THERE were tears of a different kind shed at the Emirates just 72 hours after Wigan Athletic’s FA Cup triumph as they were relegated from the Premier League.
Needing three points to be in with a shout of staying up, Wigan threw everything at the Gunners after a sloppy start which saw Lukas Podolski give the home side an early lead when a corner bounced in front of him two yards out.
They went in at the break at 1-1 after Shaun Maloney’s superb free-kick on the stroke of half time gave them belief once more.
But despite starting the second half well, goals from Theo Walcott, Podolski again and Aaron Ramsey sent Wigan down to the Championship alongside Reading and QPR.
Deflated Wigan boss Roberto Martinez said: “I never expected this to happen. The group of players we’ve got at the club are an incredible bunch. We don’t deserve this.
“It’s a tough, tough day for the football club. It’s been an incredible eight years in the Premier League and as a football club we need to take all the good things and build for the future.”
On the reason Wigan have gone down, Martinez said: “The stats don’t lie. We conceded far too many goals. Going forward we have been magnificent, I think it’s been the best season in terms of performances consistently but the amount of injuries we’ve had in the back line is something I’ve never seen before.
“In football you can moan about aspects but the truth is when you’ve got four or five players in the back line out, plus injuries to your goalkeeper and your captain it’s tough.
“But we’ll build now and come again. We’ll bounce back as we always do - Wigan Athletic style.”