Arsenal seal top-four finish

Arsenal secured fourth spot in the Premier League with a 1-0 win over Newcastle United at St James' Park.

Last Updated: 19/05/13 at 22:49 Post Comment

Laurent Koscielny: On target for Arsenal

Laurent Koscielny: On target for Arsenal

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

After a goalless first half, which mirrored what was happening at White Hart Lane between Tottenham and Sunderland, it took Arsenal less than ten minutes into the second half to claim the winner which guaranteed their top-four finish ahead of their arch-rivals.

Newcastle failed to deal with a Theo Walcott free-kick, and it fell for Laurent Koscielny just six yards out and he volleyed home with great aplomb.

That goal was enough to mean that the result in north London was meaningless, although Tottenham did do their part as Gareth Bale fired home to win it for them but Arsenal did their job to claim a top-four finish by just one point.

Arsene Wenger's side were clearly a bit nervy from the start, more concerned with not conceding rather than scoring, although the first opening came for Walcott when he fired over six minutes in.

But with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley willing to share out £1million between the club's non-football staff if they won, the home side did have something to play for, and Papiss Cisse came close to converting a cross from Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, who was playing as a makeshift left-back, but it flew just over.

Arsenal's gamble of playing Mikel Arteta did not work as he was forced off on the half-hour with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain coming on, and they took time to adapt to the change.

Newcastle did have glimpses of goal with Yohan Cabaye testing Wojciech Szczesny before Hatem Ben Arfa blazed over the bar when he should have done better after finding room in the box.

One of the highlights of the first half was just before the break on 37 minutes when Newcastle's home fans gave a minute's applause to their number 37 - the retiring Steve Harper.

But he almost had a moment to forget just 30 seconds into the second half. His poor clearance presented Walcott with a good chance, but the veteran shot-stopper saved well and Steven Taylor got back to clear.

On 52 minutes a Walcott free-kick was not dealt with and it dropped to Koscielny off Yanga-Mbiwa and the Arsenal centre-half volleyed past Harper from close range to send the travelling fans into raptures.

To their credit Newcastle did not just cave in and they pushed on looking for an equaliser but Koscielny and Per Mertesacker stood firm at the heart of Arsenal's defence. Both were on hand to put a block on Yoan Gouffran inside the six-yard box, whilst Ben Arfa fired one just wide from long range.

The late goal at Tottenham made for a nerve-jangling finish, although it was Arsenal who should have doubled their lead as Walcott broke clear in the final minute, and he beat Harper but his shot cannoned back off the post.

But, despite their efforts Newcastle could not find a way through as Arsenal claimed the win which means the Magpies finish a lowly 16th, whilst the Gunners take their place at Europe's top table once again as their qualification for next season's Champions League was confirmed.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Monday, 24 November 2014
20:00
A Villa 1-1 So'ton Report
Sunday, 23 November 2014
16:00
Hull City 1-2 Tottenham Report
13:30
C Palace 3-1 Liverpool Report
Saturday, 22 November 2014
17:30
Arsenal 1-2 Man Utd Report
15:00
Chelsea 2-0 W Brom Report
Everton 2-1 West Ham Report
Leicester 0-0 S'land Report
Man City 2-1 Swansea Report
Newcastle 1-0 QPR Report
Stoke 1-2 Burnley Report

Footer 365

Champions League: Arsenal beat Borussia Dortmund to qualify for last 16

Arsenal beat Borussia Dortmund 2-0 at the Emirates to qualify for the knockout phase of the Champions League.

Champions League: Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid both victorious, Monaco win at Leverkusen

Real Madrid won 1-0 at Basel to stay perfect in the Champions League, while Atletico and Monaco also claimed victories.

Champions League: Liverpool share points with 2-2 draw at Ludogorets in Group B

Liverpool drew 2-2 away to Ludogorets to keep their Champions League dream alive with one game left in Group B.

Mail Box

Mails: Quit Massaging Mourinho's Ego

That's the message from the afternoon mailbox after it was claimed that the Chelsea boss has transformed Cesc Fabregas into a complete player. Plus, more on Arsenal...

F365: Saving You From Bad Relationships

A cracking Mailbox, with thoughts on Chelsea, Willian, Jurgen Klopp, Brendan Rodgers and Aguero. Plus how Football365 saved one man from an unhappy relationship...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property