Wigan made history again tonight. Three days after winning their first major trophy, they became the first side to win the FA Cup and get relegated after losing 4-1 to Arsenal at the Emirates.
While the win sends Wigan down with Reading and QPR, this was a vital three points for Arsenal in their quest for Champions League football next season. Arsenal are now one point ahead of north London rivals Spurs heading into the last weekend of the season.
Arsenal started the game on the front foot and went ahead when Lukas Podolski opened the scoring after 11 minutes. Dreadful marking leaving the German forward all alone to nod home from a corner.
But Roberto Martinez’s men were given a lifeline on the stroke of half-time by the outstanding Shaun Maloney, whose free-kick rocketed over the wall and past the stretching Wojciech Szczesny.
The tide seemed to have turned in Wigan’s favor after the break as Wigan were suddenly rampant, and they were denied the lead when James McCarthy had a goal rightly disallowed for offside.
That close escape seemed to spur Arsenal on, and they ripped Wigan apart in an eight minute stretch. First Walcott struck the killer blow when he converted Santi Cazorla’s pinpoint cross to make it 2-1.
Then Podolski scored his second five minutes later thanks to more dreadful marking, before Aaron Ramsey fired home the Gunners’ fourth to conclude the scoring and confirm Wigan’s relegation.
Arsenal’s win, and Wigan’s subsequent relegation was probably met with celebrations at Sunderland and Aston Villa, two big clubs that have avoided relegation.
Elsewhere, Manchester City put a turbulent week behind them and ensured they end the season as runners-up with a 2-0 victory over Reading at the Madejski Stadium.
Sergio Aguero broke the deadlock in the first-half, finishing off a superb team move with a quality low strike, while Edin Dzeko bagged City’s second in the 88th minute after a intelligent reverse pass from Spanish playmaker David Silva.