Capital One Cup

January 24, 2006

Full-time

Arsenal

2 - 1

Wigan Athletic

Capital One Cup

19:45 +00:00, January 24, 2006

Highbury, England

Referee: P Dowd

2nd Leg: 2 - 2 (Agg)
Wigan win on away goals rule

  • 120'

    FULL-TIME: Wigan steal the away goal that sends them through to their first-ever cup final. Arsenal are stunned.

  • 120'

    So, as things stand, it is Wigan going through on the away goal rule. Stunning. Football, eh? A funny old game.

  • 119'

    GOAL! Pollitt won't be on the losing side; Roberts stabs past Almunia from close range after muscling his way between two defenders to get on the end of a bouncing ball over the top.

  • 118'

    Pollitt doesn't deserve to be on the losing side tonight; he has had a 'worldy.'

  • 117'

    SAVE! Bergkamp stumbles as he approaches Pollitt after being put in by Van Persie, and the goalkeeper makes another good save.

  • 116'

    OOH! Roberts flashes a header just wide of the far post after getting on the end of a good cross from the left by Baines.

  • 115'

    Wigan know that they only need a single goal to snatch the tie from under Arsenal's nose, but they just can't get hold of the ball at the moment.

  • 114'

    WOEFUL! Van Persie attempts to fire a low shot inside the far post from the edge of the area. He succeeds in dragging a bobbling effort 15 yards wide.

  • 114'

    DISGRACEFUL DIVE! Reyes throws himself to the ground inside the penalty area under absolutely no pressure whatsoever. I hate that. It's cheating. And my mum told me that cheats never prosper.

  • 113'

    Arsenal are content to knock the ball about in midfield to try and see out this match.

  • 112'

    The free-kick is swung to the near post, where Van Persie shows good defensive awareness to track Roberts' run and block his goal-bound effort.

  • 111'

    Chimbonda is booked for something he said to the referee.

  • 110'

    Reyes gives away a needless free-kick on the right-edge of the penalty area. A chance for Wigan to load the box and snatch a winning equaliser.

  • 109'

    It has taken a piece of brilliance to separate these two ties. However, a Wigan goal would send them through - it's that finely balanced. I, quite literally, am on the edge of my seat.

  • 108'

    GOAL! Van Persie wonderfully curls the free-kick in to the top corner; Pollitt was well-beaten. Great goal by the young Dutch magician.

  • 108'

    Kavanagh brings down Reyes on the left corner of the Wigan penalty area. Van Persie stands over the ball...

  • 108'

    It is the Wigan fans who are making the most noise at the moment, with this inspired chant: "Who needs Mourinho? We've got Paul Jewell-io..."

  • 107'

    Pires sends a deep free-kick in to the penalty area, towards Senderos; the ball falls to Bergkamp, but his flicked right-foot effort bounces lamely wide of the far post.

  • 106'

    Arsenal kick off the final period of this tie. Can either side muster a goal? I doubt it. But I'm prepared to eat my hat should I be proved wrong.

  • 105'

    HALF-TIME, EXTRA-TIME: Both sides look tired. And cold. There seems little prospect of a goal, so we're looking likely to see every fan's favourite finale - a penalty shoot-out.

  • 104'

    Bergamp 'pounces' on a mis-control by Scharner, but he can't direct his pass in to the path of Van Persie, who had made a good run to his right.

  • 103'

    SAVE! Pollitt continues his remarkable game by saving another one-on-one, this time with Bergkamp, who had sauntered on to a through-ball inside the area.

  • 102'

    Baines rather theatrically throws himself to the ground under a Pires 'challenge'. Gilbert is booked for his protest.

  • 101'

    It has been a very quiet first period; almost nothing of any note whatsoever has happened.

  • 100'

    The referee is having a very poor night; he has bottled every major decision, and is irritating everyone by stopping play far too regularly.

  • 99'

    The crowd have gone very quiet; I really hope they havn't gone to sleep; falling in to a slumber at this temperature would be extremely dangerous.

  • 98'

    Wigan win two successive corners, but Arsenal deal with the threat as Van Persie clears at the near post.

  • 97'

    WHAT A CHALLENGE: Roberts out-muscles Senderos and gets through on goal, but Campbell makes a superb last-ditch sliding tackle to put the ball out for a corner.

  • 96'

    Chimbonda gets to the by-line down the right, but his cut-back is easily intercepted at the near post. Arsenal break, but Wigan get back in numbers.

  • 95'

    There doesn't seem to be a great deal of ambition or urgency on the part of either side at the moment; perhaps both have settled for the lottery of penalties.

  • 94'

    Bergkamp is starting to look very tired; the veteran rarely plays 90 minutes these days, never mind 120.

  • 93'

    Wigan, of course, only got in to this semi-final by virtue of a penalty shoot-out against Doncaster.

  • 92'

    Wigan still look very keen for the fight and are harrying the Arsenal back four when they are in possession.

  • 91'

    The temperature has dropped considerably out on the pitch; it's very cold out there now.

  • 90'

    Wigan kick off the first period of extra-time.

  • 90'

    Paul Jewell is furious at the referee, and has been on the pitch to voice his frustrations.

  • 92'

    FULL-TIME: We're in for half-an-hour of extra time as Henry's goal brings the tie level.

  • 91'

    Reyes and Baines are involved in a tussle. The Arsenal man swings his hand at the back of Baines head and is shown the yellow card.

  • 90'

    There will be two minutes of added time.

  • 89'

    Henchoz's back-pass is a little on the short side and puts Pollitt under pressure, but the goalkeeper remains composed to side-foot clear.

  • 88'

    Wigan mount a bit of late pressure, but Arsenal hold on and hoof the ball clear.

  • 87'

    Bergkamp sinks to his knees after failing to take down a long ball over the top of the Wigan defence; it's not often his control lets him down.

  • 86'

    MISS! Reyes's corner lands at the feet of Campbell, but the defender lashes at his shot and blasts high over the bar from just eight yards out.

  • 85'

    Clever skills from Van Persie as he evades a couple of tackles with well-disguised feigns. Corner.

  • 84'

    Campbell is again all over Roberts as they challenged for a high ball. Free-kick to the visitors.

  • 83'

    WIDE! Bergkamp stabs a shot wide of the near post after he had found some space inside the penalty area. Arsenal are turning up the heat.

  • 83'

    GREAT INTERCEPTION: Scharner makes a crucial, sliding interception to cut out Reyes' low cross as Van Persie waiting behind.

  • 82'

    Van Persie and Reyes somehow combine to blow a two-on-one break at the Wigan goal.

  • 81'

    DEFLECTION: Ziegler blasts in a shot from the free-kick, but his effort deflects off the top of the Arsenal wall and goes for a corner.

  • 80'

    Campbell blocks off Roberts' run towards goal. Free-kick, 30 yards out, dead-centre of goal. A real shooting chance...

  • 79'

    ARSENAL SUB: Henry off, Van Persie on. No sign of an injury for the Arsenal captain, so Wenger must be protecting him for the Premiership.

  • 78'

    WIDE! Teale does very well to get to the by-line and pick out Jason Roberts, but the striker's first-time shot flies inches wide of the far post.

  • 77'

    ALMOST! Bullard just can't manage to get on the end of Chimbonda's cute pass in to the penalty area.

  • 77'

    Bullard sends the corner in to the middle, but Gilberto heads clear.

  • 76'

    Roberts again runs at Campbell and wins his side a corner.

  • 75'

    SHOT! Bullard attempts an ambitious shot from the free-kick, but blasts the ball well over the crossbar.

  • 74'

    Roberts' determination and strength wins his side a free-kick, 40 yards out. It's in a central position, so it is going to be difficult to get a good cross in to the box...

  • 73'

    SHOT! Bergkamp lays a well-weighted pass in to the run of Pires, but his ambitious shot from the corner of the box is blocked and Wigan clear.

  • 72'

    Wigan are scrapping for everything in midfield, trying to close down the Arsenal playmakers and deny them the chance to create chances for Henry.

  • 71'

    WIDE! Henry curls the free-kick in to the middle, but Senderos manages to head wide from six yards out. Great chance.

  • 70'

    Henry is brought down as he tried to run along the by-line following a quick corner with Reyes. He wants a penalty, but the referee deems the offence took place outside the box and awards a free-kick.

  • 69'

    Chimbonda breaks in to the penalty area and is brought down by Almunia. The ball runs out of play, but Chimbonda is definitely brought down by the keeper. Again, NO PENALTY.

  • 69'

    ARSENAL SUB: Pires replaces Hleb. Wenger brings on his French playmaker to try and inspire his side to a second, crucial goal.

  • 68'

    Kavanagh is cautioned for a late tackle. It is his fifth booking of the season, meaning he will miss next week's Premiership clash against Everton.

  • 67'

    HEADER! Teale sends over a cross to the far post, but Johansson's header is weak and Almunia gets down low to save on his goal-line.

  • 66'

    It would be tough to say that Arsenal didn't deserve a goal, but Wigan can still point to two stone-wall penalties that should have been given in the first half.

  • 65'

    If the scores stay like this, we'll have extra-time. But a single goal either way will mean we have to have a result at the end of 90 minutes.

  • 64'

    GOAL! Gilbert does excellently to break down the right, get to the by-line and chip a cross to an unmarked Henry, who heads in to an empty net.

  • 64'

    WIGAN SUB: Ziegler replaces Mahon. Ziegler is on-loan at the Latics from Arsenal's north London rivals Tottenham, and is booed as he replaces a tired-looking Mahon.

  • 63'

    Wigan win a free-kick on the right wing when Reyes gives a little push in the back to Bullard. A chance to swing in a deep cross and put some pressure on Arsenal.

  • 62'

    One of Arsenal's problems is that they are very narrow, and Wigan are easily able to flood the central areas and not allow the home side any space.

  • 61'

    Can Wigan hold on and make history by reaching their first ever Cup final? I don't know. Stay here, and we'll find out together.

  • 60'

    WIGAN SUB: Mellor is replaced by Johansson. It's a defensive move by Jewell as he opts to shore up his midfield with the introduction of Johansson.

  • 59'

    Wigan launch a counter-attack and win a corner, but Arsenal clear easily at the near post.

  • 58'

    GREAT MOVE! Reyes and Bergkamp exchange some neat passes to get the Dutchman in some space, but again his cut back from the by-line is intercepted.

  • 57'

    Kavanagh robs Henry on the edge of his penalty area, and Wigan take the chance to keep hold of the ball for a moment to give themselves a breather.

  • 56'

    Wigan will need to continue to defend like heroes if they are to make it through tonight; everyone needs to pull together to keep out the waves and waves of Arsenal attacks.

  • 55'

    BLOCK! Henry and Reyes work a short corner, before Henry unleashes a shot destined for the top corner. Mahon bravely gets his head in the way and blocks the effort.

  • 54'

    Hleb shows good feet to beat Teale and slide a clever pass to Bergkamp. The Dutch veteran tries to cut the ball back to Henry, but Teale recovers to clear the danger.

  • 53'

    Henry has had two or three excellent chances to bring the tie level, but Pollitt has read all his finishes and made some outstanding stops to keep his side in it.

  • 52'

    ANOTHER SAVE! Pollitt again makes a full-length, crucial stop as he keeps out Henry's side-footed shot from eight yards. Henchoz completes the clearance with an almighty hoof.

  • 51'

    OFF-SIDE: Hleb is unfortunate to be ruled off-side as he tried to run on to Bergkamp's neat pass. Wigan will end up in all sorts of trouble if they try and play too high a defensive line.

  • 50'

    OVER! Teale does brilliantly down the right side to beat Lauren and send over a perfect cross; Roberts out-jumps Senderos at the near post but plants his header just over the bar.

  • 50'

    Baines is on hand again to rob Henry of the ball on the edge of the area as Arsenal launched another slick passing move.

  • 49'

    Bergkamp gets the better of Henchoz and tries to slide the ball through to Henry, but Scharner intercepts.

  • 48'

    Wigan are still looking threatening when they knock the ball long for Roberts and Mellor to chase, so Arsenal need to stay alert at the back.

  • 48'

    Hleb tries to pass Baines at left back, but the Wigan defender shows good strength to hold off the winger and see the ball behind.

  • 47'

    SAVE! Pollitt makes another good save, this time from Henry, who had attempted to sidefoot a shot inside the far post from a tight angle.

  • 46'

    Arsenal NEED to score in this half to force extra-time at least. They go on the offensive immediately, but Lauren's cross is too long.

  • 45'

    ARSENAL SUB: Diaby off, Flamini on. I didn't see Diaby pick up an injury in the first period, so it must be a tactical change from Wenger.

  • 45'

    The players are back on the pitch, ready for what could be a very exciting 45 minutes.

  • 45'

    HALF-TIME: A good, open half. Arsenal blew the chance to level the tie when Reyes missed a penalty, but Wigan have had two very good shouts of their own turned down. It should be an interesting final 45 minutes.

  • 45'

    SAVE! Roberts muscles his way on to Bullard's through ball. He draws the keeper and tries to lift it over him, but Almunia makes a great save. The best chance of the half.

  • 44'

    Henchoz comes across to block off Reyes as the Arsenal winger cut inside the area- and another penalty claim is turned down by the referee.

  • 43'

    Roberts is just caught off-side as he tries to get on the end of Kavanagh's ball over the top of Senderos.

  • 42'

    Roberts is causing real problems for the Arsenal centre-backs; he is winning everything in the air, though Mellor is just a couple of yards from getting on the end of things at the moment.

  • 40'

    Wigan know that if they can manage to keep a clean sheet, they will be through to their first major cup final - and they are defending very doggedly so far this evening.

  • 39'

    Reyes, back on the pitch after treatment to a heel injury, curls the set-piece in to the middle, but Senderos' header at the back post is easily claimed by Pollitt.

  • 39'

    Henry curls a free-kick in to a crowded penalty area, but Scharner is tight on Campell and is able to nod the ball out for a corner.

  • 38'

    As much as Arsenal are dominating possession, Wigan do look very dangerous on the break when Roberts is allowed to run at Senderos; the young Swiss defender just hasn't got the strength to deal with the Wigan striker.

  • 37'

    Wigan have been denied two very strong penalty claims so far this evening; it's no wonder boss Paul Jewell is livid on the touchline.

  • 36'

    Wigan are denied a second penalty as Roberts is dragged down inside the penalty area by Campbell. The referee isn't haveing a good game - that was a clear foul.

  • 35'

    Wigan look very exposed at the back against Henry's pace; Scharner and Henchoz just haven't got the legs to keep up with him.

  • 34'

    SAVE! Henry breaks forward at fantastic pace down the left channel. He bursts in to the area, stabs his shot goalwards, but Pollitt makes a good low save with his legs.

  • 34'

    EASY! Henry curls the ball goalwards, but Pollitt makes a comfortable save on his goal-line.

  • 34'

    Henry stands over the free-kick, on the left corner of the penalty area...

  • 33'

    Scharner is walking a tightrope here. He scythes down Henry on the edge of the box and earns a talking to by the referee. He seems to be on a last warning.

  • 32'

    Arsenal win another free-kick, and they send forward their big guns in to the area to try and put some pressure on Wigan.

  • 31'

    Scharner scored the only goal in the first leg two weeks ago, playing in an attacking midfield position. Tonight, he's doing a good job in the centre of defence. He's a versatile player.

  • 30'

    Reyes hobbles off as treatment after some lengthy treatment. It seems to be an injury to his heel, and it looks doubtful whether he'll come back on to the pitch.

  • 30'

    Wigan manager Paul Jewell is still furious about the referee's failure to award his side a penalty a few minutes ago.

  • 29'

    Reyes requires treatment after a late tackle by Scharner, who is booked for the tackle.

  • 29'

    Shots in quick succession by Mellor and Bullard are blocked on the edge of the penalty box by Arsenal defenders. Wigan seem to have a shoot-on-sight policy tonight.

  • 28'

    Hleb weaves his way through four challenges, though he is finally stopped on the edge of the penalty area. Great run.

  • 27'

    Arsenal are remaining patient and passing the ball around in front of the Wigan back four with ease.

  • 26'

    WIDE! Mellor fires a shot just the wrong side of the post from the edge of the penalty area. Good effort from the on-loan striker.

  • 25'

    Senderos has his hands all over Roberts inside the Arsenal penalty area, but Referee Dowd turns down their penalty shout. It look quite blatant from here, readers. Wigan have been hard done-by.

  • 24'

    So, Wigan have been handed a lifeline by Reyes' penalty miss, but they face a long 70 minutes if Arsenal keep attacking with this verve and skill.

  • 23'

    SAVE! Pollitt is forced to turn Bergkamp's rising drive over the bar for a corner. It's all Arsenal at the moment.

  • 23'

    Arsenal have now scored only six out of eleven penalties this season - a truly abysmal record.

  • 22'

    SAVE! Reyes playes the ball firmly towards the corner, but Pollitt guesses correctly and makes a good low save.

  • 21'

    PENALTY! Henchoz handles inside the penalty area as Henry attempted to flick the ball to Bergkamp in the middle.

  • 20'

    Scharner makes another crucial interception on the edge of his own penalty area as Gilberto attempted to take Hleb's pass in his stride.

  • 19'

    GOOD HANDLING! Bullard finds some space down the right and fires in a good low cross, but Almunia dives and collects on his six yard box.

  • 18'

    Of course, we have the prospect of extra-time and penalties tonight, should the aggregate scores be level at 90 minutes.

  • 17'

    Arsenal win another corner when the ball is deflected behind after a slick move involving Reyes and Lauren. Wigan defend the set-piece fairly comfortably.

  • 16'

    That really was a brave, committed piece of defending by the veteran Henchoz; he dived in front of Hleb's shot with no thoughts for his own personal safety. What a hero.

  • 15'

    DEFLECTION! Reyes plays another superb ball over the top for Henry. He lays the ball in to the path of Hleb, but Henchoz throws himself at the shot and the ball is deflected over the crossbar.

  • 14'

    CHANCE! Roberts takes advantage of a slip by Senderos. He lays the ball in to the path of Mahon, but his shot from 18 yards is poorly struck and Almunia collects easily.

  • 13'

    Henchoz is blowing quite hard at the moment; he looks knackered already.

  • 12'

    Chimbonda rather loses his barings as he tries to defend Gilbert's hopeful ball in to the middle. Fortunately for the visitors, he recovers his composure moments before Henry can latch on to the loose ball.

  • 11'

    Kavanagh clumsily brings down Reyes on the left wing after the Spaniard had embarrassed him by sticking the ball through his legs.

  • 10'

    The atmosphere inside the ground seems a little subdued; the Arsenal fans really should be getting behind their side - this competition represents their best chance of silverware this season...

  • 9'

    Scharner is showing a good reading of the game in the early stages; two or three times he has intercepted passes meant for Henry from the Arsenal midfield.

  • 8'

    Arsenal are starting to find some form now; Hleb is becoming an influential figure with his direct running at the Wigan defence.

  • 7'

    WIDE! Reyes slides a nice ball through to Henry, but the French legend rather scuffs his left-foot shot and Pollitt allows the ball to run wide of his far post.

  • 6'

    Campbell half-clears Bullard's free-kick, the ball drops to Kavanagh on the edge of the penalty area but his first-time volley flies well wide.

  • 6'

    Wigan win a free-kick in a dangerous spot after a foul by Hleb. Bullard stands over the ball...

  • 5'

    Scharner and Henchoz have their work cut out this evening; Bergkamp and Henry work so well together. The Wigan pair will need to be at their best to keep them out.

  • 4'

    Diaby shows a nice touch as he beats Kavanagh inside he own half to set up an Arsenal attack. Henchoz then slides through Bergkamp to give the home side a free-kick.

  • 3'

    Henry is amazed not to have won the first corner of the night when he collects a great long pass from left to right by Reyes. The linesman rules that the ball came off the Arsenal man's foot last as Henchoz challenged him.

  • 2'

    SHOT! Bullard fires in the first shot of the evening, a low, skidding effort from 25 yards after he had robbed Diaby just outside the penalty area.

  • 2'

    It's been a quiet start to the match; very low-key, as both sides sound each other out.

  • 1'

    It's a big night for Abou Diaby, signed from Auxerre in the transfer window, making his first start for the Gunners this evening in the centre of midfield.

  •  

    Wigan kick off on a cold, dry evening in North London.

  •  

    The players are lined up in the tunnel, waiting for the nod to walk out in to the arena. Yes, I can see them now: Henry, as cool as snow; Bergkamp, granite-faced; Bullard, like a kid at Christmas.

  •  

    My name is Alex, and I'm your eyes and ears for this evening. My job is to tell you exactly what's going on out there on that magnificent green turf.

  •  

    Hello, welcome to Soccernet's coverage of this League Cup second leg tie from Highbury, where Arsenal of London host Wigan Athletic of, well, Wigan.