The flowing nature of the game promised to produce plenty of goals as both teams capitalised on the other's poor defensive work and misplaced passes. Wigan should have capitalised early after Fabrianski failed to intercept a ball that flew dangerously across his six yard box. The Pole, called in to replace Almunia who Arsenal claimed has a knee injury, lacked confidence and looked poor.This merely highlighted Wenger's need to buy a reliable 'keeper. Moments later Arsenal were awarded a free kick just beyond the Wigan penalty area. Clichy, who has scored only once, was an unlikely candidate to take the kick and the defender's effort went lifelessly into Kirkland's hands. The visitors had a worthy call for a penalty after a Wigan defender appeared to strike the ball with his hand but referee Lee Mason failed to react and Bendtner should have done better with a strange half volley that Kirkland and a defender jointly scrambled away.
With the game still even Arsenal were lucky not to concede when Diaby headed a corner that Fabianski should have taken with ease but fluffed. It certainly wasn't the Polish goalkeeper's day and it seemed only a matter of time before he would make a costly mistake. However Walcott opened the scoring for Arsenal after latching on to a pass from Bendtner before beating two defenders and slicing a fine shot beneath the hands of the diving Kirkland. It had taken more than 41 minutes to end the deadlock even though Rosicky had a good effort saved in the 34th minute after Arsenal had started to take command. Two minutes after scoring Walcott deserved a second after driving a powerful angled shot beyond the reach of Kirkland but also inches wide of the post from a back-heeled pass by Bendtner.