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Last updated: February 12, 2007 1:33 pm
Groundhog Day once again for Arsenal. For the 11th time in 19 games at the Emirates, Arsenal fell behind on Sunday, but yet again they found salvation - albeit controversially - scoring twice in the final 10 minutes to beat a luckless Wigan 2-1, writes Jonathan Wilson.
Late wins have become a habit for Arsenal - they have scored 15 goals in the last 20 minutes of their past 12 games - but these were three points gained in distinctly unsatisfactory manner. The game hinged on an incident 10 minutes from time, as Emile Heskey was tugged down by Mathieu Flamini. The referee Phil Dowd, who had a disappointing afternoon, failed to give the penalty and Arsenal promptly countered and equalised.
That would have been bad enough but in the build-up Dowd was slow to allow Josip Skoko back on after treatment, and then Flamini, of all people, looked marginally offside as he fired in the cross that Fitz Hall turned into his own net. Paul Jewell spoke of feeling "pig sick" and it might have been hoped that Arsenal could have understood that sentiment.
Not Thierry Henry, though. He was fortunate not to have been booked in the first half as he dived in a flagrant attempt to win a penalty, and then taunted Chris Kirkland after Arsenal's equaliser.
That he is one of the most talented players ever to grace English football is not in doubt but there is also an unpleasant petulance to his game, even if Kirkland had been guilty of time-wasting.
Henry subsequently apologised but charmlessness is becoming distressingly universal in the Premiership.
That said, Arsenal's second, three minutes later, was a goal of beauty, a welcome reminder of what football should be about on an afternoon that threatened to be ruined by tetchiness and poor refereeing.
Tomas Rosicky laid the ball wide for Julio Baptista and as he chipped the ball back across the box, Rosicky was there to head his first Premiership goal.
Having taken the lead with Denny Landzaat's 35th-minute drive, Wigan will reflect on the chance Emile Heskey saw tipped against the post by Lehmann in the final minute of the first half.
They could very easily have pulled eight points clear of the relegation zone; as it is, they remain a mere five and picking themselves up from such disappointment will be difficult.
Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger spoke of Arsenal's "character and resilience", but he must know there was also a deal of luck.
* Gary Speed and Kevin Nolan scored a goal each to give Bolton a 2-1 victory over Fulham and keep the Wanderers on course for a place in Europe next season. Zat Knight got one back for Fulham and Bolton needed a fingertip save from goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen in injury team to ensure all three points.
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