Arsenal 2 – Newcastle 1

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What a game. What an amazing game.

This match was so important in many ways:

1. Tottenham had just lost to Everton over the weekend and a win meant being 1 point behind for 3rd place and automatic UEFA Champions League qualification.
2. Chelsea had won over the weekend, and kept the pressure on the 4th spot.

As with any other games recently, it started off bad, with Hatem Ben Arfa scoring first for Newcastle United. He came down the right wing, cut in, and fired a powerful shot into Szczesny’s near post. Literally a minute later, Walcott delivers a cross into Van Persie, who shakes off Williamson and coolly slots it past Tim Kruel.

Arsenal were dominant throughout most of the game, and had plenty of chances that they should have buried. Van Persie had a chance to score 2 minutes in. Gervhino in particular missed a great chance late, and Rosicky had an opportunity, although the delivery came to his wrong foot.

The winner came in the 4th minute of 5 added minutes in injury time from Thomas Vermaelen, who ran all the way up the pitch and followed through on a loose ball following a Walcott cross. It sent the crowd roaring, and gave Arsenal all three points.

By coming back from another game and scoring another injury time winner, Arsenal became the first Premier League team to come back and win 4 times in a row. This record goes back to the 2-1 injury time win at Sunderland in February, when club legend Thierry Henry scored the winning goal; the 5-2 win against Spurs; the 2-1 comeback against Liverpool; and of course, this win against Newcastle. This is not counting the near miracle the team almost completed against AC Milan in the Champions League, when they nearly came back from a 4-0 deficit from the first leg.

What can you say about the character and spirit of this team? The players may not be the most talented or gifted compared to the recent Arsenal teams, but what they lack in talent, they make up for in spirit, determination, and experience. It looked as if the game was going to end in a tie, and for the team to fight on until the end and grab a late winner, it sent joy and adrenalin through my body.

A couple of weeks ago, Arsenal were 10 points point behind Tottenham and had lost two awful games against Sunderland and AC Milan. Now, they are only a point back, and made up the goal difference from their nightmare start to the season. Finish strong, COYG.

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