Premier League round-up: Arsenal sink Wigan as Fergie bows out in style
From Saturday to Tuesday, the Premier League has seen a major shake-up that many will struggle to forget any time soon. Wigan won the FA Cup and was relegated in the space of four days, Manchester City sacked Roberto Mancini and Sir Alex Ferguson said farewell to Old Trafford in his final home game in charge of Manchester United.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s 26-year reign as Manchester United at Old Trafford came to an end following victory over Swansea. In an emotional send-off, arguably the greatest manager of all time lifted the Premier League trophy in front of a packed Old Trafford.
Goals from Hernandez and Rio Ferdinand ensured a 2-1 victory, with Fergie ending his Old Trafford stint with a win.
It capped off a remarkable season for the Red Devils, who have so far won 28 of their 37 games, with one game remaining of the campaign.
Wigan needed little distraction heading in to Tuesday’s crunch match with Arsenal. However, the Latics pulled off a major upset in the FA Cup final, with a 1-0 victory over Manchester City.
Defeat all but ended the tenure of Roberto Mancini, who was relieved of his duties on Tuesday morning. City was able to overcome Reading 2-0 in a meaningless Premier League tie on Tuesday night, with Brian Kidd overseeing the less than steady ship.
Wigan’s famous victory against City meant that the Lancashire side would be playing in the Europa League next campaign, despite facing the drop to the Championship if they could not overcome Arsenal.
The Gunners, with their own aspirations, were rampant in victory over Wigan – who looked shaky and vulnerable at the back.
Lukas Podolski gave Arsenal an early lead in the game with a well-placed header, but Wigan, often the master of the great escape, equalised on the stroke of half time. Shaun Maloney fired in a superb free kick to give newfound hope to another end of season survival.
A dismal display of defending allowed Arsenal to score three goals in the space of eight minutes, condemning Wigan to Championship football next season. Theo Walcott struck on the 63rd minute after stroking home a fine pass from Spaniard Santiago Cazorla.
A poor piece of judgement from Paul Scharner played Podolski onside, who tucked home his second. Fate was sealed when Aaron Ramsey managed to squeeze the ball home from a tight angle.
In the process of relegation, Wigan Athletic became the first ever side to win the FA Cup and be relegated in the same season.
The Premier League is certainly shaping up to be an entertaining fixture next season with so many new faces and old faces coming and going.
Thomas Bradley, football correspondent
Everton 2 – 0 West Ham
Fulham 1 – 3 Liverpool
Norwich 4 – 0 West Brom
QPR 1 – 2 Newcastle
Sunderland 1 – 1 Southampton
Stoke 1 – 2 Tottenham