Arteta seals it for Arsenal

Arteta seals it for Arsenal

Arteta seals it for Arsenal

A second-half penalty by Mikel Arteta earned Arsenal a 1-0 victory at Wigan Athletic on Saturday to move the Gunners up to third place in the Premier League.

The Spaniard dispatched his spot-kick past Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi after 60 minutes following Theo Walcott's tumble in the penalty area under a clumsy challenge from Jean Beausejour.

Arsenal's third consecutive Premier League victory moved them above Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea onto 30 points from 18 games although Tottenham can move back above their north London rivals if they were to beat Stoke City later in the day.

Chelsea face Aston Villa on Sunday.

Wigan, third from bottom, had the best chance of a poor first half when Arouna Kone sprinted through on goal but dragged a left-footed shot wide.

Arsenal were more lively after the break and Walcott, who is still to sign a new contract for the club, was denied by Al-Habsi after he was picked out by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Wigan's response was impressive and they forced Arsenal into some desperate defending on a rain-sodden pitch.

Kone had another chance but was denied by Arsenal's Polish ’keeper Wojciech Szczesny and Dave Jones thumped a shot narrowly wide of the upright with Szczesny rooted to the spot.

Arsenal held out, however, to put some pressure on their rivals for a top-four place.

Lazio climb up

Lazio moved up to second place in Serie A after a 1-0 win at Sampdoria on Saturday helped them leapfrog Inter Milan, who could only draw 1-1 at home to Genoa.

Hernanes' goal half an hour into a scrappy match with struggling Samp sent Vladimir Petkovic's team up to 36 points, eight behind champions and league leaders Juventus, who won 3-1 against Cagliari.

Andrea Stramaccioni's Inter dropped to fourth place after Esteban Cambiasso's equaliser five minutes from time cancelled out Ciro Immobile's superb individual goal for second bottom Genoa.

Two Stevan Jovetic goals either side of halftime and a second penalty from Gonzalo Rodriguez were enough for Fiorentina to win 3-0 at troubled Palermo.

Fiorentina moved above Inter into third, on the same points as the Nerazzurri and one behind Lazio. Napoli, who were docked two points for the involvement of their players in a betting and match-fixing scandal from 2010, scored a 2-0 win at Siena.

Christian Maggio netted before Edinson Cavani converted from the spot.