Incidentally, Wigan Athletic became the first team to win the FA Cup and be relegated the same year in the history of the Barclays Premier League as they were hammered by Arsenal 4-1 at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal moved back into the play- offs slot of the Champions League place as Wigan eight- season tenure in the Premier League was handed its final curtain- call. After winning the FA Cup against Manchester City, Wigan needed nothing short of a win to keep their survival hopes alive. But it was the German forward Lukas Podolski that drew the first blood, 11 minutes into the game when he easily outmuscled James McArthur in the area with the rest of the Latics defence standing still, Podolski had a free header to turn in Santi Carzola’s floating corner. Kierran Gibbs almost got on the wrong end of a misplaced Bacary Sagna’s shot moments later as Arsenal tried increasing the tally. Despite Arsenal’s pressure, the visitors kept trying to hit on the counter before Shaun Maloney went down under what seemed a slight contact from Mikel Arteta and referee Mike Dean gave the Latics a chance from a dead- ball just outside the area on the stroke of half- time. The Latics forward managed to get the ball up, over the wall past Wojciech Szczesny despite the Gunners keeper getting a hand to the ball. Wigan, from that moment looked more in contention for a possible lead goal and after the break only a good save from Szczesny denied Arouna Kone at close range. If Roberto Martinez’s side needed a reminder of Arsenal’s threat, it came when Theo Walcott played a ball across the face of goal for Carzola and Latics goalkeeper Joel Robles was forced into a double save before Tomas Rosicky’s skidding shot went wide. Walcott later turned home- despite Robles getting on the ball- a superb low cross from Carzola in the 63rd minute, to help Arsenal regain the lead.
The floodgates then opened as Wigan returned to weariness. Paul Scharner played Podolski (68’) onside to allow the Germany international in to lob over Robles before Ramsey (71’) fired in from a tight angle to complete the win that turned Wigan Athletics from Saturday- victors, to Tuesday- vanquished. The defeat also means that Paolo di Canio’s Sunderland and Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa can now rest easy heading in to the final weekend. Meanwhile, Arsenal are now fourth on the Premier League log, a win away from qualification for next season’s UEFA Champions League; a point ahead of Tottenham Hotspur. They travel to St James’ Park on the final day of the season.