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Arsenal maintain European hopes with victory that relegates Wigan

updated 6:47 PM EDT, Tue May 14, 2013
Aaron Ramsey dances his way past dejected Wigan defenders as he seals their fate with Arsenal's fourth goal of the night.
Aaron Ramsey dances his way past dejected Wigan defenders as he seals their fate with Arsenal's fourth goal of the night.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Arsenal maintain Champions League bid with victory that relegates Wigan
  • Wigan become first club to win FA Cup and be relegated in same season
  • Managerless Manchester City begin life without Roberto Mancini with a win

(CNN) -- Arsenal ended Wigan's eight-year stay in the Premier League with a ruthless 4-1 victory at the Emirates to keep their Champions League dreams alive and relegate the FA Cup winners.

The result had numerous repercussions but Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger will concentrate on the fact that his side can secure a 16th successive season of Champions League football by taking three points at Newcastle on Sunday.

Read: Wigan Athletic keep FA Cup romance alive

Goals from Lukas Podolski (2), Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey moved the Gunners up to fourth in the Premier League with 70 points, crucially one more than North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur with one game of the season left.

"We've got another big game on Sunday and we'll give it all again," Frenchman Wenger, whose side trailed Spurs by eight points in February, told Sky Sports.

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"It is sad (Wigan) go down because they play good football with intelligent players."

The defeat that sent Wigan back to the second tier Championship came just three days after Roberto Martinez's side won the FA Cup, stunning Manchester City with a 1-0 victory at Wembley.

In the long history of English football, Wigan become the first side to be relegated in the same season as winning the FA Cup, a tournament that was first contested in 1871.

Nonetheless, the Wembley win means Wigan garnered more silverware during their eight years in the Premier League than rivals Arsenal, whose last trophy came when winning the FA Cup at the end of the 2004-2005 season.

"I never expected this to happen," said Martinez, whose side briefly rallied when Shaun Maloney made it 1-1 on the stroke of half-time.

"The group of players we have at the club are an incredible bunch, and we didn't deserve this. I am glad they showed what they were capable of -- winning the FA Cup was an incredible achievement -- but this is a tough day for the club."

Despite the disappointment, Martinez -- who has been heavily linked with taking the vacant Everton job in recent days -- preferred to focus on the positives of his side's top flight adventure.

"We had an incredible eight years in the Premier League and we need to build for the future," the Spaniard added.

"It's great to win the FA Cup. It's an achievement that will live forever. The relegation is something we can rectify.

"The club is on a fantastic financial footing. We are stronger than ever. It's important we make our fans really proud. They supported us like they always do.

"It's a difficult time. It's a time to look forward to the future."

As the Latics joined Queens Park Rangers and Reading, who lost 2-0 at home to Manchester City on Tuesday, in the Championship, fans of Sunderland and Aston Villa all breathed a huge sigh of relief as their Premier League survival was ensured.

During their spell in the Premier League, Wigan often flirted with relegation -- twice surviving on the final day -- but the 2012-2013 season proved a step too far.

One of the Wembley heroes, goalkeeper Joel Robles, was in tears at the final whistle.

Read: Manchester City sack Mancini

Reading were another team departing the Premier League and they ended their home campaign with their 21st defeat of the season, as visiting City fans thanked Roberto Mancini for his tenure at the club.

The Italian was dismissed on Monday despite delivering Manchester City's first major trophies in over three decades, with assistant coach Brian Kidd taking charge of the team at short notice.

Goals in each half from Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko saw City finish the season in second place, with the victory ensuring that Wednesday's Europa League finalists Chelsea could no longer catch them.

With Chilean Manuel Pellegrini strongly tipped to take charge of City, the club's supporters unfurled banners and sang songs in praise of Mancini -- who delivered the 2011 FA Cup and 2012 Premier League title during his spell in charge.

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