Arsenal vs. Wigan Athletic: Halftime score 1-1, Shaun Maloney scores just before the break

Shaun Botterill

Some poor set piece marking gifted Arsenal an opening goal, but Shaun Maloney scored to make it 1-1 just before halftime.

As it stands, Arsenal will head into the final day of the season in fifth place, behind Tottenham Hotspur, while Wigan will need an absolute miracle to avoid relegation. It's 1-1 at halftime, and a draw benefits absolutely no one.

Arsenal dominated from the outset and couple have scored on multiple occasions in the early going. Santi Cazorla had the first great chance of the first half, nodding just inches wide off a cross by Theo Walcott. Four minutes later, Arsenal would find their go-ahead goal on a corner.

The marking from Wigan was atrocious on the goal, with no one finding the ball or the man who eventually scored. Cazorla's corner was allowed to take a big bounce in the penalty area before reaching Podolski, who was waiting unmarked at the back post. He capitalized on the free chance for a tap-in.

Until the 25th minute mark, Arsenal were completely dominant and didn't show any signs of letting Wigan have a sniff of the ball in their half, but things turned around at that point. Wigan didn't look like they were going to threaten the goal before the half, but Shaun Maloney had other ideas.

In the 45th minute, Mikel Arteta took down Maloney just outside the penalty area. Arteta gave away a free kick in the same spot earlier in the half, but Jordi Gomez put his attempt into the wall. Maloney waved him off the second time around, stepped up and placed a perfect shot just over the Arsenal wall and into the lower corner at the near post.

If this match stays tied, it's a bit of a disaster for both sides, so Maloney's strike has set up what will likely be a spectacular second half.

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