Wigan relegated; Arsenal claims 4thLONDON - Wigan is going to be relegated to the League Championship, while Arsenal seemingly is heading back to the Champions League.
Drained after winning the FA Cup for the first time on Saturday, Wigan crashed back to earth with a 4-1 loss at Arsenal on Tuesday to be relegated after eight seasons in the Premier League.
“The FA Cup is an achievement we will never lose as a club. It is our first silverware, but it is a real shame it happens in the same season as relegation,” Wigan manager Roberto Martinez said. “You don’t normally get teams good enough to win the cup going down.”
Meanwhile, Arsenal reclaimed fourth place to sit a point above Tottenham going into the final round of matches on Sunday.
Manchester City, in its first game since Roberto Mancini was fired, swept to a 2-0 victory at already-relegated Reading to secure the second spot after having already conceded its league title to Manchester United.
Mancini’s final match in charge of City was the surprise 1-0 loss to Wigan at Wembley Stadium.
Now, Wigan is going from the highest point in its 81-year history to one of its lowest.
“It’s not one of the things to be too sad about - it’s the opposite,” Martinez said. “It’s time to look back - to have eight seasons at this level is incredible .?.?. it’s time to be proud of what we’ve done in eight seasons and the culmination with the FA Cup.”
Wigan conceded after just 11 minutes, with Lukas Podolski heading home from Santi Cazorla’s corner, but leveled just before halftime from Shaun Maloney’s free kick.
Wigan posed a threat at the start of the second half but was denied by goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny before Arsenal became a more ruthless attacking unit.
Theo Walcott nudged Arsenal in front in the 63rd minute from Cazorla’s cross and Podolski clipped in another five minutes later.
Aaron Ramsey completed Wigan’s misery in the 71st.
Arsenal, having made its worst start to a season since Arsene Wenger took charge in 1996, now looks like heading back into the Champions League going into Sunday’s finale at Newcastle.
“It is all open, but it depends on our result,” Wenger said. “Even third place is not out of sight if we win the game.
“I am confident because we have experience, we play for a long time under massive pressure and we have always found the solutions with the problems that we have faced.” AP