Wigan shoot down last Arsenal hope

Latics finally end any chance of Arsenal winning title with three late goals in 3-2 win.

    Wenger sees three points go down the plughole at the final whistle [GALLO/GETTY]

    Wigan Athletic came from two down to score three goals in the last 10 minutes and finally end Arsenal's title challenge – while almost certainly saving themselves from relegation.

    Charles N'Zogbia thumped an injury-time goal in off the post to give Wigan three points after Ben Watson and Titus Bramble had cancelled out goals from Theo Walcott and Mikael Silvestre.

    And stand-in Gunners keeper Lukasz Fabianski will take much of the blame as he dropped the ball on Bramble's head for the late equaliser.

    Wigan's first English premier League win against the Londoners was the final nail in the coffin for Arsenal's season as they drop six points behind leaders Chelsea.

    The Latics go seven clear of the drop zone with three games left, two of which are against relegation rivals Hull City and West Ham before they play title challengers Chelsea on the last day of the season.

    Gunners midfielder Andrei Arshavin said that his team had already missed out on the title before the defeat.

    'Utterly terrible'

    "Our title challenge was already over, so the result is fairly meaningless in that respect," the Russian told the BBC.

    Results & fixtures

    Saturday April 17

     Birmingham 0-0 Hull
     Blackburn 2-3 Everton
     Fulham 0-0 Wolves
     Man City 0-1 Man Utd
     Stoke 1-2 Bolton
     Sunderland 2-1 Burnley
     Tottenham 2-1 Chelsea

    Sunday April 18

     Wigan Athletic 3-2 Arsenal
     Portsmouth 1-2 Aston Villa

    Monday April 19

    Liverpool v West Ham

    "But that does not excuse the performance, we were utterly terrible in the second half and Wigan actually deserved to win."

    The victory was vital for a Wigan side who had taken three points in only two of their previous 14 matches.

    "At half time, the gaffer just told us to keep going, and told us he really believed in us," said Wigan captain Mario Melchiot of coach Roberto Martinez, on Sky Sports.

    "That made the difference. This is a very big result. I think it will make a big difference to the morale of the team."

    In the day's other match Aston Villa won 2-1 at relegated FA Cup finalists Portsmouth and leap-frogged above Liverpool into sixth place, at least until Liverpool play West Ham United on Monday.

    Villa, still in the hunt for fourth place which brings with it a chance of Champions League football next season, moved on to 58 points, six behind Spurs, who are fourth.

    Manchester City are fifth.

    Nineteen-year-old substitute Nathan Delfouneso scored the winner with his first Premier League goal eight minutes from time.

    Michael Brown scored his first Pompey goal to put them ahead after 10 minutes before John Carew equalised six minutes later.

    Carew then saw his fiercely struck penalty saved by David James four minutes before half time.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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