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Off-topic: Arsenal 2, Wigan 0


It took Arsenal a half to warm up after the international break, but the team finally started to work its magic against Premiership strugglers Wigan, leaving it to the final 10 minutes to put the ball (two of them, actually) into the net. For those who remember Rosicky's dramatic winner of a header last season against Wigan, Gallas' goal to put Arsenal ahead was reminiscent. Beautiful, beautiful football.

Rosicky followed up a few minutes later with a beautiful shot off a Bendtner pass, but the game was over the minute Arsenal put a goal in. Wigan spent most of the game with 10-11 men behind the ball, rarely putting forward any serious attack. Arsenal had to deal with this all last season, and finally seems to have learned how to win these gritty matches.

The big downside from the match was that Walcott went down on a Heskey challenge and appeared to be seriously injured. Yes, Van Persie is on his way back within the next two weeks, but Arsenal can't afford to have many players injured. (Incidentally, the team won today with Van Persie, Flamini, Hleb, Diaby, and Fabregas on the bench, though Fabregas' rest was due to an intelligently taken yellow card in the last match.)


I was glad to see Diarra play, as he's shown promise in previous matches. He wasn't very threatening on the attack, but did a good job of keeping possession and bottling up the middle of the pitch. Denilson was also good, though between the two there wasn't a lot of creativity. We need Fabregas back.

Still, Bendtner, Walcott, and Eduardo show flashes of brilliance that make me confident that we can continue to win, even without some of the "big" players. That said, Arsenal need to find an answer to the Adebayor problem. Aside from one early shot on target, he was never much of a threat to the Wigan defense. He does better in a wide open game - he lacks something in playing in the confined space that Wigan and others allow. Yes, he played reasonably well against Reading, but out of nine or so matches, that's not enough.

Elsewhere, Nicolas Anelka put Bolton over Manchester United and Manchester City scraped a winner in stoppage time to put Arsenal a clear three points ahead at the top of the table with a game in hand, but with ManCity keeping the pressure on. This is Arsenal's season.