Arsenal vs. Newcastle United: Gunners' Breathtaking 7-3 Win as It Happened
Arsenal 7-3 Newcastle
Walcott 20', 73', 90+2'
Ba 44', 69'
Giroud 84', 86'
Arsenal: Wojciech Szczesny; Bacary Sagna, Laurent Koscielny, Thomas Vermaelen, Kieran Gibbs; Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla (Coquelin 86'); Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Giroud 74'), Lukas Podolski (Ramsey 82'), Theo Walcott
Substitutes: Mannone, Djourou, Ramsey, Coquelin, Rosicky, Gervinho, Giroud
Newcastle: Tim Krul; Danny Simpson (Ferguson 82'), Fabricio Coloccini, James Perch, Davide Santon; Gael Bigirimana (Shola Ameobi 82'), Cheick Tiote; Djibril Cisse, Sylvain Marveaux (Tavernier 87'), Gabriel Obertan; Demba Ba
Substitutes: Harper, Ferguson, Tavernier, Streete, Abeid, Sammy Ameobi, Shola Ameobi
LIVE BLOG END
As always, thanks so much for joining me for this thrilling roller-coaster ride of a match. A wonderful advertisement for football, and I'm glad I could bring it to you.
Stay logged into Bleacher Report, as I and my fellow writers will have analysis of this stunner and all Premier League games this weekend. I'll be back shortly with six things we learned from this bonkers game.
Until then, have a wonderful weekend, a happy New Year and a couple breaths to recover from this match.
There's no way Arsenal can let Theo Walcott go now, is there? The Englishman's hat-trick seemed so easy and so natural that it would be a shame if Arsene Wenger let him out of his grasp.
And a mention for Olivier Giroud, too. Coming off the bench, he was within a couple inches of a hat-trick and both of his goals were extremely well-taken.
Meanwhile, Demba Ba netted a neat double, and the way Newcastle are playing right now he might be scoring at the Emirates in a red and white shirt soon.
Unbelievable stuff at the Emirates. One of the most festive atmospheres you will ever see after a regular Premier League match.
I'm not quite sure how to sum that up, but Arsenal simply shredded Newcastle in a match that saw both defenses simply fail to stop anything.
Newcastle fans will obviously feel that their team put in a disgraceful performance, and Arsenal supporters will ignore the three sloppy goals they conceded today.
For the neutral though, it was simply a match for the ages.
90+5'—Just one minute of stoppage time remaining, as Arsenal fans chant "Sign Him Up," begging their team to resign their hat-trick hero.
Oh dear, Giroud has hit the crossbar from point-blank range and he should have had his hat-trick there.
Theo Walcott completes his hat-trick!
A nasty goal, really great stuff from Walcott. He stormed in on the left side, powered through a tackle that was a clear penalty and cheekily chipped the ball over and to the left of the stunned Tim Krul.
The cherry on top of an absolutely mad day for Walcott and Arsenal.
90'—Just to update you on a couple of substitutions:
James Tavernier replaced Sylvain Marveaux for Newcastle, and Shane Ferguson comes on for Danny Simpson.
Guess what, it's Giroud again!
Walcott poked the ball to him on the edge of the box, he shimmied past a defender and created just enough space to get off a right-footed shot that Tim Krul couldn't stop at the near post.
Stunning display from Arsenal in these closing minutes, and it's almost done now.
Francis Coquelin relieves Santi Cazorla to add some defensive shape to Arsenal in the closing minutes.
Olivier Giroud has surely given Arsenal three points now with a great header.
Walcott delivered a pinpoint cross into Olivier Giroud, who finished like a classic center-forward with a diving header through the legs of Tim Krul.
It's been a thrilling ride, but it looks as if Arsenal will finish it with three points.
84'—Ooh, Walcott was inches away from a hat-trick there, as the ball was just barely deflected behind the post.
Arsenal still on the front foot.
Aaron Ramsey comes on for Lukas Podolski, who has put in a really impressive shift today.
Shola Ameobi replaces Gael Bigirimana.
82'—Interesting to note that the only time Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote has scored in the Premier League was against Arsenal in the infamous 4-4 draw of 2011.
He scored the fourth goal that day, and he has eight minutes plus stoppage time to do so today.
80'—Free kick for Arsenal in a dangerous spot on the right side of midfield, Jack Wilshere takes it and Tim Krul catches it.
James Perch was shaken up there, as Krul took his defender down with him, but all's well as play is restarted.
78'—Thank God I have a healthy heart.
MAKE THE FOOTBALL STOP NOW MOTHER.— Arse2Mouse (@arse2mouse) December 29, 2012
Defending is well on its way out in soccer. Guess they really are trying to become more popular in US.— Neri Stein (@neristein) December 29, 2012
Olivier Giroud comes on for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Theo Walcott will be forced into the wide right position that he prefers not to play. A more physical presence for Arsenal now.
It's Theo Walcott again! Unbelievable stuff at the Emirates!
Kieran Gibbs pulled the ball back just before he passed the byline, Lukas Podolski whiffed, Theo Walcott struggled to control it and it looked as if the chance had gone, but the striker poked the ball into the top corner before anyone could take it away.
Madness. Will this be the last goal of the day?
Unbelievable. Demba Ba has equalized again, and the Emirates falls silent.
A simple cross completely catches Kieran Gibbs out, Ba got around him and easily finished with his foot at the near post past a helpless Wojciech Szczesny.
3-3. Incredible. The last goal will probably decide this game.
68'—After the goal, Jack Wilshere delivered a near-perfect corner toward Laurent Koscielny, but the Frenchman couldn't quite get his head to the ball.
Both teams scrapping for possession now, and each is finding space to work with when they get it.
Lukas Podolski puts it in after brilliant play by Jack Wilshere.
The Englishman looked to have taken the ball too close to the touchline right next to the post but chipped the ball across goal, Fabricio Coloccini headed the ball against the post and Podolski just headed in from a few inches away.
Wonderful play, but can Arsenal hold on?
63'—Ooh, a good dipping, swerving strike from Santi Cazorla forces a good save from Tim Krul. Theo Walcott wastes the ensuing corner, but Arsenal get possession back and look to build a composed attack again.
Out of nothing, Newcastle are level through Sylvain Marveaux.
Gabriel Obertan played a simple ball across goal, Marveaux was left totally unmarked at the far post and just tapped in to equalize again. One of the easiest finishes you'll ever see.
59'—Good defending by Kieran Gibbs eventually forces Newcastle to forfeit possession, but the Toon get it back rather quickly and are looking to break down an organized Arsenal resistance.
Ooh, on a quick Arsenal counterattack, Walcott inexplicably chooses to take an early shot, rather than distribute the ball to Santi Cazorla or Lukas Podolski on his left.
No composure there, and that's not the first great Arsenal chance he's wasted.
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