Gunners far too good for Latics

Arsenal moved into fifth place in the Premier League table with a thumping 4-0 win over Wigan at the DW Stadium on Saturday.

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The hosts, who drop to the bottom of the table, began brightly but were undone by two goals in two minutes just before the half-hour mark as first Mikel Arteta's shot evaded Ali Al Habsi's grasp and then Thomas Vermaelen nodded in a corner.

Arsenal always looked likely to add to their lead in the second half and in the 61st minute Gervinho made it three before Robin van Persie added his customary goal 12 minutes from time after good work from Theo Walcott.

The Latics started well and Victor Moses' well-struck shot could have gone anywhere when it deflected off Vermaelen, but fortunately for the visitors it flew straight into the arms of Wojciech Szczesny.

And they went even closer in the sixth minute when Moses and Connor Sammon combined well to play in David Jones on the left of the area.

His cross was palmed out by Szczesny but only as far as Jordi Gomez, who looked certain to score but instead saw his shot deflected behind by Andre Santos.

Arsenal had offered little in the opening 15 minutes but Wigan captain Gary Caldwell was fortunate in the 17th minute when he got an attempted clearance from Walcott's low cross all wrong and was fortunate to see the ball dribble into the hands of Al Habsi.

After a bright start, Wigan dropped deeper and deeper, and they paid the price in the 28th minute.

First Vermaelen and then Arteta were given acres of space to run into, and the Spaniard took aim from 25 yards, although Al Habsi was right behind the shot and should have kept it out.

He did not, though, and a minute later Arsenal made it two with the simplest of goals.

Van Persie, who has scored more goals this season than Wigan's entire squad, drove a corner to the back post where Vermaelen nodded in.

The visitors were now dominating and Al Habsi went some way to redeeming himself with a good save to deny van Persie a 14th in the league, while the keeper then did just enough to force Gervinho wide after he had been played through.

Wigan, who came back from two down to beat Arsenal here two seasons ago, appeared fortunate not to give away a penalty five minutes into the second half.

A mistake from Steve Gohouri let in Aaron Ramsey and the Welshman was prevented from getting in a shot by a clumsy tackle from the defender, but referee Mark Clattenburg waved play on, to the disbelief of Ramsey and his team-mates.

Van Persie continued his search for a goal, and he might have been wiser to go for goal with a header from Walcott's cross rather than trying to pick out a team-mate.

Wigan were looking a little brighter and Ronnie Stam fizzed in a cross that just evaded Sammon before Mohamed Diame shot just wide.

But the result was put beyond any doubt in the 61st minute when van Persie worked some space in the box and, although his shot was parried by Al Habsi, it fell perfectly for Gervinho.

A Van Persie goal would have made it perfect afternoon for Arsenal and he probably should have done better than shoot past the post a couple of minutes later.

A decent break involving Wigan substitute Albert Crusat and Moses ended with Stam bursting into the area, and there was a muted shout for a penalty when he went to ground under pressure from Alex Song, but contact looked minimal.

Arsenal then showed them how it should be done moments later as Walcott went on a fine run before setting up van Persie, and this time the striker planted his shot firmly into the far corner.

A triple substitution saw Gervinho, Walcott and Song replaced by Arshavin, Francis Coquelin and Yossi Benayoun, and the latter would have made it five with a neat dink over Al Habsi had Caldwell not got back and headed the ball off the line.

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