Martinez heaps praise on Wigan

Bicester Advertiser: Franco Di Santo (second right) celebrates with his team-mates Franco Di Santo (second right) celebrates with his team-mates

Roberto Martinez hailed the new-found belief of his Wigan side after they recorded a superb 2-1 victory at Arsenal to boost their Barclays Premier League survival hopes.

Franco Di Santo fired the visitors ahead after seven minutes, before Jordi Gomez doubled their lead inside 90 seconds. Thomas Vermaelen reduced the deficit with a bullet header on 21 minutes, but the second-half onslaught from the shellshocked Gunners never came as the Latics moved five points clear of the relegation zone.

Martinez, whose side looked doomed at the turn of the year, said: "We can all be very proud of the manner in which we performed. We always had a mental block against top sides, but we got rid of that at Liverpool and have then felt we can compete against anyone."

The Spaniard added: "We were very good against Chelsea and deserved a positive result, but it was not a good day in terms of decisions - but nobody can argue we did not deserve the points against Manchester United and Arsenal. The second half tonight was as good as we have played this season."

It was a deserved fourth win in five games for Wigan, who have now lost just twice in 11 league matches.

Martinez added: "I always said we would click as a team at the beginning of February, and we had been playing really well but could not win games, which left us a bit frustrated with draws.

"But we have been patient and been able to be stubborn with what we wanted to do and get the results. However, we can't really enjoy it because moments like this will mean nothing if we don't get enough points to stay up."

Arsenal had won nine of the last 10 league games and could have tightened their grip on third place with another victory. However, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger slammed his side's defending and also was left frustrated they could not replace Mikel Arteta quickly enough when the midfielder hobbled off with an ankle injury.

Wenger said: "We defended horrendously for the first and second goal. Everybody involved was included for the first and the second goal. On top of that we conceded a second goal with 10 men on the pitch. It took us too much time to change and it was absolutely unbelievable.

"After that we had a mountain to climb. I felt in the first half we had enough chances to come back to 2-2, but the second half we dropped our level, we lost our team play, our cohesion and tried too much individually. There was not enough petrol left in the tank any more. We didn't see anyone who could make a difference."

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