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29 December 2012; Arsenal 7 Newcastle 3

On 29 December 2012 Arsenal scored seven in a match for the second time in the season – the previous event was the 7-5 win over Reading.

The win was the last of four wins in a row:

  • 8 December 2012: Arsenal 2 WBA 0
  • 17 December 2012: Reading 2 Arsenal 5
  • 22 December 2012: Wigan 0 Arsenal 1
  • 29 December 2012: Arsenal 7 Newcastle 3

It looked like Arsenal were really on the up.  Here’s how Gf60 saw it at the time…

Arsenal 7 Newcastle 3

Just as I started these thoughts, Sky Sports showed some highlights… Bradford 2 – Rochdale 4?  This, was more than a bit ironic. Rochdale doing what we could not get close to achieving summed up our year almost perfectly.

A first half at the Grove where we played some great football without creating much in the way of chances but handed the bar codes an equalizer, being followed by the amazing frolics of the second half, was in effect a review of “Gooners 2012”.

After Theo’s splendid Thierry type opener following Pod’s hard work and intelligent pass, surely the flood gates were due to open? We were fresh and Newcastle had had a tough time on Boxing Day.

Ha.

As only we can manage it, gaps started appearing round about the 30 minute mark as Mikel, Santi and Kieran seemed to go walk about and the tide turned in terms of possession.

Defensively we didn’t seem over bothered though, thus when the equalizer came it was a bit of a shock. What Chewbacca was thinking of when he gave away the free kick is anyone’s guess…equally when Jack the Lad planted himself (or was he guided there by Ches?) a yard or more behind the wall, marking no-one and to my mind resembling a spare part at a wedding, it was rather comical in retrospect, to see him deflect the ball past Ches. A goal that only Arsenal could create.

Even the most ardent Gooner could not have anticipated the fun and games of the second half. The Ox got us off to a good start with a well taken goal only for Sagna, to once again cock up. Honestly Obertan taking on the normal Chewbacca really is a no brainer. But, possibly Bacary had been wining and dining far too well last week, a surfeit of Burgandy and frogs’ legs maybe? He was skinned and with Kieran somewhere but not where he should have been, an easy tap in equalized for the second time.

Blow me if we didn’t repeat the process after Jack’s great work on the left had given Pod the chance to get our third…arguably as ugly a goal as Mikel’s against QPR, but we led only for Newcastle to equalize yet again. Admittedly it was a lovely pass over the top to Ba, but Kieran was noticeably absent from where he should have been. Possibly he was thinking of the goal he was about to lay on in a few minutes for Theo.

It was no surprise that we took the lead for the fourth time through Theo’s good control of Kieran’s cross (a cross at which Pod had an air shot which dummied several of the barcodes.)  We were all waiting for the inevitable equalizer, but Olly, having come on in place of the Ox, latched on to Theo’s well placed cross and at last we had a two goal cushion.

This was the sign for Newcastle’s collective legs to finally give up the ghost. They were ripped apart shortly after when Olly again found space and left Krul helpless. Then Theo took a short pass in the corner and wriggled through only to have his legs swept away, I think most of us were still shouting for the penalty when the realization came that Theo had picked himself up and “done a Stamford Bridge repeat”. A clever and very well deserved goal that unfortunately no camera seemed to have picked up.

It was a pity that Olly didn’t also pick up a hat-trick, his late shot crashing against the bar. An 8-3 would have been a real treat for Pardew and one for my personal record book. As it is, 7-3 was achieved against a ManCity side with Bert Trautmann in goal back in the 50s.

After the game the table looked like this

    Pld   W D L F A G.D. Pts
1 Manchester United 20   16 1 3 50 28 +22 49
2 Manchester City 20   12 6 2 38 19 +19 42
3 Tottenham Hotspur 20   11 3 6 36 26 +10 36
4 Chelsea 18   10 5 3 37 17 +20 35
5 Arsenal 19   9 6 4 39 21 +18 33
6 Everton 19   8 9 2 32 23 +9 33
7 West Bromwich Albion 20   10 3 7 28 25 +3 33
8 Stoke City 20   6 11 3 21 17 +4 29
9 Swansea City 20   7 7 6 29 24 +5 28
10 Liverpool 19   6 7 6 28 26 +2 25
11 Norwich City 20   6 7 7 23 32 -9 25
12 West Ham United 19   6 5 8 22 23 -1 23
13 Sunderland 20   5 7 8 21 26 -5 22
14 Fulham 20   5 6 9 30 36 -6 21
15 Newcastle United 20   5 5 10 26 37 -11 20
16 Wigan Athletic 20   5 3 12 22 35 -13 18
17 Aston Villa 20   4 6 10 15 39 -24 18
18 Southampton 19   4 5 10 26 37 -11 17
19 Reading 20   2 7 11 22 37 -15 13
20 Queens Park Rangers 19   1 7 11 16 33 -17 10

A fun, if more than a little worrying, way to bid 2012 farewell. To all Gooners, lots of these in 2013.

 

 

 

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