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12 March 2012
• Emirates Stadium, London
Referee: H. Webb
• Attendance: 60095
R. van Persie 15'
T. Vermaelen 90'+
H. Ben Arfa 14'
FULL TIME! Thomas Vermaelen's injury-time winner looks to have ended Newcastle's hopes of getting into the Champions League but all but cemented Arsenal's claims of a top four finish.
90' + 7'
Yellow Card Tim Krul
90' + 7'
Yellow Card Robin van Persie
90' + 4'
Goal Thomas Vermaelen
Goal for Arsenal! Late drama as Thomas Vermaelen steals in at the back post and gets on the end of a flick-on to score what looks like the winner.
90' + 4'
Assist Aaron Ramsey
90' + 3'
We're into the third minute of five minutes added on and Newcastle are doing everything to keep the ball in Arsenal's half.
90' + 1'
These is turning into a siege from Arsenal. Theo Walcott shoots and Coloccini blocks clear. Corner cleared by Demba Ba.
Tim Krul produces a brilliant tip over from Vermaelen's header from Alex Song's cross.
Demba Ba does well on his lonesome up front and wins a corner but it comes to nothing.
Yellow Card Jonas Gutierrez
The ball is in the back of the net but Howard Webb had already stopped play to book Gutierrez.
Danny Simpson clears off the line again! He knows where that goal line is, that's for sure!
Gervinho misses a golden opportunity for Arsenal to take the lead. Mikel Arteta's free-kick falls kindly at his feet but a last minute bobble causes Gervinho to tap the ball wide.
Danny Simpson and Hatem Ben Arfa get into a mix-up in the corner flag and Gibbs steals the ball, gives it to Robin van Persie who should score but instead his right-footed shot, his weaker foot, curled away from goal.
Yellow Card Laurent Koscielny
Koscielny joins Tiote in the book for a challenge on Demba Ba and the resultant free-kick is headed clear.
Though Szczesny does well to hold onto the ball when surrounded by Newcastle players in the box.
Not much going on in the last few minutes. Demba Ba was on the floor for the third time this match and receives treatment again.
Rosicky and Walcott play a superb one-two between themselves as they finally make their pressure pay but Walcott puts too much pace on his return pass and Rosicky puts the ball wide when it looked easier to score. If Walcott had tapped it back to him, Rosicky would have put Arsenal in front.
Newcastle can't seem to hold onto the ball for longer than two passes as Arsenal stifle out their pressure and continue to attack themselves. Van Persie's cross goes into Krul's hands.
Yellow Card Cheikh Tiote
Tiote gets himself into the book for a challenge on Rosicky.
Oxlade-Chamberlain again shoots from range and again his shot goes wide.
That man van Persie involved again. Rosicky plays a ball behind Newcastle's defence and the Dutchman opts to shoot from a hard angle and Krul does well to get a hand to it.
Mikel Arteta's shot was well blocked by Cheik Tiote before the ball was played back into the box. Van Persie got in front of Mike Williamson but volleyed straight at Krul.
Arsenal have another chance to take the lead but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's shot from outside the box is comfortably left by Krul.
Theo Walcott crossed in a delightful ball which Tomas Rosicky headed towards goal. Tim Krul produced a brilliant stop to keep the two sides level.
Gabriel Obertan produced Newcastle's first chance in the second-half but his pass back to Ben Arfa was behind him. Demba Ba looked to be in a better position and looked disgusted at his colleague.
HALF TIME! Howard Webb brings an entertaining first-half to a close. Hatem Ben Arfa and Robin van Persie scored within a minute of each other. All square and plenty to play for in the second-half.
Arsenal's turn for a corner, and after Howard Webb pulls Dutchmen Tim Krul and Robin van Persie to one side before Danny Simpson - for the umpteenth time this season - clears off the line.
After a well-worked free-kick, Gutierrez finally got a shot away but Koscielny blocks for a corner. The resultant corner is headed clear.
Koscielny goes down after a high challenge from Demba Ba, referee Howard Webb let play continue in Newcastle's favour but Ba stopped play himself out of courtesy.
Ben Arfa is starting to make a nuisance of himself and wins a throw-in out on the left. The ball drops to Yohan Cabaye but his long-range effort sails wide.
Davide Santon plays Demba Ba in with a slide-rule pass and shoots straight at Szczesny but he was in an offside position and a goal, if he had scored, wouldn't have counted.
As soon as I say that, there's a bit of a lull in the game as Arsenal start to take control with short simple passes as they wait for an opportunity to whip a cross into the box, which they do via Sagna but his cross is headed out by Coloccini.
Both sides are taking the match to each other. This time it's the Magpies' turn to attack from a throw but the Gunners stifle out the move.
Arsenal win a free-kick on the edge of the box. That man van Persie stands over it. But hits it straight into a relieved Tim Krul's hands.
Van Persie nearly put Arsenal in front minutes after equalising but blazed over from outside the box.
Assist Theo Walcott
Goal Robin van Persie
Goal for Arsenal! No sooner had Newcastle finished celebrating their goal had Theo Walcott burst past Santon before cutting the ball back to Robin van Persie who turned Mike Williamson before blasting home from close range.
Assist Gabriel Obertan
Goal Hatem Ben Arfa
Goal for Newcastle. Hatem Ben Arfa ran down the right-hand side before shooting from range on his left foot, which squeezed past Szczesny.
Newcastle left-back Davide Santon looks to have his work cut out against the pace of Theo Walcott but did well in their latest battle, out-running the winger and clearing the danger.
Szczesny had the ball in his hands again after his opposite number's free-kick went straight through to him. However, his clearance went straight to Ben Arfa who sprinted through into the box but his pass was tame and Arsenal cleared.
Fabricio Coloccini tried a long ball over the top of Arsenal's defence but was hit with too much venom allowing Wojciech Szczesny to get in before Demba Ba.
Robin van Persie is in the thick of the action again, pressurising Mike Williamson to almost make a costly mistake as he tried to usher the ball back to goalkeeper Tim Krul.
Newcastle with most of the possession in the early stages but a good run by Theo Walcott opens up a chance for Robin van Persie but he couldn't extend his leg out in time.
And we're away in the game.
Arsenal start Mikel Arteta ahead of Gervinho and Hatem Ben Arfa gets the nod ahead of Papiss Demba Cisse for Newcastle.
Newcastle starting XI: Krul; Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini (c), Santon; Obertan, Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez; Ben Arfa; Ba. Subs: Elliot, Perch, Guthrie, Gosling, Vuckic, Shola Ameobi, Cisse.
Arsenal starting XI: Szczesny; Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Song, Arteta, Rosicky; Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Van Persie. Subs: Fabianski, Djourou, Santos, Ramsey, Benayoun, Gervinho, Chamakh.
Hi everybody. Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE! play-by-play commentary of Arsenal - Newcastle in the Premier League. I'm Michael Lightfoot. Team news very shortly.
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