Wonderful Wigan stun awful Arsenal

Arsenal 1 Wigan 2

Vermaelen 21; Di Santo 7, Gomez 8

Wigan proved that last week’s win over Manchester United was no one-hit wonder as they punched two holes in Arsenal‘s fragile defence in the space of a minute and deservedly held on to record a crucial win which lifts them five points clear of the relegation zone. Defeat left Arsenal five points clear of both Spurs and Newcastle, but having now played a game more, as they missed a golden opportunity to tighten their stranglehold on the third automatic Champions League spot.

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The week in numbers: w/e 19/2/12

Hoy won two events at the Track World Cup meeting in London (image courtesy of Wikipedia)

4 – Gold medals won by the British cycling team at the Track World Cup event at London’s Olympic velodrome. Sir Chris Hoy won in the individual sprint and keirin, while Joanna Rowsell won the women’s individual pursuit and the women’s team won the team pursuit. Britain also won a silver and two bronze medals.

45 – Balls required by South Africa’s Richard Levi to hit the fastest-ever Twenty20 international century. He finished with an unbeaten 117 from 51 balls, including a record 13 sixes, as South Africa beat New Zealand by eight wickets in Hamilton.

10 – Points deducted from Rangers after the club was put into administration last week owing up to £75m to HM Revenue & Customs. Despite the deduction, they remain six points clear of third-placed Motherwell in the Scottish Premier League.

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Trophyless Arsenal face same old questions, but still have no answers

Sunderland 2 Arsenal 0

Richardson 40, Oxlade-Chamberlain og 78

History has a funny way of repeating itself. Last season, Arsenal were knocked out of the Champions League last-16 by Barcelona, and four days later exited the FA Cup at the hands of Manchester United. This evening, Arsenal were knocked out of the FA Cup by Sunderland just three days after effectively surrendering their place in the Champions League in Wednesday’s 4-0 drubbing by Milan.

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Arsenal beat seven bells out of Blackburn

Arsenal 7 Blackburn 1

van Persie 2, 38, 62, Oxlade-Chamberlain 40, 54, Arteta 51, Henry 90+3; Pedersen 32, Givet sent off 42

It has felt like a very long time since they dealt an opponent an old-fashioned shellacking, but Arsenal bounced back from the disappointment of Wednesday’s goalless draw at Bolton by putting seven past a beleaguered Blackburn. The visitors’ defence looked about as water-tight as a colander as the home side scored at will for an hour, before setting up all-time leading goalscorer Thierry Henry to provide a fairy-tale ending to a win which will lift spirits both in the dressing-room and the stands ahead of a tough and potentially season-defining sequence of games over the next few weeks.

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Arsenal outflanked by United

Arsenal 1 Manchester United 2

van Persie 71; Valencia 45+1, Welbeck 81

Arsenal succumbed to a third consecutive Premier League defeat as familiar defensive weaknesses on the flanks and Danny Welbeck‘s late strike cost them at least a share of the points. The loss left them five points adrift of the top four despite the four teams immediately either side of them – Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle – mustering only a single point between them this weekend.

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