Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Wilshere, Cazorla, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud
Subs: Ospina, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey, Elneny, Campbell, Iwobi
Olivier Giroud hit a hat-trick to help Arsenal to a 4-0 win over Aston Villa at the Emirates this afternoon, meaning the Gunners finished second in the lead because Sp*rs got smashed 5-1 by 10 man Newcastle at St James’ Park.
Arsene Wenger handed starts to Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla, with Mikel Arteta on the bench. Sadly, there was no place in the squad for Tomas Rosicky.
The Gunners started brightly, dominating possession, and took the lead in the 5th minute. Monreal crossed from the left after good work by Alexis, and Giroud planted a firm header into the bottom corner. 1-0.
It might have been 1-1 shortly afterwards when Gabriel was beaten all too easily, but Laurent Koscielny was on hand to clear the danger. Westwood had a shot which didn’t trouble Petr Cech, before there were cheers around the ground as it emerged Newcastle had taken the lead against Sp*rs.
It wasn’t a game of great quality, a real end of season feel to it from both sides. Ozil combined well with Giroud and should have shot from the Frenchman’s layoff but, mind on that assist record, tried another pass which didn’t find the target.
Fantastic play from Alexis saw him fizz a shot just wide, before Jack Wilshere should have doubled the lead. Alexis crossed it to the back post, the England man running in but he couldn’t control the bouncing ball with his right foot, putting it wide.
Ozil then found the Chilean with a beautiful dinked pass but he couldn’t connect on the turn, and the half ended with more cheers as Newcastle went 2-0 up against Sp*rs.
There were no change for either side at the break, nor in the quality of the football fare on offer. Arsenal seemed unable to put the game to the sword, leaving things all a bit up in the air. The crowd got right behind the side to urge them on, but the team couldn’t respond.
Sp*rs got one back at Newcastle to make it 2-1 there. Joleon Lescott went off to be replaced by Micah Richards, before Cech made a decent save from Ayew. At St James’ Park Mitrovic got sent off, Elneny came on for Jack Wilshere, and Alexis fired a free kick from a dangerous position harmlessly over the bar.
Elneny wasted a good chance after good work from Alexis and Ozi, before 10 man Newcastle went 3-1 up against Sp*rs with a penalty. Cazorla forced the keeper into a save, and it was all getting a bit nervy, until the lead was extended in the 78th minute.
Mesut Ozil provided the assist, a low cross to the near post, and Giroud swept it home with his left foot to make it 2-0. The players ran to celebrate with Rosicky and Arteta. Moments later it was 3-0, Bellerin providing the pass, Giroud tucking it underneath the keeper for his hat-trick!
Hilarious stuff, as long as Newcastle held on at home. Alexis almost made it four and Newcastle hilariously extended their lead, the 10 men making it 4-1. And then they made it 5-1, hilarious!
Arsenal made changes, taking off Ozil and Cazorla, and putting on Joel Campbell and skipper Mikel Arteta for the final time. The pair entered the pitch to huge applause from a crowd that were now thoroughly enjoying their day out.
“It’s happened again”, they sang. And it had.
In injury time, Arsenal made it 4-0. Ostensibly a Mikel Arteta goal, but the Spaniard’s shot hit the bar, and rebounded back in off the keeper. It’ll probably go down as an own goal, but we know it was his.
LET HIM HAVE IT YOU BASTARDS.
The full time whistle went, Arsenal finish second as Sp*rs collapse. Too much fun.