Last gasp Arsenal close on Spurs

Updated: March 12, 2012

Last gasp Arsenal kept up the chase for third spot as they came from a goal down to beat Newcastle 2-1.

Goals from Robin Van Persie and Thomas Vermaelen made it five wins on the trot for Arsene Wenger’s men and moved them to within a point of third place Spurs.

The Gunners dominated possession throughout the clash but found themselves a goal down on 14 minutes when Hatem Ben Arfa cut inside Kieran Gibbs to finish with aplomb.

The lead however lasted less than a minute, 40 seconds in fact, when Robin Van Persie, who else, scored his fifth goal in his last 6 games to level matters.

The Dutch striker managed to get on the end of Theo Walcott’s cross to knock the ball past fellow countryman Tim Krul in the Newcastle goal.

Van Persie almost put Arsenal ahead two minutes later when he broke free on the left but his shot had too much height on it.

Walcott has been in sterling form of late and the England winger was enjoying the freedom of the Emirates as David Santon, Coloccini and Gutierrez all struggled with his pace.

Newcastle were finding it hard to create chances, a shot from the offside Demba Ba after 31 minutes the first since the goal before Gutierrez went close with a volley that went out for a corner.

Alan Pardew paid Walcott the ultimate compliment at half time when he decided that Santon had endured enough replacing the former Inter Milan with James Perch.

The former Nottingham Forest defender was immediately put under pressure by Walcott who skipped past the player only to see his cross headed straight at Krul by Tomas Rosicky.

The opening minutes of the second half saw both sides have chances as Obertan and then Oxlade-Chamberlain both caused havoc at both ends.

Rosicky had a chance to put Arsenal ahead on 66 minutes but he fired well wide when just yards from goal.

Newcastle offered little as an attacking force in the second half with Ba starved off service while Arsenal were determined to find a winner, Van Persie going close with an effort from 10 yards.

Gervinho thought he had won it for the Gunners with seven minutes left however he fluffed his chance of glory when a free kick found him at the back post.

Minutes later Danny Simpson cleared a header from Thomas Vermaelen off the line and the Belgian was denied on 90 minutes when Krul reacted brilliantly to tip away his bullet header.

The centre back was not to be out done however and deep in injury time he got on the end of Walcott’s cross to scramble the ball home and send his team mates and supporters in to raptures.

The win was no more than Arsenal deserved and they become the first team in Premier league history to come from behind in four successive games.

Arsenal are now hot on the heels of Spurs while Newcastle stays sixth, 5 points clear of Liverpool.

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