Arsenal 2 Wigan Athletic 0

Last updated : 25 November 2007 By Brian Dawes

When Wenger has little or no opportunity to get the passing rhythm zinging along in midweek we are never quite the same. But fortunately we were at home to Wigan rather than away to Bolton on this occasion, so we got lucky.

The first half saw us generally on top, but not entirely convincing, the promise was still there but not quite the end product we have grown accustomed to enjoying this year. We could have been ahead but we weren't, we probably came closest when a Denilson shot skimmed the head of a Wigan defender and flew onto the roof of their net for a corner.

I suppose really the way it was set up this match was always going to go the full distance. When a pub sides turn up to defend in numbers at Ashburton it will always be the late goals that will decide things. At least this season that seems to be somewhat consistently the case. I thought we were always on top but at times though only just. My confidence in the team though meant I felt we were always in control and always going to win it. It no longer worries me that we are not winning with ten minutes remaining because we have the skill, we have the craft but most of all we have the desire to get the job done. Granted we missed the three in-form players who have made things happen of late, namely Fabregas, Flamini and Hleb, but their replacements did well enough without their presence. It took time for Diarra and Denilson to hit their stride and both, I felt, were trying too hard at times. But in the crucial stage, in the last quarter of the match they were both still working hard and probing well, although Rosicky really pulled the strings as we battered away in the closing stages. Wigan worked very hard throughout and looked better organised than in previous games, but they were always going to tire. The more Wigan chased us the more tired they were getting, and it followed that inevitably it would be their tiredness and our hitting a rhythm of sustained attacking that would break the deadlock. No team this season has been able to chase and harass us for more than 80 minutes. If United couldn't do it then Wigan certainly were not going to unless they got ridiculously lucky.

What pissed me off today was that referee Walton has no conception about tackles from behind. Had he been a parks ref overseeing two pub teams you could understand it but this was a Premiership match with supposed half decent officials. The filthy dirt-bag Michael Brown was at it from the first minute of play on both Rosicky and Clichy. As John said he was a cert for the first yellow, just a shame we didn't have money on it. The ref just didn't do his first job which is to protect the safety of the players on the pitch, the useless prat even waved play on certain occasions where a yellow card was warranted. Playing ten men back and playing tough is one thing, taking players out off the ball or sticking your studs deliberately down the back of the leg is something all together different. Walton even thought that running into the back of an Arsenal player was ok because it must just be an accidental coming together. No you prat. It was a deliberate and cynical ploy which succeeded because you were so utterly inept.

With 17 minutes to play the Marcus Bent foul on Denilson should have seen a red card raised, when this spiteful and deliberate lunge through the back of Denilson's legs occurred it looked so really awful from my seat that I could see no alternative. The Arsenal players were outraged as were the entire crowd and the bench. But this horrendous tackle from behind was only awarded a yellow card. And that after it had all kicked off with a shoving match that saw Gallas get a yellow card along with the fat tart Heskey, players know when a tackle is bad and the Arsenal players reaction was, to a man, the direct result of seriously crap refereeing. In that the ref was at least consistent.

With eleven minutes remaining, when Theo was taken out the concern shown by Gary Lewin as he arrived on the scene indicated the damage was serious for Theo. I thought that Theo had started to look the part and was at last coming into his own. Lewin was also clearly pissed off at the officials although he couldn't vent his feelings like the rest of us. Theo stayed very still clutching his knee and the fat fecking lump that is Heskey should have been sent off with a second yellow card at the very least. Having a fat sluggish elephant land on you at the same time as he's holding you back is just not on. Why the inept lino, who was right there, didn't say anything is even more bizarre. Yes it was near the end of the match but so what? If the bag of lard deserved to go he deserved to go, and he did.

This got the crowd mad and probably the players as well. I wanted blood, preferably Heskey's, but fortunately or players wanted the ball in the back of their net. Eduardo was already on by this time having replaced Eboue. Bendtner replaced Theo, he was coming on anyway but for whom we didn't know, and it was chuck in the kitchen sink time as we stormed Pollitt's goal. Bill did his captain's thing once again with a great run to the near post to head home a sweet Sagna cross that was whipped in at speed. 1-0 and game over.

We then hit them again within a couple of minutes as Bendtner put Rosicky away to drill one low towards the far post which the ball came off on its way into the net. Three more points in the bag but the Walcott injury didn't look too clever as he required a stretcher. My guess is a twisted knee of some sort. Heskey didn't hang around at the end of the match to shake anyone's hand, which is a shame because I was hoping someone would chin the fat twat.