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West Ham United
December 29, 2012
• Emirates Stadium, London
Referee: C. Foy
• Attendance: 60087
T. Walcott 20', 73', 90'+
A. Oxlade-Chamberlain 51'
L. Podolski 64'
O. Giroud 85', 87'
D. Ba 44', 69'
S. Marveaux 59'
What. A. Game. The second highest scoring match in Premier League history and the match ball belongs to Theo Walcott. The England striker has for so long signalled his intent to play down the middle, he did today and he filled his boots! Newcastle, meanwhile, scored three at Old Trafford, scored three at the Emirates and yet come away without a single point. It will be no consolation to them, but they have served up a pair of festive crackers!
FULL-TIME: Arsenal 7-3 Newcastle
90' + 5'
OFF THE POST! Giroud is denied his hat-trick right at the death as his finish from close range rattles the cross bar!
90' + 2'
90' + 2'
GOAL! Hat-trick hero! Theo Walcott rounds off the scoring, for now, with a delightful little chip over Tim Krul. Newcastle had stopped playing because of what they thought was an infringement, Walcott simply carried on and capped off a great performance with a third goal.
90' + 1'
Yellow CardDavide Santon
Frustration boiling over for Newcastle as Santon takes Giroud out from behind as the striker dispossesses him.
GOAL! Six of the best! Two in as many minutes for Giroud! Walcott runs at the Magpies' defence and loses the ball, only for it to roll into the path of his strike partner, who took one touch to set himself before thumping his shot past Krul.
GOAL! Olivier Giroud comes off the bench to secure the three points for Arsenal. Walcott's cross is out of the top drawer, it invites the big Frenchman to launch himself at the ball and he connects emphatically with a diving header past Krul.
Close! Walcott is a yard away from completing his hat-trick and what a fine goal it would have been. The England striker side-stepped one defender before attempting to bend one round Krul into the far post. It might be very, very premature, but the Henry resemblance is uncanny.
Into the final ten minutes and Newcastle have regained the iniative, everytime they've done that this afternoon, they have gone on to bag an equaliser. Aaron Ramsey replaces Lukas Podolski as Wenger attempts to secure the result late on.
Cisse is played into the box by Marveaux but the striker fails to control the pass and is eventually penalised for handball as Koscielny plays it off him.
Chance to catch out breath as five minutes goes by without a goal! Arsenal seem to have come to the realisation that they can't throw this one away, again. Their play is much more assured since gaining the advantage for the fourth time.
Great effort! Bigirimana almost catches Arsenal out with an early strike from the edge of the area, but Szczesny reacts well and does even better to keep a hold of the midfielder's shot.
GOAL! Would you believe it, it's FOUR for Arsenal! Gibbs gets to the byline well and cuts back towards the penalty spot, Podolski misses with his swing at goal but Walcott takes his time, takes a touch, and smashes it in to the roof of the net. How much money on another equaliser!?
Great chance for Arsenal as Wilshere and Walcott square up two-on-two against Perch and Coloccini but the two Arsenal players are on different wavelengths and Newcastle defend the danger.
GOAL! ANOTHER EQUALISER! Demba Ba gets his second of the game after some outstanding play from Marveaux. The French midfielder burst through midfield before playing a delightful cross into the box with the outside of his boot for Ba to turn into the net at the far post. The Emirates stunned into silence!
Koscielny glances Cazorla's corner at goal but doesn't quite get the connection he needs to direct it it into the far post. Decent chance for the Frenchman.
GOAL! Jack Wilshere does ever so well to delay is cross until the very last moment, at which point he produced a delightful chip into the area which Coloccini could only head onto the bar and into the path of Podolski, who gratefully nodded home from right underneath the cross bar to restore the Gunners' advantage.
More decisive goalkeeping from Krul. Podolski plays a give-and-go with Cazorla but Krul comes rushing off his line to deny the German the chance to finish the move.
Great save from Krul to deny Cazorla! The little Spaniard took a touch past Perch before wrapping his left foot around a low shot just inside the area which brought the best out of Newcastle's Dutch shot-stopper from.
GOAL! Newcastle are back on level terms, again! Marveaux bags his first goal of the season with the easiest of tap-ins. All the credit must go to Obertan though, his wing play was superb before he slid the ball across the six yard box for his compatriot to score.
Great chance wasted! It's three on two for Arsenal as Walcott bears down on goal with Cazorla and Oxlade-Chamberlain in support. The striker, though, opts to go alone and wastefully fires his shot well wide of Krul's near post. Unusual decision making from the 23-year-old that.
In stark contrast to the first half, Arsenal are closing the ball down deep inside the visitor's half. A sign of the Gunners' intention not to rest on their laurels in this second period.
That goal has woken up the Arsenal crowd who were very quiet for large periods of the first half. Wenger will hope his side can kick on from here, and not allow the visitors to gain the impetus like they did in the first 45 minutes.
GOAL! Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain bags his first league goal of the season! Cazorla plays a square pass along the edge of Newcastle's area for the arriving Oxlade-Chamberlain, who takes a touch before firing his right-footed shot low across goal and past Krul. Superbly taken from the 20-year-old.
Bigirimana stands up a ball inside the Arsenal box with plenty of Newcastle bodies up, but Szczesny does well to rise up high and catch commandingly under pressure.
Chance! Podolski plays it out wide to the overlapping Gibbs, who sprints on to the pass before firing one at Krul's near post which the keeper is equal to. Podolski, meanwhile, stands on the penalty spot asking his team-mate why he never saw a return pass.
Arsenal take the kick-off and we are underway for the second period.
It's all square at the break after Theo Walcott gave Arsenal the lead with a well taken finish, doing no harm to his claim to be a central striker. Newcastle, though, have been spirited since going behind and Pardew will be delighted with the equaliser, albeit a deflected goal for Demba Ba, off of Jack Wilshere.
HALF-TIME: Arsenal 1-1 Newcastle
Great save! Marveaux has the Arsenal defence backing off him, so he checks on to his left foot and has a pop at goal which stings the palms of Szczesny. The Frenchman takes successive corners for the visitors but the Gunners survive the danger.
Newcastle earn a free kick in a very dangerous position after Sagna lunges in on Obertan about 20 yards from goal.
Chance! Walcott is released into open pitch once again by a peach of a pass from Arteta, but he elects to square the ball to Cazorla as Arsenal break forward in numbers, and unfortunately, his pass is criminally under hit.
Fine effort! Tiote is afforded some space at the edge of the box and takes on an ambitious strike which forces Szczesny to tip the effort over the bar.
Goal.com's Greg Stobart reports from the Emirates: "It’s very quiet at the Emirates now, so much so that Alan Pardew can be heard from the press box screaming orders at his Newcastle players. He seems very concerned by Walcott’s pace in behind the visitors’ back four, with Arsenal’s goalscorer injecting some spark and energy into a one-paced game."
CHANCE! Podolski does really well to win possession before feeding in Theo Walcott. The England striker skips past one challenge but, running away from goal, he can't steer his left-footed finish past the out-rushing Krul.
Obertan and Santon combine for the first time down Newcastle's left-side but the left-back takes a heavy touch under pressure from Sagna and lets the ball run over the byline.
Newcastle are slowly edging their way back into the contest. Tiote crosses from a deep possession and is very close to picking out Demba Ba at the back post. Good idea from the Ivorian, unlucky with the execution.
Koscielny tries to put Walcott through with a dinked ball over the Magpies' defence but Tim Krul is alert to the danger and rushes off his line to scupper the chance.
Plenty of touches for Arsenal's back four as Newcastle sit with all ten men behind the ball when the Gunners are on the ball. Arsenal won't mind that, though, having already bagged an early goal.
Arsenal win a corner after a neat period of possession. The set-piece is swung in by Cazorla and Tim Krul almost hands the Gunners' their second goal when he lets the ball slip from his grasp, but luckily he manages to clutch it at the second time of asking.
Marveaux and Tiote do well in midfield to get out of a tricky situation but the Ivorian has no options going forward once he crosses the halfway line, much to his anger.
Almost an instant reply from Newcastle as Demba Ba swivels on the edge of the area before firing at Szczesny. But the Senegal international's shot is tame and right at the Polish shot-stopper.
GOAL! Theo Walcott further cements his claim to be a central striker with a fine finish slotted into the bottom corner with his right-foot, a la Theirry Henry. Arsenal's all-time leading goalscorer is watching on from the stands and will have enjoyed that finish from the young pretender.
Oxlade-Chamberlain leaves Santon for dead on the right-side but his low cross is cut out at the near post by Perch, with Walcott primed in the box waiting to strike.
Demba Ba gets up highest to meet Marveaux's cross and heads it across goal, only clearing the far post by a yard or two. Best sight of goal for the visitors so far.
Good opportunity for Newcastle on the attack. Marveaux dallied on the ball for what seemed like forever before sliding in Simpson on the overlap, his cross is deflected out for a corner.
Bigirimana is unlucky to not earn a free kick on the edge of the area, but moments later the visitors are awarded a a decision with Podolski fouling Simpson. Marveaux is on hand to deliver but his cross is easily caught by Szczesny.
Newcastle earn a free kick on the halfway line and Coloccini hoofs it into the mixer. The Magpies will need to make the most of set-piece situations like that, especially with Arsenal's beanpole of a defender, Mertesacker, out with illness.
It's all Arsenal at the moment, but all their passing and probing is in front of the Newcastle defence, very little penetration as of yet from the hosts.
Nervy moment for Perch as he fails to control Tiote's pass and almost allows Theo Walcott a clear run on goal. Thankfully for Pardew's side, the makeshift centre-back is alert to Walcott's presence and prods it back to his keeper.
A great period of possession from Arsenal ends with Keiran Gibbs needlessly giving the ball away in the final third. Newcastle, already fatigued from their recent excursions, will have a lot of running to do today.
Arsenal continue their bright start, again down the right-side but this time through Cazorla. He links up intuitively with Sagna before floating in a cross into the box, but it's easily gathered by Tim Krul.
Early chance for Arsenal! Newcastle are on the attack and then in a flash Jack Wilshere sparks a counterattack. The England international drives through midfield before finding Oxlade-Chamberlain on his left, the winger turns one way, then the other, before firing with with a low right-footed shot.
Newcastle take the kick-off and we are underway at the Emirates!
The heavy rain in London is lifted slightly as the players are emerging from the tunnel. We should have a cracking game on our hands!
The Gunners are aiming to string together four straight league wins for the first time this season. Their Boxing Day postponement has left them with some catching up to do in the race for the Champions League. Three points tonight will continue the Arsenal's growing momentum.
Alan Pardew has made two alterations to his side that lost in thrilling circumstances at Manchester United on Boxing Day, with Cheikh Tiote returning to the midfield. The Ivorian comes in for Mike Williamson, with James Perch dropping into the centre of defence alongside Fabricio Coloccini. Vurnon Anita is replaced by Gabriel Obertan in the Magpies' only other change, prompting a slight change in formation from that which lined up at Old Trafford.
Contrasting fortunes for both sides as Arsene Wenger has the luxury of a fully fit squad to choose from while Alan Pardew's squad is down to it's bare bones. Laurent Koscielny is the only change for the hosts, Per Mertesacker drops to the bench.
TEAM NEWS: Newcastle starting XI: Krul; Simpson, Perch, Coloccini, Santon; Bigirimana, Tiote; Cisse, Marveaux, Obertan; Ba. Subs: Harper, Ferguson, Tavernier, Streete, Abeid, Sammy Ameobi, Shola Ameobi.
TEAM NEWS: Arsenal starting XI: Szczesny; Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Arteta, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Cazorla, Podolski, Walcott. Subs: Mannone, Djourou, Ramsey, Coquelin, Rosicky, Gervinho, Giroud.
Good evening ladies and gents! Welcome to Goal.com's play-by-play coverage of Arsenal v Newcastle from the Emirates Stadium LIVE! I'm Husmukh Kerai and I'll be guiding you through all the action from north London.
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