Until the 80th minute, Arsenal was comfortably two goals ahead against Wigan. But in the last 10 minutes, the London team conceded three goals to finally lose 3-2 — a serious setback in their title hopes.
AFP - Arsenal squandered a golden opportunity to get back in the Premier League title race as Wigan scored three times in the last 10 minutes to clinch a remarkable 3-2 win at the DW Stadium on Sunday.
Goals from Theo Walcott and Mikael Silvestre had given Arsene Wenger's side a 2-0 lead by the 48th minute, but Ben Watson reduced the deficit in the 80th minute to spark a stunning meltdown from the Gunners.
A horrific mistake by Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski gifted Wigan an equaliser in the 89th minute as the Pole dropped a corner onto Titus Bramble for the defender to head home.
Then in stoppage time, winger Charles N'Zogbia cut across the edge of the Arsenal penalty area and curled a superb shot past Fabianski to shatter Wenger's men.
The defeat - Arsenal's third in a row - leaves the north London club six points behind leaders Chelsea with only three games to play and effectively ends their title bid.
Wigan's fightback means Roberto Martinez's team are now seven points away from the relegation zone and virtually guaranteed to stay up.
"It is the most disappointing defeat of the season with the way we conceded," Wenger said. "It is difficult to understand and accept, perhaps the players felt too much comfort but in football you must stay focused for 90 minutes and we were punished.
"We made mistakes and they took advantage, they were sharper in the final part of the game."
Elsewhere on Sunday, Aston Villa moved into sixth place after teenage striker Nathan Delfouneso's late goal clinched a 2-1 win over already-relegated Portsmouth.
Martin O'Neill's team fell behind to an early goal from Michael Brown at Fratton Park, but Villa hit back soon after through John Carew, who then saw a penalty saved by David James before half-time.
Carew had no need to rue that miss as Delfouneso came off the bench in the 80th minute and scored just two minutes later with a close-range strike after Emile Heskey headed on James Milner's cross.
Villa are firmly on course for a Europa League place and could even snatch a Champions League spot as they lie six points behind fourth placed Tottenham with four games to play.
Date created : 2010-04-18