LONDON // Emmanuel Adebayor re-discovered his goalscoring form to help Arsenal record a crucial win over Wigan and show they can mount a serious challenge for the title. Adebayor's last goal came against Tottenham at the end of October, but he scored the winner early in the first half to avoid another setback at Emirates Stadium. Adebayor struck in the 16th minute after Alex Song held off Titus Bramble in the build-up.
The striker had a golden chance to add his second of the game on the stroke of half-time when his shot was turned on to the post by Chris Kirkland. All eyes were on the Gunners to show if they had the genuine quality to compete for the title this season following their impressive victory over Chelsea last weekend. After beating Manchester United earlier in the season, they suffered a major hiccup in their next league game when they lost at home to Aston Villa and Arsene Wenger was determined the same thing would not happen this time around.
The Arsenal manager was forced to make one change from the team which recorded such an impressive win at Stamford Bridge. The former captain William Gallas was ruled out through injury and was replaced by Kolo Toure. After being outplayed by Arsenal's youngsters in the Carling Cup earlier in the season, the Wigan manager Steve Bruce was praying his team would produce a better display and they almost made a dream start after just eight minutes.
Wilson Palacious fired a shot just inside the box, which produced a fine save from Manuel Almunia diving low to his left hand side. Arsenal suffered an injury blow on 32 minutes when the French midfielder Samir Nasri was forced to leave the field. Wigan came out with more purpose at the start of the second half and had a golden chance to grab an equaliser on 51 minutes. Emile Heskey managed to break away from the Arsenal defence, but despite being unmarked in the box he directed his header straight at Manuel Almunia. The home side were determined to add a second, but were denied by the woodwork once again on 65 minutes when Denilson saw his shot cannon back off the post.