Arsenal make heavy work of their FA Cup semi-final against Wigan
Too often, Arsenal have started lethargically in the games that have mattered most. If ever they were going to develop early momentum, it should have been here, against a side whose league ambitions extend to a place in the Championship play-offs.
Yet despite a couple of early breaks, they soon conceded the initiative. Sanogo’s inclusion confirmed Wenger’s patience has been tested, but his wastefulness ensured the decision backfired. 5/10
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain claimed success in the cup this season could open the door to more silverware but there were few signs Wenger’s side are anywhere close to acquiring the steely-eyed look of winners.
The midfielder was one of only a handful of Arsenal players unaffected by the significance of the occasion, reinforcing the claim made by Santi Cazorla this week that a lack of winning mentality was holding the team back.
Fortunately for Arsenal, Per Mertesacker confirmed his own character with his response to conceding the penalty. 4/10
Three-quarters of Wembley was covered in red but while it was clear Arsenal enjoyed the louder backing, the test was how fragile that Wigan Athletic support would become if they fell behind.
The response to Gomez’s penalty was muted, but the jeers that accompanied the decision to replace Lukas Podolski with Olivier Giroud spoke volumes about the exasperation felt by Gunners supporters at Wenger’s decision-making. 4/10