Monday, 28 April 2014

Arsenal 3 - Newcastle 0: Tottenham Hotspur, it's happened again!

Arsenal continued their charge towards a place in the Champions League next season with a comfortable win over Newcastle United.

Mesut Ozil scored one and created one for Olivier Giroud after Laurent Koscielny opened the scoring at the Emirates this evening.

The win places the Gunners four points clear of Everton with two league games remaining this season.

Arsene Wenger made one change from the squad which beat Hull City last weekend. Thomas Vermaelen replacing Alex Oxlade-chamberlain, who had a slight groin strain, on the substitutes bench.

The Gunners had the better of the opening exchanges but neither goalkeeper was tested.

Arsenal's best chance was created by Mesut Ozil's run in behind the Newcastle defence, but his cross in towards Aaron Ramsey was cut out by Fabricio Coloccini.

A counter attack led by Ramsey saw the Welshman escape with Olivier Giroud, by the midfielder's pass was intercepted.

The Welshman was at the heart of the Gunners next attack as he freed Sagna with a pass on the right. His cross was cut out and a corner was given. Cazorla's corner was cut out but Arteta was first to the ball and headed back to his compatriot.

Cazorla's second cross was high and the Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul had to come for the ball and punched it clear under pressure from Laurent Koscielny. The ball flew to the edge of the box where Ozil smashed a volley back in but the shot was wide.

The first booking in the game came in the 23rd minute as Giroud was blocked by Moussa Sissoko. From the resulting  free kick from Cazorla floated the ball into the box, Koscielny got his toe on the end of the ball and found the back of the net.

The Frenchman was booked in the aftermath of the goal for kicking the ball away.

Moments later Arsenal had a fantastic oppportunity to add to their lead. Podolski was set free on the left and the German got his shot away but Krul got his left thigh on the ball and deflected the ball wide.

After a few corners in quick succession, Podolski was presented with his second great opportunity of the evening. His header was saved by Krul on the line.

At the other end Szczesny had to be composed to save a Tiote strike from outside the box.  Moments later Ramsey went into the referee's notebook for a late challenge on the Newcastle midfielder.

The Gunners added their second in fortunate fashion. Giroud made a curved run behind the Newcastle defence after being played on by Debuchy. The Frenchman charged towards goal and shot. His attempt was saved by Krul but the ball came back to Giroud who's second attempt was also saved. The stiker shot at goal for a third time and Krul again saved it but the ball fell to Ozil who was at the back post to tap the ball home.

Cazorla might have added a third in the time added on at the end of the first half. Ozil slipped in the Spaniard and he skipped past Coloccini and got a right foot shot away but it was pushed wide by Krul for a corner.

Before the corner was taken, Tiote was booked for an earlier foul on Ramsey.

Wenger's men had the best of the opening half. Cazorla had a shot which went high and wide from a corner, Ozil got away from several Newcastle players and pulled a cross back but Giroud hadn't continuted his run to the front post and Koscielny had a volley from a corner.

The Gunners were playing all the game in the Newcastle half.

The one chance they did create was a ball slipped behind the Gunners defence for Reme to run on to. He got the right side of Koscielny who was unable to make a challenge and the striker got a shot away but it was straight at Szczesny's feet.

Cazorla played in Ramsey who crossed for Giroud but the Frenchman was offside.

Giroud finally got his goal, his 21st of the season in the 65th minute. Ramsey created space for Ozil on the left and played in the German. The Gunners record signing crossed the ball into the six yard box and the Frenchman was there to head the ball home.

Arsenal could have added a fourth three minutes later. Ozil running free on the left crossed the ball back for Podolski whose shot was just wide.

Alan Pardew made his first chage of the night, taking off Dan Gosling and replacing him with Shola Ameobi with 21 minutes to go.

Four minutes later Wenger made a double substitution. Ozil and Ramsey replaced by Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini.

Sagna was booked with 17 minutes remaining after showing disent after a free kick was awarded against him.

The Gunners continued probing with Rosicky and Cazorla probing.

With six minutes remaining, Wenger made his final substitution with Yaya Sanogo replacing Giroud. Newcastle also made their second change with Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa replacing Mathieu Debuchy.

Nacho Monreal forced a saved from Krul with three minutes remaining. The Spaniard was set free on the left and his cross come shot was saved by the Dutchman's left leg.

The referee added three minutes of added time, but the game was won and Gooners celebrated St Totteringham's Day 2014.

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