warm

Seriously we need striker come this summer… If it was drogba instead of sanogo we would hv beat them 5 0 before the penaltie came

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