Welcome to my Arsenal blog for the 2015/16 season; here you can check out my thoughts on the current goings on at the club.
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Friday, 24 May 2013

Arsenal beat Newcastle to qualify for Champions League

Arsenal have done it. They have qualified for next seasons Champions League. It was Laurent Koscielny who popped up with the goods on 52 minutes, a goal which turned out to be the winning one as the Gunners qualified for the Champions League for the sixteenth successive year. Koscielny's goal was only the icing on the cake of what capped off a brilliant end to the season for the French defender. Tottenham had won at White Hart Lane, but that was irrelevant now that Arsenal had done the job that was needed at St James' Park on Sunday afternoon. Chelsea had also won which meant we had to settle for fourth place in this seasons Barclays Premiership.

Arsenal had made a habit of winning despite not playing very well recently and that is exactly what we witnessed once again. It should have been made more comfortable but it was a moment to savour for the players who celebrated as though they'd just won the league itself. If the players and Arsene celebrate like that at a top four place, god knows what they'd do if we won a trophy. 8 years and counting remember. Will next season be our year at last? Let's hope so.

Back to the match and the Gunners starting XI was unchanged from the side that beat Wigan in the week. Arteta passed a late fitness test but then hobbled off midway through the first half. Meanwhile Giroud was back amongst the subs as he returned from suspension.

Koscielny was the hero as Arsenal beat Newcastle
The first shot on goal came 5 minutes in as Walcott tried his luck from the edge of the area but he could only put the ball over the bar.

It was Newcastle who found their rhythm first though and almost took the lead. Yanga-Mbiwa did well to beat Mertesacker and then pull the ball back to Cisse but his rasping shot flew inches over the bar.

Minutes later Newcastle had another great chance but Koscielny came across to deny what would've been a tap in for Cisse.

With half an hour gone the score was still deadlocked as Santi Cazorla skied a shot following good play from Gibbs down the left hand side.

Hatem Ben Arfa created the next chance for the hosts as he managed to evade two Arsenal players before getting into the box and firing over.

The score at half time was 0-0.

Moments into the second half Arsenal were gifted with a chance to go ahead. Harper kicked the ball straight out to Ramsey who then found Walcott but Harper made up for his error by making a good stop at the far post.

The Gunners did then find the goal they desperately needed. Cabaye brought down Sagna which resulted in a free-kick down the right flank. Walcott's set piece was then flicked towards Koscielny who acrobatically found the back of the net.

The game was now starting to become more open as Oxlade-Chamberlain hit a shot from distance but it was always rising and flew over the bar.

Cazorla was another player to then hit a shot from range but this time it bounced wide.

In the final minute of the game Theo Walcott had a great chance to seal the win. Yanga-Mbiwa dispossesed Giroud but the ball fell to Walcott who raced clear of the defence before hitting the post.

The final score finished Newcastle 0-1 Arsenal.

The teams lineups:

Newcastle: Harper, Debuchy, Taylor, Coloccini, Yanga-Mbiwa(80), Tiote, Cabaye(57), Gutierrez, Ben Arfa, Cisse, Gouffran(65).
Subs: Alnwick, Simpson, Anita(57), Perch, Obertan, Marveaux(65), Campbell(80).

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta(28), Ramsey, Rosicky, Cazorla(89), Walcott, Podolski(77).
Subs: Fabianski, Vermaelen, Monreal, Wilshere(89), Oxlade-Chamberlain(28), Gervinho, Giroud(77).

My man of the match: Laurent Koscielny

Referee: Howard Webb
Attendance: 52,354

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