Mikel Arteta’s penalty made the difference as Arsenal defeated Wigan Athletic 1-0 in the Premier League at the DW Stadium.
The Spaniard’s spot kick was the all Arsene Wenger’s side needed to take all three points, but it was hard fought in the end.
An uninspiring first half saw little goalmouth action but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain forced a smart save from Ali Al-Habsi at the near post just after then minutes.
Wigan should have taken the lead in the first half when Arouna Kone was played in behind the Gunners defence by Franco di Santo, but he scuffed his shot wide of the post with only the goalkeeper to best.
The second half was a different story as Oxlade-Chamberlain seemed to go up a few gears a began to terrorise left-back Jean Beausejour, beating him numerous times and putting in some dangerous crosses.
One pull-back found Theo Walcott off balance on the six-yard line, but the newly established centre-forward could not direct an awkward looking effort past Al-Habsi.
Walcott was key when the deadlock was eventually broken, as his one-two in the box got him between Beausejour and ball, with the Chilean adjudged to have bundled him over.
Mikel Arteta stepped up to take the spot kick after an hour and sent Al-Habsi the wrong way.
Wigan pushed for an equaliser but the Gunners were content with the one-goal margin and were resolute in seeing out the final minutes without giving up any real chances.
Defeat leaves Roberto Martinez’s side in the bottom three, while talks of crisis at Arsenal looked less relevant after a third straight league victory.