4 Things We Learned From Arsenal’s Final Day Triumph Over Newcastle
Arsenal beat Newcastle 1-0 at St James Park on Sunday to secure fourth place ahead of Tottenham. Here, Gunner333 looks at 4 things we learned from their victory
Arsenal beat Newcastle 1-0 at St James Park on Sunday to secure fourth place ahead of rivals Tottenham. Here, Gunner333 looks at 4 things we learned from their victory over the Geordies.
Arsenal travelled to St. James’ Park knowing that victory would guarantee a top four finish for the sixteenth successive season. Rivals Tottenham were at home to Sunderland and needed to better the Gunners’ result to sneak into a Champions League spot themselves. There could also have been a play-off for Wenger’s side against Chelsea if the blues drew and Arsenal won the game, conceded and scored 2 more than the west London side.
The first 45 minutes was fairly lifeless considering the Gunners were involved in a final day showdown. The Magpies limited the visitors chances and created some opportunities of their own at the other end, Cabaye and Cisse each having efforts on goal.
In the second half, there was an increase in tempo with Arsenal hunting down what would be a vital winner. A powerful strike from Theo Walcott forced an excellent save from Steve Harper before the deadlock was finally broken when Laurent Koscielny volleyed home Walcott’s free-kick and scored what seemed to be the most important goal of the season for the visitors.
Few chances for both teams after that and a late Tottenham goal put pressure back on the Gunners and there was worry within the crowd. Victory looked assured late on when Walcott dribbled through the defence but he hit the post ensuring it was a nervy final few minutes.
Full time came and a great final day for Arsenal who finished fourth behind third place Chelsea and despite awesome performances from Gareth Bale throughout the season, Spurs only finished fifth. Newcastle ended the season in sixteenth in what’s been a less than impressive campaign for Alan Pardew’s men.
I will now highlight the positives and negatives of Arsenal’s last game of the season.
1. More clinical in front of goal
Starting with one of the few bad points is our inability to convert the majority of chances we get. Throughout the season we have played some great football but have been unable to be ruthless in front of goal at times. Sunday was no exception with just a third of our shots finding the target. Theo’s miss in the final few minutes didn’t turn out to that important, but on another day it my have been. We need a clinical finisher in the team. A Sumner signing could solve this…
2. Impressive defence
Another clean sheet highlights how much the defence has improved over the last few months. Szczesny has been better between the sticks recently and our back-four has limited the opposition to only a few chances and we haven’t conceded a goal from open play in 11 games. That’s hugely impressive and the lads deserve a lot of credit. Let’s hope this continues into next season.
3. Theo continues to shine
The energetic forward Walcott shone once again for us, firing a shot against the post after earlier testing the Newcastle keeper with a good effort. His bursts of pace, clever runs and important goals have played an vital part in our fourth place triumph. Strikes against QPR, Man Utd and Wigan have all proved to be important moments in recent weeks and he seems to have recovered from his mid season dip in form that just so happened to coincide with him signing his new contract.
4. End to an impressive run
It is difficult for a Gooner to describe how important this final day win was for their team , with no trophies being won this season, a Champions League finish was a must. After our defeat to Spurs in early March it left the club wondering where its future lay. We went on to win back to back games and finished the season on an unbeaten 11-game run. The pressure was on but we came through and prevailed. All credit to the team, the staff, the manager and most importantly of all the fans. Well done Arsenal!!
What did you think of Arsenal’s display in the win over Newcastle? Feel free to comment below!
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