By Walter Broeckx
There was no live match report for the final game of the season against Villa as this time as I was sitting next to my wife in the Clock End for this match. And what an event it turned out to be in the end.
I am usually a very optimistic person. I keep on believing in winning till it is mathematically impossible. Only then I will accept defeat. So going to England and London for 3 days with my match tickets in hand I was still dreaming of St. Totteringhamsday. I admit I never really thought that an already relegated Newcastle would win from them but well …you never know.
I also had hoped to see Rosicky on the bench but we had to settle with Arteta alone. But Santi back in the starting line up was great to see. Still a bit rusty at times but what a control and vision… OOOOhhhh Santi how we have missed you for 5 months. Jack having his first start but to be honest I also felt he was rather rusty most of the time.
Arsenal started the match very much on the front foot. And when Morneal threw a cross in front of goal from the left flank it found Giroud in the middle unmarked and his powerful header beat the Aston Villa goalkeeper. 1-0 to the Arsenal.
Arsenal kept on playing for a second goal but it had to be careful when suddenly a Villa player escaped on the flank and got past Gabriel but his effort was well cleared by Koscielny. A first modest cheer in the Emirates indicated “Newcastle might have scored at St. James Park” as they once thought at the tiny totts ground. This time they did. 1-0 but well… the hope grew but still that feeling they would turn that around. After all they were proclaimed as the second best team in the PL this season by all and everyone.
Meanwhile Arsenal had a couple of good chances to score a second goal but Wilshere (rusty) missed the target after an Alexis cross. Clattenburg trying to make an attempt of being a ref but not allowing Arsenal players ever to come too near to Villa players or he would blow his whistle. And then suddenly another cheer a few minutes before half time. “Newcastle might have scored again…” and they did. 2-0 just before half time. The hope grew… but still that nagging feeling at the back of my head that they would surely turn it around.
No more goals in the Emirates and we should have been up by more than the one goal. But it all went wrong with the final ball. Arsenal virtual in second place after 45 minutes.
Arsenal kept on trying to score that second goal in the second half. But was it the sun or not really believing that the tiny totts would be big for once as in collapsing big so it all was rather slow for a long time with not enough tempo. So the attention was somehow diverted to what was happening at Newcastle. Lamela pulling one back for spurs… Mitrovic getting a red card… OK it really was St. Totteringhamsday it seemed.
But I have to take my hat off for Newcastle. Suddenly a modest shout from the crowd (penalty for Newcastle) and then seconds later a big one when they scored it. 3-1 with some 15 minutes to go but only with 10 players… could they hold on to it?
It was as if the cheers from the crowd lifted the team (oh what a surprise….) and suddenly Arsenal sprang to live to make it a great end of the match and the season. Another fine example on how the crowd can get the team going and lift it. Take that you moaners! Just support the players and shout and urge them on.
Giroud converted his second goal with a hard shot after a low cross from the left from Özil. Lovely pass and finish. 2-1 for the Arsenal. And we hardly sat down when Bellerin played Giroud in and Giroud scored his third goal of the match. 3-1 to the Arsenal and 3-1 to Newcastle with some 10 minutes to go. The first it happened again songs were heard. Campbell and Arteta came on.
Newcastle scored a 4th goal! Newcastle scored a 5th goal! The Emirates erupted certainly when the 4th was scored.
Let us end this with a real high… a goal from Arteta (I will count it as an Arteta goal no matter what others do). Campbell winning the ball back, giving it to Alexis who crossed it to Arteta whose shot was pushed on to the bar and then trickled in from the back of the goalkeeper. 4-0 to the Arsenal in extra time.
What a great end to Arteta his Arsenal career. We sang, and kept on singing about how it happened again and again and again….
After the final whistle Arteta got a standing ovation from the crowd, well deserved as he came to us when we were in trouble and kept us in the top 4 and guided us to two FA cup wins despite being injured a lot. Thank you Mikel.
The players formed a guard of honour for another veteran leaving: Rosicky. The man who scored the first goal for Arsenal when I came to the Emirates for the first time so always a special memory for me.
We sang some more about things happening again and again. A certain team was called shit and that is only the truth and nothing but the truth.
Once I had given her all the background about the “happening again” songs found it all very funny and entertaining. I must say being able to really celebrate St. Totteringhamsday together with her was what I had been dreaming for when I first proposed to go to this match and make it a long weekend in to London and Kent.
It is important to keep on dreaming even when things look out of reach. Not just in football but also in life. I found out dreams can come true if only you keep on believing in it.
Thank you Arsenal for making this a great day (and thank you Newcastle for helping us out!).
Bring on next season! Best finish since going to the Emirates position wise. Lets go for the top next season!
- Arsenal 2015/16: A Faltering Season with a Flattering Finish.
- Danny Murphy as pundit of the year, refs are perfect, Arsenal are useless at every single level.
- How Tottenham always fall apart how Arry is always good for a larf, and how Motd rearranges reality.
– aUntold Arsenal has published five books on Arsenal ll are available as paperback and three are now available on Kindle. The books are
- The Arsenal Yankee by Danny Karbassiyoon with a foreword by Arsene Wenger.
- Arsenal: the long sleep 1953 – 1970; a view from the terrace. By John Sowman with an introduction by Bob Wilson.
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football. By Tony Attwood, Andy Kelly and Mark Andrews.
- Making the Arsenal: a novel by Tony Attwood.
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