30-Yard Screamers, Controversy – Just Another Day At The Office…
Apparently that’s the 12th time Arsenal have conceded the lead in a match and comeback to win – a fantastic show of character from this young team who never give up until the final whistle.
And with typical Emirates tradition Arsenal conceded the first goal and Wigan lead 1-0 going into the half time interval.
Wigan were well organised and played well as a unit, putting Arsenal in all kinds of bother throughout the game with swift counter attacks and the willingness to push men forward to support their attacks.
In the first half Arsenal made several guilt edged chances, with Henry, Rosicky and Baptista having decent opportunities skewed wide.
But then on 35 minutes Arsenal hit the self-destruct button once again and went a goal down at home. A seemingly harmless long ball caught out Djourou who let Nigerian Aghahowa slide past him and turn to cross the ball. The young defender recovered well and blocked the cross, but it fell to Dutch International Denny Landzaat who controlled the ball with his first touch and hit a simply outstanding effort from 25 yards to give Wigan the lead which was probably just about deserved.
So yet again Arsenal had the arduous task of coming back from a goal that was against the run of play in terms of possession but was out of the top drawer.
Why does it happen to Arsenal?
Remember goals from Matt Taylor and Rafael van der Vaart? Teams seem to score the sensational to open the scoring at the Emirates!
As expected, Arsenal pressed and pressed in the second half but for large portions Wigan coped well and Arsenal just couldn’t get through.
And the frustration started to show.
Arsenal and Arsene in particular were not happy with the time-wasting antics of Wigan and Chris Kirland as we searched for an equaliser.
Then another controversial moment happened on 80 minutes when Emile Heskey was put through and substitute Mathieu Flamini looked like he pulled down the Wigan forward.
When the incident happened I thought the referee was going to give a penalty but luckily play was waved on, and in Arsenal’s next attack it was Flamini (who looked offside when played through by Rosicky) that setup the equaliser for Fitz Hall to turn into his own net.
And when the equaliser went in Henry goaded Kirland for his time-wasting and had to be dragged away by his team mates.
Now it was game on!
After the game Sky had a go at Henry for his reaction to the goal but in all honesty I couldn’t blame him. Arsenal were frustrated by a resiliant Wigan team and football would be a boring sport if players didn’t show their emotions.
Arsenal sensed a Wigan collapse and with only 5 minutes of normal time Adebayor played a smart through-ball into the path of Julio Baptista who did well to pick out Rosicky in the centre in a penalty area full of Wigan players.
The Czech emphatically headed the ball into the net for the winner and scored his first ever Premiership goal.
The last portion of the game was heated and Lehmann was booked for ‘time wasting’ as Chris Kirland did, although the Wigan keeper was unpunished.
A hell of an emotional rollercoaster – has any other Premiership team have had as many ups and downs as Arsenal?