By FOX Sports Staff
The Gunners had concerns of their own as even a draw would have put Tottenham firmly in command of their Champions League aspirations and Lukas Podolski's early goal following a corner helped settle the nerves of the watching fans at the Emirates Stadium.
Wigan found their groove, however, and equalised at the stroke of half-time as Shaun Maloney rifled in an accurate free-kick that a fully-stretched Wojciech Szczesny could not keep out of the net.
Emboldened by their fightback in what was their first fixture since their heroic FA Cup final triumph over Manchester City, the Latics pressed higher up the pitch following the restart. Arsene Wenger's men punished the visitors for their overconfidence, though, as they scored three quick goals in a period of eight minutes to condemn Wigan to the Championship for the first time in eight years.
It's a tragic end to a heroic fight as Wigan have thrilled football fans with their brand of attacking football, earning the scalps of many a big team over that period.
Wojciech Szczesny - 8
There wasn't much that Szczesny could do to save Maloney's terrific free-kick but he redeemed himself by making a point-blank save to deny Arouna Kone after the Ivorian managed to sneak into the box and get on the end of a through-ball on the edge of the six-yard box.
Bacary Sagna - 7
The Frenchman didn't falter in his defensive duties but neither did he impress with his crossing and overlapping runs. It was an average game by the right-back's usual standards.
Per Mertesacker - 7
The tall German was an imposing figure in defence but did not really stifle Kone's attacking intent as he should have.
Laurent Koscielny - 7.5
Koscielny was the one defender who was working hard to deny the Latics attack any space and regularly kept a close watch on Kone. He made several good challenges and was not afraid to run to the wings to cover for the marauding Kieran Gibbs.
Kieran Gibbs - 7.5
Gibbs was a thorn in the side of the Wigan defence as he constantly provided support to Santi Cazorla down the left. He also sent in many a cross from there but could not find much accuracy with his deliveries.
Tomas Rosicky (off 78') - 7.5
Started the game well but faded as time wore on and the Czech maestro did not find much success with his many through-ball attempts within the game.
Mikel Arteta (off 91') - 7.5
Earned a yellow card for a needless challenge in the second half but was otherwise an effective defensive midfielder on the night.
Aaron Ramsey - 7.5
Impressed and frustrated in equal measure with his passing but capped his display with a neat finish from a narrow angle down the left for Arsenal's final goal. It could have easily gone wrong, though, and he really should look to pass the ball to unmarked team-mates in similar scenarios in the future.
Santi Cazorla - 8.5
The Spaniard was the star of the night as he notched four assists and generally found much success with his passing and dribbling, proving too tricky a customer for the tired Wigan defenders.
Theo Walcott - 8
The England international deserved his goal as he was quite industrious down the right flank. Proved especially troublesome in something of a free role in the second half as he drifted from one flank to another and dragged the Wigan defence out of position.
Lukas Podolski (off 78') - 8
Luck played a part in his first goal as the ball should not have been allowed to bounce within his range but the German fully deserved his second as he popped up in the right position to nod the ball over the onrushing Robles.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (on 78') - N/A
He was brought in rather late but did not allow Wigan to relax despite the Gunners' three-goal lead at the time as he was constantly attacking down the right flank.
Jack Wilshere (on 78') - N/A
An injury-plagued season has made it difficult for Wilshere to champion Arsenal's cause but it was heartening to see him take to the field and do his best to add to the scoreline in the final few minutes of action.
Thomas Vermaelen (on 91') - N/A
Joel Robles - 5
The Wigan goalkeeper produced a remarkably different performance from the one that hampered City's chances of winning silverware over the weekend. He generally seemed unsure of himself and was hasty in rushing off his line in order to clear the ball with the result that he gifted Podolski and Walcott easy scoring opportunities.
Antonin Alcaraz - 6.5
Alcaraz was the only man within the three-man defence that can walk away with his reputation intact as he kept things simple and cleared the ball away at every opportunity.
Emmerson Boyce - 6
The 33-year-old captain will now have to lift the spirits of his men as they look forward to life in the championship and will need to do a better job than he did on the night.
Paul Scharner - 5
He was largely culpable for a majority of the goals conceded on the night. His reputation as a top defender in the continent, though, could allow him to make a timely exit at the end of the season.
Roger Espinoza - 6
The Honduran was an active participant in attack but did not contribute with quite the same rigour back in defence.
James McCarthy - 6
A couple of well-timed runs notwithstanding, it was not the kind of performances that have seen him linked with moves to other Premier League clubs.
Shaun Maloney (off 85') - 7.5
Maloney was the only Wigan midfielder who seemed capable of unsettling the Arsenal defence and scored a goal via a well-taken set piece.
Jordi Gomez (off 64') - 7
The Spaniard produced a better performance than his display during the FA Cup final but needs to improve on his passing accuracy.
Calum McManaman (off 58') - 7
Impressed in the early stages but his reputation seemed to have preceded him as he was not allowed to make any mazy runs inside the penalty box.
James McArthur - 6
The Scotsman was unable to match up to the technical finesse demonstrated by his Arsenal counterparts and ran around in circles for much of the game.
Arouna Kone - 7
The Ivorian did a good job holding up the line once again but should have really converted the close-range opportunity presented to him towards the start of the second half.
Franco di Santo (on 58') - 6
The ex-Chelsea striker does not have the calibre to play within the Premier League and therefore needs to prove his worth in the lower divisions in order to justify his continued presence within the Wigan setup.
Ben Watson (on 64') - 6
The hero of the FA Cup final could not make the same impact as he rarely found himself in a position to trouble the Arsenal goalkeeper.
Angelo Henriquez (on 85') - N/A