Arsenal's Goals of the Month in 2012
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Arsenal closed out the 2012 calendar year in style with an impressive 7-3 victory over Newcastle at the Emirates. In that game Theo Walcott made a great case for being given his preferred striker position. All three of his goals were high quality. Olivier Giroud added two within 13 minutes of coming off of the bench. Also contributing were Lukas Podolski and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who rounded out the scoring with a goal each.
While the 2012 calendar year has been an up-and-down one for Arsenal, there were many amazing performances and important goals scored throughout the year.
Other important 2012 goals came in identical 5-2 defeats of Tottenham in the home leg of the North London derby. The first was in February of last season and the second came just last month.
With plenty to choose from, these are the best Arsenal "Goals of the Month" for 2012:
January 2012: Thierry Henry Versus Leeds
Henry back at Arsenal and scoring
Henry came on as a substitute in the 68th minute of the scoreless match. As if written by a Hollywood scriptwriter, he slotted home is 227th Arsenal goal and the match-winner within 10 minutes of hitting the pitch.
It was one of the best feel-good moments of Arsenal's 2011-2012 campaign.
February 2012: Tomas Rosicky Scores Arsenal's Third in the North London Derby
Rosicky puts Arsenal ahead
This one was a toss-up between two goals. The winner, however, is Tomas Rosicky's goal against Tottenham that put Arsenal up for good in their 5-2 North London derby victory.
With Spurs fans hopeful that they could possibly finish higher than Arsenal in the EPL standings, this match took on even more significance than usual.
The second half was all Arsenal. Rosicky got things going slotting home from a Sagna pass in the 51st minute. Walcott added two more, but Rosicky's goal was the shot that killed off Spurs.
March 2012: Robin van Persie Slots Home the Winner at Anfield
Robin van Persie wins it in added time
One of Robin van Persie's most impressive goals of last season occurred in the 92nd minute of a match at Anfield.
Tied 1-1 heading in to stoppage time, Alex Song sent a long ball into the box. The pass found van Persie at the near post and he slotted home the winner from a tight angle before the ball ever touched the ground.
Another memorable goal in added time occurred just nine days later. Thomas Vermaelen found the ball at his feet in the 95th minute at home to Newcastle. The defender scored from close range and gave the Gunners a 2-1 victory.
April 2012: Mikel Arteta Goal Defeats Manchester City
Arteta leads Arsenal to victory
Manchester City's push for the EPL title took a major hit when they visited Emirates Stadium back in April.
This was the match memorable for Mario Balotelli's red card and Roberto Mancini blowing his top at the Italian striker's continued antics.
For Arsenal fans, the game is remembered for Mikel Arteta's game-winning goal from 25 yards out with just three minutes remaining on the clock. The game ended 1-0 to the home side.
May 2012: Laurent Koscielny Scores in Arsenal's 3-2 Victory at WBA
Koscielny's header gives Arsenal the lead
A win in Arsenal's last game of the season away at West Brom on May 13 was needed to secure third place and a spot in the next season's Champions League competition.
In a back-and-forth match, the two teams went in to halftime all level at two each.
The winning goal was virtually a gift. West Brom keeper Marton Fulop punched away a van Persie corner, but the ball went toward the Arsenal goal rather than away. Laurent Koscielny was in the right spot to simply put the ball over the goal line.
June 2012: Theo Walcott Equalizes for England
Theo ties the score
During the EPL's summer break several Arsenal players were participating in Euro 2012 in Poland and the Ukraine.
While the goals scored certainly had no impact on Arsenal itself, it's always beneficial for a club's players to gain confidence while playing for their country.
Theo Walcott scored a very impressive goal for England versus Sweden. From 20 yards out. Walcott hit the ball perfectly and it carried up and over the Swedish keeper. The goal put England level at 2-2. They went on to win the match 3-2.
July 2012: Thomas Eisfeld Scores in the Far East
Thomas Eisfeld scores the equalizer
Arsenal began their preseason tour of Asia in late July and were overall rather poor. One bright spot, however, was the contribution of German teenager Thomas Eisfeld. Signed from Borussia Dortmund in the January transfer window the midfielder was included in Arsenal's 24-man squad that traveled to the Far East.
Eisfeld came on as a substitute in a match featuring a Malyasia XI squad and scored Arsenal's first goal in an eventual 2-1 victory.
Facing Hong Kong's Kitchee in the Hong Kong Stadium, Eisfeld again came on as a second-half sub. In the 77th minute, he was the recipient of a perfect pass from Gervinho and coolly slotted home the equalizer in the 2-2 match.
Eisfeld has yet to play in an EPL game, but his success in the club's preseason tour was hopefully a good sign of things to come.
August 2012: Lukas Podolski Begins His Arsenal Goal Tally at Cologne
Podolski scores versus his old club
The choice for Arsenal's August goal of the month is another from the club's preseason.
Unfortunately there are no goals to choose from in Arsenal's first two EPL games. Goalless draws at home to Sunderland and away at Stoke offered little in the way of offense.
In the club's last match before the start of the new EPL campaign Arsenal visited Cologne. It was an opportunity for Lukas Podolski to play against his old club.
Podolski scored his first Arsenal goal in the 15th minute when he converted on a penalty. His second and more impressive goal came during open play when he connected on a fine pass from Kieran Gibbs.
Having gotten his first Arsenal goals out of the way, Podolski looked ready for the new season.
September 2012: Podolski and Santi Cazorla Get Arsenal's Scoring Started
Podolski and Cazorla score at Anfield
After starting the season with two 0-0 draws, Arsenal fans were a bit on edge for the club's visit to Anfield at the start of September. The month's top two goals both came in the Arsenal's 2-0 victory.
Podolski then played provider for Cazorla when the Spaniard drove home his first EPL goal and Arsenal's second of the match in the 68th minute.
October 2012: Olivier Giroud Nets His First Arsenal Goal at West Ham
Arsenal put three past West Ham
All three goals in Arsenal's 3-1 win away to West Ham were impressive. Individual efforts came from both Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla. The most important goal, however, was Arsenal's first.
Down 1-0 with four minute until halftime Lukas Podolski sent a cross in to the box where Olivier Giroud was able to just reach out and poke the ball in to the net.
It was Giroud's first goal as an Arsenal player and put a stop to the media asking when he would get on the scoresheet. It also started the Gunners' comeback and eventual victory over West Ham.
November 2012: Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham
When it comes to playing Tottenham, every goal is important. In November's meeting at the Emirates, the match ended with the same scoreline as last season's fixture.
Per Mertesacker scored his first Arsenal goal on a header. Other goals came courtesy of Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott.
The most impressive and the winner of November Goal of the Month came in first-half stoppage time. Cazorla ran through several Spurs players, fell down, got up and continued with the ball before placing a perfect pass to Olivier Giroud in front of goal. The striker easily chipped the ball over the line.
December 2012: Theo Walcott Amazing Goal to Complete Hat Trick
Theo Walcott completes his hat trick
Before this weekend's match, Santi Cazorla's hat trick at Reading was the front-runner for the December Goal(s) of the Month.
However, Theo Walcott's performance and hat trick in Arsenal's amazing 7-3 victory over Newcastle have taken the honor. While all three goals were of high quality, it's his last goal that really stands out.
While controlling the ball and bypassing two Newcastle defenders, Walcott appeared to have been tripped. Instead of remaining on the ground and crying out for a penalty, Walcott popped back up. He regained control of the ball, went around two more Newcastle players and put the ball past Tim Krul from an angle.
It was truly an amazing display and a great way to end the calendar year. Now all Arsenal fans are hoping that the team and Walcott can get a contract sorted out soon.