After being held up in traffic for nearly 45 minutes, a mad dash to the JJB ensued after leaving the coach park, Upon entering the ground with only a few minutes to spare, my misery was compounded when I found that Pascal Cygan would be filling the vacant Left back position.
With kick off imminent , I was feeling very confident that we would be triumphant, and by a considerable margin. Bang. Straight from the kick the Latics were at us, harassing and bullying, I?d never realised before what a massive side Wigan actually are, meaning size not stature. As you may have noticed, I was already worried about the prospect of having Cygan at left back, but when Kolo, Sol and Ralph seemed to want to give him the ball at every opportunity, I started to worry just that little bit more.
The Wigan front line seemed to tower above our boys, wining everything in the air and pushing them around just a little bit, with each side having a couple of shots to nothing, the game seemed to be warming up quite nicely. Then on 11 minutes, Sol played the ball in to van Persie?s feet, who then neatly turned his countryman, de Zeeuw, and stroke the ball home from 20 yards.
The Gunners quickened the pace, and within 10 minutes more, they?d made it two. Cesc ?he?s better than Roy Keane? Fabregas picked up the ball and threaded the ball through the eye of a needle to monsieur Henry, who finished with aplomb. 2-0, Get in!!!
Now, we?ve all seen Wigan mixing it up with the big boys this season, and I was just thinking to myself that Wigan were due a pasting when they were awarded a freekick. Baines whipped the ball in and found the head of de Zeeuw, who nodded it down for Camara to flick in with a semi diving header.
The crowd erupted, both sets of fans were in good voice, the atmosphere was set for a classic.
With half time looming Cygan, not for the first time in the game, found himself out of position about 25 yards from the Latic?s onion bag. Foul!!! With Titi lining up the freekick, I waiting with baited breath and 2 sets of extremely crossed fingers, everything seemed to go slow-mo as the ball rose up and over the wall, then hit the post, ?crap? I thought, only to be relieved to see the ball nestle in the net. Mayhem!!!
Blinding, 3-1 to the good just before the break, even though we hadn?t played our best, we had a nice lead to take into the break.
Wigan had other idea?s, with the game in first half injury time Bullard latched onto McCulloch?s pass, evaded Campbell and lashed it in to make it 3-2 at the break.
At halftime we were treated to some rather attractive ladies in short skirts throwing themselves about a bit.
The second half didn?t bring much of note, although, we actually played the better football after halftime. van Persie went close on a couple of occasions after some neat trickery from Henry, Campbell went close with a header and Camara and Roberts did their best to nick a point. With the clock ticking down and whistles raining in from the Gooner section of the crowd, Roberts broke down the right and flashed a ball across the six yard box, McCulloch stretched but couldn?t reach. When I came round from my heart attack, the ref took pity on me and blew the final whistle. 3 points in the bag, I headed for the coach.
A very entertaining game all round.
Solid enough, his kicking could use a bit of work.
Arsenal’ unsung hero, solid and rarely caught out.
Out of position, out of depth, out of idea’s.
Our talisman, reliable as ever.
Had to do two men’s jobs, and suffered slighty for it.
Ran hard, but did little with the ball when Cygan actually managed to get it to his feet.
Lazy. Nuff said.
Tried his best but was caught out ever now and again.
Broke up play, then gave it straight back.
Great touch, good control with his chest. Disapointed to see him substituted
Awesome. Please don’t leave.
Got the substitutions wrong again, but 3 point is 3 points.
My tip to stay up. Big, strong, fast, nothing to be ashamed of in that performance.