Van Persie treble licks Latics

Robin van Persie hit a hat-trick as Arsenal kept up their Premier League title challenge with a 3-0 win over 10-man Wigan at Emirates Stadium.

Last Updated: 22/01/11 at 17:08 Post Comment

Van Persie: Celebrates his second

Van Persie: Celebrates his second

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

The Gunners should have been out of sight by half-time, but had only van Persie's 21st-minute strike to show for their dominance as Latics keeper Ali Al Habsi made a string of fine saves.

The in-form Dutchman eventually fired in a second just before the hour, but then blasted a penalty over the bar after Gary Caldwell had been sent off for pulling back Cesc Fabregas.

However, van Persie duly completed his hat-trick with five minutes left to make it six in the last three games.

Arsenal - with five changes from the starting XI which beat Leeds in their FA Cup third-round replay on Wednesday night - started brightly.

Wigan keeper Al Habsi had to be alert as he got down quickly to save Samir Nasri's shot on the turn.

The Omani then produced a simply stunning one-handed block to palm away a point-blank shot from van Persie.

Wigan were in danger of being overrun, but to their credit the visitors continued to try to go on the offensive themselves.

Walcott dashed to the goalline and pulled the ball back for Fabregas, who looked set to open the scoring, only for Caldwell to produce a superb block.

Arsenal eventually took the lead on 21 minutes after more patient build-up.

Alex Song released van Persie, who was just onside, into the left of the penalty area - and the Dutchman fired in his fourth goal in three games.

Wigan continued to be pressed back in their own half. However, Arsenal could not make the most of possession.

Al Habsi denied Fabregas with another fine save before Maynor Figueroa made a last-gasp tackle just as the skipper looked set to slot the ball in at the near post.

Arsenal should have been 2-0 ahead when Walcott raced clear down the centre, but squared to Fabregas rather than try to round the keeper. Mohamed Diame made a saving tackle before Steven Caldwell threw himself of Walcott's follow-up shot from the loose ball.

Al Habsi tipped over a 20-yard drive from Nasri, then kept out Fabregas' low shot as the Gunners cut Wigan open time and again.

However, much to the frustration of the home fans, Arsenal were once again unable to turn their dominance into goals before the interval.

Wigan were much more competitive at the start of the second half following the introduction of Franco Di Santo, replacing Diame.

Slowly, though, the Gunners regained dominance as Walcott nipped into the right channel, but the angle was too high and his shot flew wide.

When the second Arsenal goal finally came on 58 minutes, it was simple, yet breathtaking.

Fabregas chipped a 30-yard ball over the defence, and van Persie got ahead of Gary Caldwell to crash a left-foot volley past Al Habsi at the far post.

Jack Wilshere charged forwards, but then drilled a low shot wide from 20 yards.

Arsenal were awarded a penalty on 69 minutes when Gary Caldwell pulled back Fabregas in the six-yard box, and was shown a red card.

Van Persie stepped up for his hat-trick, but uncharacteristically blasted the spot-kick high over the crossbar.

The Dutchman almost made amends with a curling effort from 20 yards which struck the post.

Song's low shot from 20 yards flew just wide before van Persie finally secured the matchball when he smashed home from a tight angle after Walcott had held the ball up in the penalty area.

Arsenal moved above Manchester City, who play later this evening, and continued their momentum ahead of the Carling Cup semi-final second leg against Ipswich here on Tuesday night, when you feel a slender one-goal lead for the npower Championship side is unlikely to be enough to keep the Gunners from Wembley.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Monday, 29 September 2014
20:00
Stoke 1-0 Newcastle Report
Sunday, 28 September 2014
16:00
West Brom 4-0 Burnley Report
Saturday, 27 September 2014
17:30
Arsenal 1-1 Tottenham Report
15:00
Chelsea 3-0 A Villa Report
C Palace 2-0 Leicester Report
Hull City 2-4 Man City Report
Man Utd 2-1 West Ham Report
Southampton 2-1 QPR Report
Sunderland 0-0 Swansea Report
12:45
Liverpool 1-1 Everton Report

Barclays Premier League

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 6 12 16
2 Southampton 6 7 13
3 Man City 6 5 11
4 Arsenal 6 4 10
5 Swansea 6 2 10
6 A Villa 6 -3 10
7 Man Utd 6 2 8
8 Tottenham 6 1 8
9 C Palace 6 0 8
10 West Brom 6 0 8
11 Stoke 6 0 8
12 Leicester 6 -1 8
13 West Ham 6 0 7
14 Liverpool 6 -1 7
15 Everton 6 -2 6
16 Hull City 6 -2 6
17 Sunderland 6 -1 5
18 QPR 6 -9 4
19 Newcastle 6 -7 3
20 Burnley 6 -7 3

Updated Tue, 30 Sep 2014

Footer 365

Transfer news: Mats Hummels remains fully committed to Borussia Dortmund

Mats Hummels is flattered to be attracting interest from over Europe but has no intention of leaving Borussia Dortmund.

Championship: Fulham owner Shahid Khan names five-man search party for new manager

Danny Murphy, Brian McBride, and Sky Sports pundit Niall Quinn will help Fulham's search for their new manager.

Manchester United confirm Ander Herrera has suffered a broken rib

Manchester United have confirmed that Ander Herrera suffered a fractured rib against West Ham on Saturday.

Mail Box

#Usingfootballersnamesineverydaylife

We have the last of these as well as mails on Liverpool, Wayne Rooney, QPR, Arsenal's injuries and more. It's a mailbox that's Alonso rather than Rafael, if you will...

How Much In 'Pounds Raheem Sterling'?

A whole lot of you use footballers' names in everyday life. And you hate yourselves for it. As you should. We also have mails on Newcastle, Rooney and more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property