Mikel Arteta’s penalty secured a third consecutive Premier League victory for Arsenal for the first time since March. Arouna Kone wasted Wigan’s best chance when he broke clear in the first half and failed to hit the target. Arteta scored from the spot just before the hour after Jean Beausejour was penalised for a challenge on Theo Walcott, who again played as a striker.
Wigan have lost six of their last eight games and are in the bottom three at Christmas for the third straight year. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger qill take a large measure of satisfaction with the way his team, who were unspectacular but efficient, dealt with a difficult afternoon at the DW Stadium. With festive matches against Newcastle and Southampton to come, Wenger will be confident his team can enter the new year with a tight grip on a top-four spot. Arsenal began well and after Arteta was allowed to carry the ball from halfway, he fed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, whose drive was pushed past the post by Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi.
Walcott dropped wide and swapped passes with Santi Cazorla before going down under Beausejour’s challenge. Arteta waited for Al Habsi to dive as he stroked in his third successful penalty of the season. At this juncture, Arsenal sit 3rd with one more game played than the other top 10 teams but they should remain within the top 4 come January.