Arsenal are now poised to secure 4th position in the league which will mean a Champions League place for next season after a stroll in the park victory over Newcastle United. Following a low-key start, the Gunners went ahead when Laurent Koscielny prodded home Santi Cazorla’s free-kick. Mesut Ozil tapped in to double their lead before half-time. After the break, the German crossed for Olivier Giroud to head in the third and seal Newcastle’s sixth consecutive Premier League defeat. Arsenal are on the rise having responded to their defeat by Everton on 6 April by winning their next three games to climb four points ahead of the Toffees with two games remaining. The Gunners, who have spent more days on top of the table this season than any other side, offered a tantalising glimpse of what might have been had Ozil and Aaron Ramsey not been injured for such a crucial phase of the season.
The home crowd were just starting to voice their frustration at the Gunners’ lack of cutting edge when they took the lead from a set piece. Cazorla’s ball from deep was floated into a dangerous area over the Magpies’ back line and Koscielny shrugged off Moussa Sissoko to meet it on the bounce and poke past Tim Krul. The second goal arrived three minutes before the break when Giroud sprung the Newcastle offside trap to race on to a Mikel Arteta pass. Twice, his shots were blocked by Krul, but the loose ball rolled across goal to present Ozil – who may have been marginally offside – with a simple finish. The outstanding Ramsey played Ozil into space on the left and his cross was expertly headed home by Giroud at the near post. Lukas Podolski went close again when his side-footed shot fizzed past the upright before, at the other end, Paul Dummett’s effort flew horribly wide to sum up a miserable night for the Magpies.
With this win Arsenal have 73 points after 36 games played and can finish with 79 points in total if they win their last two games and it looks like 4th place is the highest we can finish. After the final 2 games we have the Cup final against Hull to look forward to.