Arsenal Beat West Bromwich Albion 3-2 to Take 3rd Place in the Premier League
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Happy St. Totteringham's Day, Gooners!
After a nervy few weeks and a very nerve match at the Hawthorns, Arsenal have pulled through.
Yossi Benayoun gave hope to the Gunners in the opening minutes, fighting to force Hungarian debutant keeper Márton Fülöp into an unbelievable mistake to make it one-nil to the Arsenal. The Israeli false-11 took it away from the out-of-position keeper to tap into an empty net.
An easy goal, although Fernando Torres might have missed it.
In the 12th minute, however, memories of Norwich were brought back. James Morrison weaved through two Arsenal players before threading it through the legs of Laurent Koscielny to find the offside Shane Long. Long hit a nice shot just outside the post to easily beat Szczesny.
It got even more Norwich-esque in the 16th minute, when Graham Dorrans scored a similar goal. He knocked a long ball from Morrison over the head of Laurent Koscielny before volleying a shot to the same side as the first goal. Wojciech Szczesny was caught off his line.
Arsenal were down, but certainly not out. They played some wonderful football for the rest of the half.
André dos Santos scored a lovely goal on the half-hour, going past a defender before hitting a shot from long range. Fülöp made an attempt to save it, but only succeeded in pushing the ball into the net.
Will Arsenal finish higher next season?
Arsenal went into halftime in fourth place, at 2-2.
Arsenal started the second half in the same manner in which they'd ended the first: passing the ball all around West Brom, exciting Arsenal fans.
Laurent Koscielny took the lead in the 56th minute, after Fülöp once again made a fool of himself. Arsenal were awarded a controversial corner, and Van Persie's delivery went right by the gloves of the Hungarian keeper, eventually finding the French defender, who stabbed the ball in to the net.
Arsenal were back in third, and took their foot off the gas. The Gunners sat back, creating a very nervous last period. West Brom were in control for the last 15 minutes of the game, putting Arsenal under pressure at all areas. Arsenal mounted a few counterattacks during this period, but none proved successful.
The referee announced five minutes of stoppage time, and every Arsenal supporter's heart skipped a beat. The seconds were counted as Arsenal held on to finally pull through at the very end. 3-2 to Arsenal, and third place was clinched.
Arsenal are certainly going to the Champions League next season, and have finished above Tottenham for the 17th consecutive season. We close another season in Arsenal's history and can only feel optimistic about the future.
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