Newcastle vs. Arsenal: Final score 0-1, Magpies never look much like scoring

Stu Forster

While Gareth Bale scored late at White Hart Lane and Newcastle put Arsenal under pressure at the end, the result always looked like a comfortable one for the Gunners, who secured Champions League football.

Despite plenty of late drama at both St. James' Park and White Hart Lane, Arsenal had no problem holding on for a win to secure fourth place in the Premier League. Laurent Koscielny scored the game's only goal on a set piece, securing Champions League football for the Gunners.

Newcatle's best chance came seven minutes into the game. Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa picked out Papiss Cisse in the box, and the striker looked to have an excellent chance on the turn, but blasted his shot over the crossbar. Newcastle never got particularly close to scoring after that.

In the 28th minute, Mikel Arteta was forced out of the game with an injury, and he was replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Jack Wilshere was available on the bench and entered the game in the dying minutes, but Arsene Wenger obviously didn't feel confident in his ability to play 60 minutes with his minor ankle operation pending.

While Arsenal struggled to create good chances from open play, they finally got one on a set piece and scored the game's only goal in the 52nd minute. After Bacary Sagna drew a foul on the right wing, Theo Walcott swung in a dangerous free kick that took a big deflection off a couple of players. It popped up in the air for Koscielny, who hit an impressive volley into the back of the net. Though, Steve Harper could have done quite a bit better -- the ball bounced off his face.

Walcott had a chance to secure victory for his team on a break in stoppage time, as Newcastle were pressing hard for an equalizer, but placed his shot off the post while one-on-one with Harper. Fortunately for the Gunners, Newcastle didn't get close to finding a goal and that miss was ultimately irrelevant as Arsenal held on for a win.

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