FA Cup winners Wigan dumped out of Premier League
WIGAN Athletic became the first team to be relegated from England's top flight in the same season as winning the FA Cup after they lost 4-1 at Arsenal in the Premier League tonight.
he victory keeps Arsenal in pole position to claim fourth spot and a place in next year's Champions League. They lead north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, in fifth spot, by one point with the last round of games to be played on Sunday.
Wigan have narrowly escaped relegation several times in recent seasons but their luck ran out at a rain-sodden Emirates Stadium just three days after they had beaten Manchester City 1-0 at Wembley to win the FA Cup for the first time.
Arsenal dominated the first 20 minutes and took the lead in the 11th when Lukas Podolski headed home from six metres after the Wigan defence failed to deal with a corner.
The visitors came back into the game and referee Mike Dean penalised a tackle by midfielder Mikel Arteta on Wigan's Shaun Maloney just outside the Arsenal area shortly before halftime.
Maloney's free kick arced over the Arsenal wall and just inside Wojciech Szczesny's left-hand post after which Dean was booed off the pitch by the home fans at the break.
The second half was a full-blooded, equally matched contest until Arsenal's England forward Theo Walcott met a cross from the right by Santi Cazorla to steer the ball into the Wigan net at full stretch in the 63rd minute.
Five minutes later, the lead stretched to two goals after Cazorla broke forward, the Wigan backline stopped and Podolski lifted the ball over Wigan goakeeper Joel Robles.
Arsenal went 4-1 up when Aaron Ramsey broke free on the left and ran unchecked into the area before blasting the ball home.
Manager Roberto Martinez blamed inconsistency from his injury-ravaged defence for Wigan's relegation after it was confirmed by defeat at Arsenal tonight.
Martinez told Sky Sports 1: "We have conceded far too many goals. Going forward we have been magnificent, I think it's been our best season in terms of performances, but the injuries in the back line are something I have never seen before.
"To have four, five, even six players missing in the back line and our keeper affected with injury - our captain Antolin Alcaraz, Ivan Ramis out for the season, Ben Watson with a broken leg, (Jean) Beausejour, (Maynor) Figueroa...
"We have to have so many different partnerships and keep changing, and that caused us problems."