Arsenal 4 Wigan 1: My players don’t deserve relegation – Martínez
Arsenal 4 Wigan 1: Roberto Martínez insists his Latics players don't deserve to be relegated after Tuesday's loss sealed their fate
Roberto Martínez admitted he never expected Wigan Athletic to be relegated after defeat at Arsenal sealed their demotion to the Championship.
Lukas Podolski opened the scoring with a close-range header in the 11th minute before Shaun Maloney netted on the stroke of half-time to give the Latics hope of a comeback.
Theo Walcott restored Arsenal’s lead in the 62nd minute before Podolski added a second with a deft lob – and Aaron Ramsey completed the rout to move the Gunners back into fourth.
Wigan were 1-0 winners in the FA Cup final on Saturday but Martínez described Tuesday night’s loss and subsequent relegation as a “tough” experience for the Latics.
“I never expected this. I know we were in a difficult position, but the players are an incredible bunch and they don’t deserve this,” he told BBC Sport.
“It’s a tough day for the football club. We had an incredible eight years in the Premier League and we need to build for the future.
“You look at the stats and they tell you we conceded far too many goals. Going forward we were magnificent but the number of injuries we’ve had in the back line is something I’ve never seen before.
“You keep making chances at the back and you suffer. We gave points away and that’s why we are where we are.”