- LATIN AMERICA
- MIDDLE EAST
- United Kingdom
- United States
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- iHaveNet.com: Soccer
Lukas Podolski scored two goals as Arsenal sent FA Cup winners Wigan to relegation with an emphatic 4-1 win at Emirates Stadium.
Aside from Podolski, Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey also scored for Arsenal, which joined the top four after earning three points from the victory.
Arsenal is two points behind third place Chelsea and leads fifth-running Tottenham Hotspur by one.
Shaun Maloney scored the lone goal for Wigan, which defeated Manchester City at Wembley to win the FA Cup three days earlier.
Arsenal took the early lead when Podolski recovered the ball in the six-yard box and nodded it past Joel Robles in the 11th minute.
Wigan had an earlier chance to tie the game when Arouna Kone reached the Arsenal box but was met by defender Laurent Koscielny and goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Arsenal almost made it 2-0 after 38 minutes but Koscielny stabbed the ball wide.
Just before halftime, referee Mike Dean awarded a free-kick after Mikel Arteta tumbled over Maloney five yards outside the box. Maloney then made the penalty kick to tie the game at the break.
In the 63rd minute, Santi Cazorla made a perfect cross into the penalty area that was clipped home by Walcott for a 2-1 lead.
Cazorla also played a key role in Podolski's second goal as his pass was easily headed the by German forward past the goalkeeper. Ramsey then made it 4-1 after smashing the ball past Robles in the 71st minute.
Meanwhile, Manchester City defeated Reading, 2-0, a day after manager Roberto Mancini was fired.
Sergio Aguero struck in the 40th minute while Edin Dzeko added a late goal in the 88th minute to add three points to Manchester City's tally.