Latics out of Carling Cup after Emirates defeat
Alcaraz 41 (og)
WIGAN ATHLETIC 0
Report by Paul Chialton
An unlucky night for Latics at the Emirates Stadium going behind to an Antolin Alcaraz own-goal and losing Victor Moses to injury during a prosperous first-half spell.
Roberto Martinez had made five changes to the side that faced West Ham the previous weekend and they started the game looking controlled and, when in possession, moving the ball round with confidence.
James McArthur grew into the game and was hungry from the start, hunting down the ball together with Hendry Thomas and making some strong, important challenges.
Moses had caused a few problems down the left-wing and came close to getting the opener, turning Emmanuel Eboue inside-out before firing against the side-netting.
His hand-injury came on the half-hour mark and introduced Charles N'Zogbia to the tie, but try as they might the away side just couldn't find a way through the Arsenal defence to cause goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny any real problems.
They worked hard at it though, with Mauro Boselli in particularly putting in a real shift up-front, lacking support at times but doing well to unsettle the home defence.
Youngster Callum McManaman was brought on late into the second-half to try and add a bit more bite to the attack and he did well on the left-wing to make some solid challenges and bring the team forward - an experience he'll learn a lot from.
The home side's first goal came agonisingly close to the break, Theo Walcott's corner eluding most in the area and ricocheting unfortunately off Alcaraz past the helpless Ali Al Habsi.
Their second came shortly after the hour-mark when Carlos Vela squared across goal for Nicklas Bendtner to slide home at the back-post, a goal that settled the game.
So despite a good performance and periods of promising play Latics exit the Carling Cup at the Quarter-Final stage but will pick themselves up for this weekend's massive home game against Stoke City.
Latics: Al Habsi; Gohouri, Alcaraz, S. Caldwell, Figueroa; McArthur, Thomas; Stam (McManaman, 79), Watson, Moses (N'Zogbia, 39); Boselli (Gomez, 81)
Subs: Pollitt, Di Santo, Diame, Mustoe
Arsenal: Szczesny: Koscielny, Van Persie (Eastmond, 72), Vela, Walcott, Denilson, Wilshere (Nasri, 72), Djourou, Eboue, Gibbs, Bendtner (Emmanuel-Thomas, 83)
Subs: Shea, Nordtveit, Sagna, Arshavin