Arsenal secured Champions League football with a 1-0 win against Newcastle at St James’s Park this afternoon.
The Gunners were unchanged from the team which beat Wigan on Tuesday with Mikel Arteta being passed fit and Lukas Podolski continuing up front.
The home side had the best early chance when Per Mertesacker got skinned by Yanga-Mbiwa. The left back pulled a cross back and Papis Cisse sidefooted a shot just over the bar.
That was followed by a Laurent Koscielny glancing header from a corner which drifted wide before the Frenchman showed his defensive skills, stopping a tap-in for Cisse as Newcastle had success down Arsenal’s left hand side.
Pardieu’s men found space behind Sagna and Gibbs and worked hard to deny Arsenal time on the ball, but Arsenal were almost ahead when Fabio Coloccini headed a Theo Walcott free kick just wide of his own post.
The Gunners were then forced into a change when Arteta failed to last the pace, and was replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the 28th minute. Santi Cazorla then had a good chance to test Steve Harper after being set-up by Kieran Gibbs but connected poorly with the shot and saw it fly miles over the bar.
Tomas Rosicky picked up a yellow card for a foul on Ben Arfa before setting up Lukas Podolski but the linesman flagged the German offside as he went through on goal. Ben Arfa then fired a shot not far over after causing Gibbs problems but neither side could find a breakthrough in the first 45 minutes.
Arsenal started the second half brightly when Theo Walcott tested Harper with a good shot from a wide angle, and in the 52nd Sagna minute won a free kick when he was fouled by Cabaye. Walcott curled it in, someone got a head on it, it went back towards goal, Koscielny hooked it towards the net and it bounced in off the face of Harper.
The game turned a bit scrappy then, with Arsenal forced into some last ditch defending, with nobody more impressive than Aaron Ramsey. The Welshman’s effort and diligence from midfield cut out a number of Newcastle attacks.
Lukas Podolski hit the wall with a free kick while Ben Arfa continued to trouble Arsenal with some dangerous shots from distance. Arsenal sat deep, Newcastle attacked, Koscielny defended, it was excruciating.
Theo Walcott hit the post late on as news filtered through from White Hart Lane that Sp*rs had score meaning a Newcastle goal would be so costly. Other stuff happened but I can’t remember it because I was trying not to have a heart attack.
But we won. Apologies for the worst match report of all time, but we finish 4th and Champions League football is our next season.
Oh, and hahahahaha Sp*rs.