Arsenal halted Wigan's mini revival with a crushing win at the DW Stadium.

Wigan made a promising start but two goals in two minutes punctured their hopes with Mikel Arteta's swerving long-range shot putting Arsenal ahead.

Ali Al-Habsi might have saved Arteta's effort and the Wigan keeper was soon beaten by a Thomas Vermaelen header.

Gervinho scored the third after after Al-Habsi parried a Robin van Persie shot, and the Dutchman added the fourth after good work from Theo Walcott.

It is a defeat that leaves Wigan, who had picked up four points from their previous two games, firmly rooted in the relegation zone, while Arsenal keep in touch with the pack chasing Premier League leaders Manchester City.

The worry for Wigan is how impoverished they are for attacking options, with Van Persie now having scored two more league goals this season than Roberto Martinez's side have managed during the entire campaign.

Initially Wigan's recent improved form was reflected in a bright start with Conor Sammon and Victor Moses causing problems for an Arsenal side that took time to settle into their passing rhythm.

Martinez critical of Wigan display

That Wigan did not go ahead was largely due to the quick reactions of Andre Santos, who deflected Jordi Gomez's shot away for a corner after Wojciech Szczesny pushed away a David Jones cross.

Wigan were unable to build on that dominance and slowly but surely Arsenal began to assert their midfield authority, with Arteta prominent.

And it was the Spaniard who gave Arsenal the lead as his right-footed shot beat Al-Habsi, with the ball passing through the Wigan keeper's hands.

A minute later and Arsenal established a two-goal cushion as Vermaelen's header was too powerful for Al-Habsi, going in off the post.

Wenger happy with Arsenal control

That second goal resulted in Wigan going into a defensive shell and only Al-Habsi's fine reaction save from a Van Persie shot prevented the home side from an even wider half-time deficit.

Briefly after the restart Wigan recaptured some of their earlier confidence as Moses fired in a cross from the right and Mohamed Diame went close with a shot.

But these were momentary moments of alarm for Arsenal, who claimed they should have been awarded a penalty when Aaron Ramsey went to ground after a challenge from Steve Gohouri.

SET-PIECE STATISTIC

  • Arsenal ended a run of 179 corners without a goal in the Premier League when Thomas Vermaelen scored

Gervinho had proved a persistent threat to Wigan - he had produced a delightful weaving run in the first half - and the Ivory Coast forward then showed his goalscoring prowess as he prodded home after Al-Habsi had pushed away Van Persie's shot.

Given that Van Persie had scored 13 league goals this season the only surprise was that the Dutchman had yet to join in the goalscoring fun, but the wait was soon over as he swept the ball home after good work from Walcott.

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez: "It was a frustrating day after we started well in the first 15 minutes. The two first-half goals were a little bit soft and really affected our performance and against a side like Arsenal it allowed them to control the tempo of the game.

"We have to stop conceding soft goals and as a team we need to defend better. One goal is difficult enough, but two goals, they were too big a weight on our shoulders and the game went easily into Arsenal's hands. We need to get stronger."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: "It was a great team performance where we controlled the game and could have scored more. We can only be happy.

"There is a difference between the team at the start of the season and now and and we can still improve. Robin van Persie was exceptional, especially in a collective way."

Lineup, Bookings (5) & Substitutions (6)

Wigan

  • 26 Al Habsi
  • 02 Gohouri Booked
  • 05 Caldwell Booked
  • 23 Stam
  • 31 Figueroa
  • 04 McCarthy
  • 11 Moses
  • 14 Gomez (Crusat - 59' )
  • 19 Jones
  • 21 Diame Booked (McArthur - 89' )
  • 18 Sammon (Di Santo - 59' )

Substitutes

  • 12 Pollitt
  • 24 Lopez
  • 07 Crusat
  • 08 Watson
  • 16 McArthur
  • 09 Di Santo
  • 20 Rodallega

Arsenal

  • 13 Szczesny
  • 04 Mertesacker
  • 05 Vermaelen
  • 06 Koscielny
  • 11 Santos
  • 08 Arteta
  • 14 Walcott (Benayoun - 80' )
  • 16 Ramsey
  • 17 Song Booked (Arshavin - 80' )
  • 10 Van Persie
  • 27 Gervinho (Coquelin - 80' Booked )

Substitutes

  • 21 Fabianski
  • 20 Djourou
  • 15 Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 23 Arshavin
  • 30 Benayoun
  • 39 Coquelin
  • 29 Chamakh
Ref: Clattenburg
Att: 19,280

Match Stats

Shots

7 16

On target

4 10

Corners

4 5

Fouls

8 12

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +2:08 Full time

Full Time The referee blows his whistle to end the game.

90:00 +0:51

The offside flag is raised against Albert Crusat. Indirect free kick taken by Wojciech Szczesny.

89:48

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Steve Gohouri by Clarindo Andre Santos. Ronnie Stam restarts play with the free kick.

87:59

Mikel Arteta takes the direct free kick.

87:59 Substitution

Substitution James McArthur on for Mohamed Diame.

87:59 Booking

Booking The referee cautions Mohamed Diame for unsporting behaviour.

87:40

Free kick awarded for a foul by Mohamed Diame on Aaron Ramsey.

84:38

David Jones takes the direct free kick.

84:38 Booking

Booking Francis Coquelin is shown a yellow card.

84:26

Francis Coquelin gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Albert Crusat.

83:51

Yossi Benayoun takes a shot. Clearance made by Gary Caldwell. Robin van Persie takes a short corner.

83:19

Unfair challenge on Mohamed Diame by Andrey Arshavin results in a free kick. Steve Gohouri takes the free kick.

79:01 Substitution

Substitution Yao Gervinho goes off and Francis Coquelin comes on.

79:01 Substitution

Substitution Theo Walcott goes off and Yossi Benayoun comes on.

79:01 Substitution

Substitution Andrey Arshavin is brought on as a substitute for Alex Song.

77:54

Theo Walcott provided the assist for the goal.

77:54 Goal scored

Goal! - Robin van Persie - Wigan 0 - 4 Arsenal Robin van Persie finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the box to the top left corner of the goal. Wigan 0-4 Arsenal.

76:32

The ball is sent over by Laurent Koscielny, clearance by Gary Caldwell.

75:05

Thomas Vermaelen concedes a free kick for a foul on Albert Crusat. David Jones takes the free kick.

74:26

Franco Di Santo takes a shot. Save made by Wojciech Szczesny.

73:45

Mikel Arteta takes a shot. Ali Al Habsi makes a comfortable save.

72:20

Mikel Arteta restarts play with the free kick.

72:20 Booking

Booking Steve Gohouri booked.

72:13

Steve Gohouri concedes a free kick for a foul on Theo Walcott.

71:07

Outswinging corner taken left-footed by David Jones from the left by-line, Steve Gohouri takes a shot. Save by Wojciech Szczesny.

70:57

Franco Di Santo takes a shot. Per Mertesacker gets a block in.

69:10

Aaron Ramsey has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the goal.

66:53

The assistant referee flags for offside against Theo Walcott. Free kick taken by Steve Gohouri.

66:29

Handball decision goes against Victor Moses. Free kick taken by Thomas Vermaelen.

65:22

Outswinging corner taken by Victor Moses from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by Clarindo Andre Santos.

63:16

Robin van Persie produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.

60:55

Assist on the goal came from Robin van Persie.

60:55 Goal scored

Goal! - Yao Gervinho - Wigan 0 - 3 Arsenal Yao Gervinho finds the net with a goal from close range high into the middle of the goal. Wigan 0-3 Arsenal.

60:47

Robin van Persie takes a shot. Ali Al Habsi makes a save.

58:48 Substitution

Substitution Jordi Gomez leaves the field to be replaced by Albert Crusat.

58:34 Substitution

Substitution Franco Di Santo replaces Conor Sammon.

58:25

Shot from just outside the penalty box by Mikel Arteta misses to the left of the target.

58:18

Robin van Persie crosses the ball.

56:46

The free kick is delivered left-footed by Jordi Gomez from right wing, save by Wojciech Szczesny.

56:46 Booking

Booking Alex Song receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.

56:33

Alex Song gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on James McCarthy.

55:44

Mohamed Diame produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the goal.

54:10

Corner taken by Robin van Persie, David Jones makes a clearance.

53:57

Centre by Theo Walcott.

53:03

Unfair challenge on Jordi Gomez by Mikel Arteta results in a free kick. Gary Caldwell takes the free kick.

51:00

Thomas Vermaelen takes the direct free kick.

51:00 Booking

Booking Gary Caldwell is given a yellow card.

50:53

Gary Caldwell challenges Aaron Ramsey unfairly and gives away a free kick.

49:53

Centre by Victor Moses.

48:51

Effort from just outside the box by Aaron Ramsey goes over the bar.

47:37

Shot from a long way out by Jordi Gomez goes wide of the left-hand post.

45:01

The game restarts for the second half.

45:00 +1:08 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to end the first period.

42:29

Theo Walcott gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on David Jones. Direct free kick taken by David Jones.

41:51

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Jones by Alex Song. David Jones restarts play with the free kick.

39:21

The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.

37:22

Alex Song gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on James McCarthy. Direct free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.

36:58

James McCarthy challenges Aaron Ramsey unfairly and gives away a free kick. Yao Gervinho takes the free kick.

34:46

Mikel Arteta gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Victor Moses. Gary Caldwell restarts play with the free kick.

33:56

Robin van Persie produces a volleyed left-footed shot from 12 yards. Save by Ali Al Habsi. Theo Walcott produces a left-footed shot from inside the area that clears the bar.

31:14

Corner taken by Robin van Persie, Thomas Vermaelen takes a shot. Steve Gohouri gets a block in.

29:55

Maynor Figueroa gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Robin van Persie. Aaron Ramsey restarts play with the free kick.

28:55

Assist on the goal came from Robin van Persie.

28:55 Goal scored

Goal! - Thomas Vermaelen - Wigan 0 - 2 Arsenal Thomas Vermaelen finds the back of the net with a headed goal from close in. Wigan 0-2 Arsenal.

28:27

Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Robin van Persie,

27:02

Thomas Vermaelen provided the assist for the goal.

27:02 Goal scored

Goal! - Mikel Arteta - Wigan 0 - 1 Arsenal Mikel Arteta finds the net with a goal from outside the penalty area low into the middle of the goal. Wigan 0-1 Arsenal.

26:01

Ronnie Stam produces a cross.

25:10

The ball is crossed by Aaron Ramsey, save by Ali Al Habsi.

23:21

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Robin van Persie by Gary Caldwell. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Robin van Persie from right channel, clearance by Steve Gohouri.

22:02

Conor Sammon is ruled offside. Thomas Vermaelen takes the indirect free kick.

19:16

Corner taken by Robin van Persie played to the near post, Laurent Koscielny takes a shot. Ali Al Habsi makes a save.

18:27

Mohamed Diame gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Aaron Ramsey. Free kick crossed by Mikel Arteta, Mohamed Diame manages to make a clearance.

17:57

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on James McCarthy by Mikel Arteta. Steve Gohouri restarts play with the free kick.

17:12

The ball is swung over by Theo Walcott.

15:15

Mohamed Diame challenges Aaron Ramsey unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Per Mertesacker.

11:47

A cross is delivered by Ronnie Stam, Thomas Vermaelen manages to make a clearance.

10:30

Effort from the edge of the area by Clarindo Andre Santos goes wide of the left-hand upright.

9:02

Laurent Koscielny challenges Victor Moses unfairly and gives away a free kick. David Jones takes the direct free kick.

8:09

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Jordi Gomez from the right by-line, save by Wojciech Szczesny.

5:53

Jordi Gomez has an effort at goal from close in which goes wide left of the goal. Corner taken by Victor Moses.

1:35

Victor Moses takes a shot. Save by Wojciech Szczesny.

0:00

The referee starts the match.

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