Arsenal FC: Gunners' 5 Best Moments of the 2011-12 Season (Video)
At the beginning and the end of the 2011-12 season, Arsenal had a lot of bad moments. The 8-2 loss to Manchester United, Nasri's departure and the 4-3 loss to Blackburn came very early on in the year.
Then, toward the end of the season, there was the devastating loss to QPR and the draw against Norwich in the second-to-last EPL game.
But in between, there were good times. A lot of them.
The middle of the season was the reason that Arsene Wenger managed to get his team up to third place over kind-of European champions Chelsea as well as rivals Tottenham (who at one point had a double-digit lead over Arsenal in the league table) and surprise team Newcastle.
That's why Arsenal are playing Champions League next year.
Here are the five best moments of the season.
Best #5: van Persie Volley vs Everton
This goal may not have been as amazing as Cissé's goal against Chelsea, but it showed van Persie's brilliant technique; it was a goal that wasn't one-in-a-million like Cissé's.
It was easily one of the best goals of the season, and it came against Everton on December 10, 2011.
It was a celebration of Arsenal's 125th birthday, and it was van Persie's 33rd goal of the calendar year, which was significant since he was chasing Shearer's record of 36.
The win moved Arsenal into fourth place over Chelsea.
Best #4: Arsenal 1-0 Manchester City
After beating Arsenal 1-0 in Manchester, Mancini's side had only gotten better. That is why many Arsenal fans didn't believe in the Gunners when the Citizens arrived at the Emirates on April 8.
Arsenal did outplay City over the course of the match, but the most notable part of the match was Mario Balotelli (not surprising). Balotelli was running around fouling like a madman, and he was lucky to escape a red card after a terrible first-half tackle on Alex Song.
Later on, however, the Italian did get sent off with two yellow cards.
In the 87th minute, Mikel Arteta won the game for Arsenal with a beautiful long-distance strike, which is shown above.
Best #3: Chelsea 3-5 Arsenal
This game took place at Stamford Bridge on October 29, 2011.
Lampard opened the scoring in the 14th minute with a diving header, but van Persie later equalized off a nice pass from Gervinho. John Terry scored just before halftime, giving Chelsea the lead again, but Andre Santos leveled it up in the 49th minute.
Theo Walcott then scored a beautiful goal six minutes later to give Arsenal their first lead of the game. Juan Mata, however, pulled it level with a great goal in the 80th minute.
However, two goals from Robin van Persie late sealed a 5-3 win for Arsenal, in a game that exposed both teams' lack of defensive solidarity.
Nonetheless, a joyful win over a London rival.
**Sorry for the poor video quality.
Best #2: Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham (Skip to 2:50 in Video)
After 34 minutes, I wasn't happy.
Saha had given Tottenham the 1-0 lead four minutes in, and former Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor had tucked away a penalty earned by a Gareth Bale dive.
But Arsenal turned it all around from there. With Bacary Sagna's header and Robin van Persie's lovely curler, the Gunners were level at halftime.
Then, it was utter domination in the second half, with Tomas Rosicky scoring and Theo Walcott hitting a double to make it 5-2.
People had many varying opinions for man of the match, but in my opinion, it was Tomas Rosicky.
Best #1: Thierry Henry Goal vs Leeds
I am just going to let the celebration speak for itself. No explanation needed.