WIGAN, April 18 – Wigan shattered Arsenal's Premier League title challenge with a breathtaking burst of three goals in the last 10 minutes to win 3-2 at the DW Stadium on Sunday.Goals from Theo Walcott and Mikael Silvestre seemed to have put the Gunners on course for a comfortable victory, but Wigan had other ideas as Ben Watson got one back in the 80th minute.
Arsenal were unable to hold on as a terrible mistake by goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, who dropped a corner onto Titus Bramble’s head, gifted Wigan their last minute equaliser.
There was still time for Charles N’Zogbia to curl home a superb winner in stoppage time as Arsene Wenger’s team went into meltdown.
The defeat means Arsenal are now six points behind leaders Chelsea with just three games to go and the north Londoners can kiss goodbye to their title hopes.
Wigan move seven points clear of the relegation zone after pulling off their remarkable turnaround.
Arsenal were without goalkeeper Manuel Almunia, who has a wrist injury, and the nerves Fabianski displayed from the start seemed to affect the entire Arsenal backline.
A Watson corner beat every single player in the crammed six-yard box as one glorious chance went begging.
At the other end, Nicklas Bendtner forced Chris Kirkland into one fine low save, while Walcott also did his best to open the scoring but could not quite break the deadlock.
Walcott made the most of a brilliant ball from Bendtner to give the Gunners the lead in the 41st minute.
Bendtner threaded the ball through to Walcott on the edge of the box and he shimmied through the Wigan defence and slotted past Kirkland.
Walcott then almost doubled the lead immediately as he again ran at the Wigan defence but his right footed effort cleared the crossbar with Kirkland well beaten.
Straight after the interval, Samir Nasri appeared to pull Watson down in the box but Wigan’s frantic appeals for a penalty went unheard by referee Lee Mason.
To compound the home side’s anger, Nasri then played a huge part in Arsenal’s second goal as Wenger’s side doubled their advantage in the 48th minute.
He delivered a fine corner from the right and Silvestre was given too much time by Wigan’s defence and the French defender leapt highest to glance a header into the bottom right hand corner.
Wigan refused to be intimidated by the scoreline and kept on pressing to try and get back into the encounter.
N’Zogbia had the best opportunity to give Wigan a lifeline after he linked up wonderfully with Watson to carve a hole in the Arsenal defence but, although he was unmarked straight in front of the goal, his poor effort was comfortably saved by Fabianski.
With 10 minutes to go, Wigan did halve the deficit as Watson finished off a wonderful move to give Wigan a chance of snatching a point.
N’Zogbia charged forward and found Victor Moses unmarked on the right wing who then pulled the ball back for Watson to slam home from 12 yards out.
The game then took a crucial and crazy turn as Fabianski dropped an N’Zogbia corner inside his six-yard box which allowed Bramble to nod home the equaliser.
Arsenal were too shell shocked to react and in the first minute of injury time, N’Zogbia tried his luck from 25 yards and beat Fabianski to send most of the DW Stadium into a frenzy.