Relegation threatened teams can string status saving runs together at the end of the season.Part of the reason can be down to a side facing an unbalanced schedule over the last couple of months of the season compared to their rivals.You'd rather have a raft of mid table drifters than a host of Champions League aspirants.So that makes Wigan's recent run all the more noteworthy.Their last five games have been against Liverpool,Arsenal,ManUtd,Cheslea and Stoke,(there's always one outlier) and their record of four wins and one moral victory has now made them a longshot to face the drop.The upcoming games against Fulham,Newcastle,Blackburn and Wolves will go someway towards levelling out the challenged they've faced so far and provide enough points to beat the drop again.
The game graph and match itself raise some interesting points.
Wigan's points expectancy when they took the lead at 1-0 in the seventh minute was almost identical to Arsenal's when they went 2-0 down in the eighth minute.
Once Arsenal pulled a goal back in the 21st minute Wigan remained underdogs until just before the 40th minute.
Pre game estimates of how many goals will be scored are much better indicators than any in game scoring spree.Extrapolating the scoring rate from the first 20 minutes would have seen around 14 goals being scored in total.Extrapolating the pre game expected scoring rate to the last 70 minutes would have seen five goals scored in total.For more on this see here
As 2-0 leads go,this was potentially one of the least secure.Not only were the trailing team a top four side and their opponents hovering around the drop zone,but Wigan had managed to leave Arsenal over 80 minutes on the clock.The Latics were about an even money shot to hold on for the win and a 3/1 shot to have to settle for a draw directly after their second goal,but they became only slightly better than a coin toss to take anything from the match after Vermaelen's header.For more on 2-0's see here and here
The contest also demonstrated how a team can dominate possession and lose.