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Arsenal In CL Play-offs

Laurent Koscielny’s second half goal saw Arsenal beat Newcastle 1-0 in A Barclays Premiership match at St. James Park on Sunday and sent the Gunners into Champions League qualifying  for next season.

The three points saw Arsenal finish fourth on the league table, a point clear of fifth placed Tottenham Hotspur while Newcastle finished a highly disappointing season in 16th place.

It was certainly an entertaining game with numerous chances on goal for both sides, but their finishing lacked something to be desired and hence we only saw one goal in the match.

Newcastle had the first chance on goal in the seventh minute as Yanga-Mbiwa got away from Per Mertesacker on the left flank and pulled the ball back for Papiss Cisse, but he fired his effort just over the bar.

Five minutes later and Arsenal created their first chance as Koscielny was on the end of a corner-kick, but his header went narrowly wide.

In the 28th minute Arsenal suffered a bit of setback as Mikel Arteta had to leave the field injured and was replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The next chance on goal came in the 3th minute as Newcastle’s Yohan Cabaye let fly with a 25-yard thunderbolt, but Wojcieh Szczesny was on hand to make a fine save as the half ended all-square.

The start of the second 45 saw Arsenal dominating proceedings and they made their pressure tell seven minutes after the restart as Koscielny scored the only goal of the game with a clinical volley from close range after a header from a corner dropped into his vicinity.

The match fell into a bit of a lull thereafter until the dying seconds of the game when Arsenal were unlucky not to double their lead after Theo Walcott struck the post.

The game ended 1-1 and Arsenal will have to qualify to take part in next season’s Champions League.

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