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A lookback at the race for 3rd and 4th spots

While the title race was tantalizingly close, the race for Champions League spots wasn’t far behind. A lot had been talked about the emergence of Sp*rs as a top team, and for some part of the season, they appeared as genuine title contenders. Arsenal, who suffered a poor start, were to slowly come into the fray. Chelsea, of course can never be written off. And this time, there was a new challenger in the form of Newcastle United, who took the Premier League by storm. Here is a look at how all the 4 teams fared over the course of the campaign, and all they key games, with points, which defined the final standings.

Week 1 – Newcastle 0-0 Arsenal, Stoke 0-0 Chelsea

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 1 (0), Chelsea – 1 (0), Newcastle – 1 (0), Tottenham – 0 (0)

In an uninspiring round of opening fixtures, Chelsea, Newcastle and Arsenal all played out drab stalemates, the only highlight being the fracas between Gervinho and Joey Barton.

Week 2 – Sunderland 0-1 Newcastle, Arsenal 0-2 Liverpool, Chelsea 2-1 West Brom, Manchester United 3-0 Tottenham

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 1 (-2), Chelsea – 4 (1), Newcastle – 4 (1), Tottenham – 0 (-3)

Newcastle and Chelsea get their campaigns running, with hard earned victories over Sunderland and West Brom. Tottenham are beaten comprehensively at Old Trafford, while an under-par Arsenal lose at home to Liverpool.

Week 3 – Chelsea 3-1 Norwich City, Newcastle 2-1 Fulham, Tottenham 1-5 Manchester City, Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 1 (-8), Chelsea – 7 (4), Newcastle – 7 (2), Tottenham – 0 (-7)

The misery in North London is completed after Arsenal and Tottenham suffer massive defeats at the hands of Manchester clubs, United and City respectively. Newcastle and Chelsea get past Fulham and Norwich.

Week 5 – Blackburn Rovers 4-3 Arsenal, Aston Villa 1-1 Newcastle, Manchester United 3-1 Chelsea, Tottenham 4-0 Liverpool

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 4 (-8), Chelsea – 10 (2), Newcastle – 9 (2), Tottenham – 6 (-1)

Arsenal’s misery continues, as they lose 4-3 at Blackburn, in a strange encounter, while Tottenham demolish 9 man Liverpool at White Hart Lane. Chelsea’s second half resurgence proves too little, as they are beaten 3-1 by Manchester United.

Week 7 – Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-2 Newcastle, Bolton 1-5 Chelsea, Tottenham 2-1 Arsenal

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 7 (-6), Chelsea – 16 (9), Newcastle – 15 (5), Tottenham – 12 (1)

A Frank Lampard hat trick propels the Blues to an easy win at the Reebok, while Newcastle beat Wolves. In the North London derby, Sp*rs emerge victorious, thanks to a fine winner by Kyle Walker late on.

Week 8 – Chelsea 3-1 Everton, Newcastle 2-2 Tottenham, Arsenal 2-1 Sunderland

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 10 (-5), Chelsea – 19 (11), Newcastle – 16 (5), Tottenham – 13 (1)

In a pulsating encounter at St.James Park, Newcastle maintained their unbeaten start to the season, with a late Shola Almeobi equalizer. Chelsea cruised to an easy win over Everton, while van Persie’s brilliance lands 3 points to the Gunners.

Week 9 – Newcastle 1-0 Wigan, Blackburn 1-2 Tottenham, Arsenal 3-1 Stoke, QPR 1-0 Chelsea

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 13 (-3), Chelsea – 19 (10), Newcastle – 19 (6), Tottenham – 16 (2)

A late Cabaye goal bought 3 points for the Magpies, while van der Vaart scored two fine goals, as Sp*rs emerged victorious at Ewood Park. His compatriot, Robin van Persie, too, scored two late goals, to seal a win over Stoke. QPR slugged it out against 9 man Chelsea, to win 1-0.

Week 10 – Chelsea 3-5 Arsenal, Tottenham 3-1 QPR, Stoke 1-3 Newcastle

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 16 (-1), Chelsea – 19 (8), Newcastle – 22 (8), Tottenham – 19 (4)

In one of the games of the season, Robin van Persie built on his impressive form, with a hattrick against Chelsea, in a 5-3 win, while Tottenham and Newcastle secured easy victories over QPR and Stoke, Demba Ba scoring a hattrick for the Magpies.

Week 12 – Norwich City 1-2 Arsenal, Manchester City 3-1 Newcastle, Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool, Tottenham 2-0 Aston Villa

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 22 (3), Chelsea – 22 (8), Newcastle – 25 (7), Tottenham – 25 (8)

Arsenal earned a vital win at Carrow Road, thanks again to Robin van Persie. Newcastle suffered their first league defeat of the season at Eastlands. Glen Johnson scored a late winner for Liverpool against his older employers Chelsea, while Tottenham beat Aston Villa 2-0, in straightforward manner.

Week 14 – Wigan Athletic 0-4 Arsenal, Tottenham 3-0 Bolton, Newcastle 0-3 Chelsea

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 26 (7), Chelsea – 28 (14), Newcastle – 26 (4), Tottenham – 31 (13)

Arsenal and Tottenham secured easy victories. Chelsea, too, beat Newcastle 3-0 at St.James Park.

Week 15 – Arsenal 1-0 Everton, Norwich City 4-2 Newcastle, Stoke City 2-1 Tottenham, Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 29 (8), Chelsea – 31 (15), Newcastle – 26 (2), Tottenham – 31 (12)

A brilliant goal from Robin van Persie helped maintain the Gunners’ momentum, while Newcastle’s stuttering run continued with a 4-2 loss at Norwich City. Stoke beat Tottenham in a closely contested game, while Chelsea edged 10 man Manchester City.

Week 16 – Wigan Athletic 1-1 Chelsea, Newcastle 0-0 Swansea, Manchester City 1-0 Arsenal, Tottenham 1-0 Sunderland

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 29 (7), Chelsea – 32 (15), Newcastle – 27 (2), Tottenham – 34 (13)

Wigan left it late to equalize against Chelsea, while Manchester City held on to a 1-0 win over Arsenal. A Pavlyuchenko goal seperated Sp*rs from Sunderland.

Week 17 – Newcastle 2-3 West Brom, Aston Villa 1-2 Arsenal, Tottenham 1-1 Chelsea

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 32 (8), Chelsea – 33 (15), Newcastle – 27 (1), Tottenham – 35 (13)

Newcastle failed to win in 6 consecutive league games, losing to West Brom, who scored a late winner through Austrian Paul Scharner. Arsenal, too, secured a late win over Aston Villa, thanks to Yossi Benayoun, while Sp*rs and Chelsea played out an entertaining 1-1 draw.

Week 19 – Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle, Arsenal 1-0 QPR, Chelsea 1-3 Aston Villa, Swansea 1-1 Tottenham 

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 36 (9), Chelsea – 34 (13), Newcastle – 30 (1), Tottenham – 39 (15)

Arsenal slaved to a win over QPR, while Newcastle slumped to a 3-1 loss at Anfield, former Magpie Craig Bellamy scoring twice. Chelsea suffered a shocking home defeat to Aston Villa and Tottenham were held to a 1-1 draw in Wales.

Week 20 – Wolves 1-2 Chelsea, Fulham 2-1 Arsenal, Tottenham 1-0 West Brom, Newcastle 3-0 Manchester United, Tottenham 2-0 Everton

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 36 (8), Chelsea – 37 (14), Newcastle – 33 (4), Tottenham – 45 (18)

Frank Lampard scored a late winner at the Molineux, to earn the Blues some hard earned points. Arsenal were on the end of a late Fulham rally, to lose 2-1, after being 1-0 up. Newcastle handed Manchester United their second loss in a week, with a comprehensive 3-0 win. Sp*rs secured a 2-0 win over Everton.

Week 22 – Norwich City 0-0 Chelsea, Fulham 5-2 Newcastle, Manchester City 3-2 Tottenham, Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 36 (6), Chelsea – 41 (15), Newcastle – 36 (2), Tottenham – 46 (17)

A lacklustre Chelsea were held to a draw by a determined Norwich. Newcastle were thrashed 5-2 in London by Fulham. North London lost to Manchester again, with City and United winning late on against Sp*rs and Arsenal respectively.

Week 24 – Arsenal 7-1 Blackburn Rovers, Chelsea 3-3 Manchester United, Newcastle 2-1 Aston Villa, Liverpool 0-0 Tottenham

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 40 (12), Chelsea – 43 (15), Newcastle – 42 (5), Tottenham – 50 (19)

Arsenal broke the jinx of 4 games without a win, by thrashing Blackburn 7-1. Chelsea raced to a 3-0 lead in 50 minutes against Manchester United, but the Red Devils, assisted by some controversial decisions, emerged with a point. Newcastle edged Aston Villa, debutant Papis Demba Cisse scoring a fine goal, as Liverpool were held at home by Tottenham.

Week 25 – Everton 2-0 Chelsea, Sunderland 1-2 Arsenal, Tottenham 5-0 Newcastle

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 43 (13), Chelsea – 43 (13), Newcastle – 42 (0), Tottenham – 53 (24)

Thierry Henry scored an injury time winner at the Stadium of Light, to earn Arsenal a 2-1 win. Chelsea lost at the Goodison, while Sp*rs gave a sound thrashing to Newcastle, Emmanuel Adebayor assisting 4 times, and scoring once.

Week 26 – Chelsea 3-0 Bolton, Newcastle 2-2 Wolves, Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 46 (16), Chelsea – 46 (16), Newcastle – 43 (0), Tottenham – 53 (21)

Chelsea raced to an easy 3-0 win over Bolton, as Wolves held Newcastle to a 2-2 draw. Sp*rs seemed to have extended their lead over Arsenal to 13 points, after going 2-0 up in 25 minutes, but the Gunners took the match by the scruff, and won 5-2. This game would prove to be the turning point in the season’s of both the clubs.

Week 27 – Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal, West Brom 1-0 Chelsea, Newcastle 1-1 Sunderland, Tottenham 1-3 Manchester United

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 49 (17), Chelsea – 46 (15), Newcastle – 44 (0), Tottenham – 53 (19)

Robin van Persie scored two fine goals, to secure a late win at Anfield, while a loss at the Hawthorns for Chelsea, meant the exit door for Andre Vilas Boas. Newcastle secured a late point after a fiery Tyne Wear derby with Sunderland, even as a clinical Manchester United beat Sp*rs 3-1 at White Hart Lane.

Week 28 – Chelsea 1-0 Stoke, Everton 1-0 Tottenham, Arsenal 2-1 Newcastle

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 52 (18), Chelsea – 49 (16), Newcastle – 44 (-1), Tottenham – 53 (18)

Chelsea struggled their way past 10 man Stoke, to win 1-0. Nikica Jelavic scored his first goal in Everton colors, against a crumbling Sp*rs, and Arsenal continued their gradual rise up the table, thanks to a 95th minute Vermaelen winner.

Week 29 – Newcastle 1-0 Norwich City, Manchester City 2-1 Chelsea, Everton 0-1 Arsenal, Tottenham 1-1 Stoke

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 55 (19), Chelsea – 49 (15), Newcastle – 47 (0), Tottenham – 54 (18)

Papis Demba Cisse scored the only goal of the game between Newcastle and Norwich. Chelsea, lost 2-1 to Manchester City, despite going 1-0 up. Thomas Vermaelen scored another invaluable winner for the Gunners, to help Arsenal move to 3rd spot, at the expense of Sp*rs, who could only draw Stoke.

Week 30 – Chelsea 0-0 Tottenham, Arsenal 3-0 Aston Villa, West Brom 1-3 Newcastle

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 58 (22), Chelsea – 50 (15), Newcastle – 50 (2), Tottenham – 55 (18)

Chelsea and Tottenham played out an uninspiring stalemate at Stamford Bridge, to help Arsenal move 3 points clear in 3rd spot, after their fine win over Aston Villa. Papis Demba Cisse, was the header for the Magpies again, who won 3-1 at the Hawthorns.

Week 31 – Aston Villa 2-4 Chelsea, QPR 2-1 Arsenal, Newcastle 2-0 Liverpool, Tottenham 3-1 Swansea

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 58 (21), Chelsea – 53 (17), Newcastle – 53 (4), Tottenham – 58 (20)

Fernando Torres broke his jinx of ‘not scoring a Premier League goal for 6 months’, as Chelsea beat Aston Villa 4-2. After winning 7 games on the bounce, QPR stunned Arsenal. Newcastle beat 10 man Liverpool 2-0, both goals scored by Papis Cisse, as Sp*rs eased to a 3-1 win over Swansea.

Week 33 – Newcastle 2-0 Bolton, Tottenham 1-2 Norwich, Fulham 1-1 Chelsea, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-3 Arsenal

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 64 (25), Chelsea – 57 (18), Newcastle – 59 (8), Tottenham – 59 (19)

Norwich City stunned Sp*rs 2-1 at White Hart Lane, while Newcastle and Arsenal sealed easy wins. Fulham held Chelsea 1-1 in the West London derby.

Week 34 – Arsenal 1-2 Wigan Athletic

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 64 (24), Chelsea – 57 (18), Newcastle – 59 (8), Tottenham – 59 (19)

Arsenal were stunned by Wigan at home, who scored two goals in 2 minutes, early on in the match.

Week 35 – QPR 1-0 Tottenham, Newcastle 3-0 Stoke, Arsenal 0-0 Chelsea

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 65 (24), Chelsea – 58 (18), Newcastle – 62 (11), Tottenham – 59 (18)

Tottenham fell further behind, losing to a determined QPR, even as Newcastle kept marching with a 3-0 win over Stoke. Arsenal and Chelsea canceled out each other at the Emirates.

Week 36 – Stoke 1-1 Arsenal, Wigan 4-0 Newcastle, Chelsea 6-1 QPR, Tottenham 2-0 Blackburn

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 66 (24), Chelsea – 61 (23), Newcastle – 62 (7)Tottenham – 62 (20)

Arsenal secured another draw at the Brittania, as Wigan thrashed Newcastle 4-0. Chelsea, too meted out a thrashing, to QPR, while Kyle Walker’s screamer helped Sp*rs to a 2-0 win.

Week 34 (Pending) – Chelsea 0-2 Newcastle, Bolton 1-4 Tottenham

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 66 (24), Chelsea – 61 (21), Newcastle – 65 (9)Tottenham – 65 (23)

Papis Demba Cisse scored two wonder goals at Stamford Bridge, while Tottenham helped themselves to a relatively easy 4-1 over Bolton.

Week 37 – Arsenal 3-3 Norwich City, Aston Villa 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United 0-2 Manchester City, Liverpool 4-1 Chelsea

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 67 (24), Chelsea – 61 (18), Newcastle – 65 (7)Tottenham – 66 (23)

Norwich City put in a commendable performance at the Emirates and held the Gunners to a 3-3 draw in a pulsating encounter. However, others couldn’t capitalize, as 10 man Sp*rs, were defied by relegation battling Aston Villa, and title-chasing Manchester City beat Newcastle at St.James Park. Chelsea, having won the FA Cup final, after beating Liverpool 2-1 at Wembley, lost to the same team 4-1, this time at Anfield.

Week 38 – West Bromwich Albion 2-3 Arsenal, Tottenham 2-0 Fulham, Everton 3-1 Newcastle, Chelsea 2-1 Blackburn

Coming into the last day of the season, it was a head to head battle between Arsenal and Sp*rs, for 3rd spot. Spu*s went into an early lead in their game against Fulham, and so did Arsenal. However, within no time, West Brom were leading, owing to defensive mistakes by Arsenal. Newcastle, meanwhile, who had an outside chance of qualifying, were 2-0 down themselves, at Goodison Park. By half-time, Arsenal were drawing 2-2, and this meant 3rd spot would go to Sp*rs. However, a 54th minute goal from Laurent Koscielny proved to be decisive, as the Gunners nervously held on to 3rd spot, an an enthralling day of football.

Pts (GD) – Arsenal – 70 (25), Chelsea – 64 (19), Newcastle – 65 (5)Tottenham – 69 (24)

At the end, Arsenal managed to cling on to 3rd spot, which is a massive boost for us, while Sp*rs will have to wait for the result of the Bayern Munich and Chelsea in the Champions League Final, to find out if they will go through.

About supreetkini

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I would like to introduce myself starting with my favourite quote "I don't know whether life is sh*t cos Arsenal is sh*t or the other way round" - Nick Hornby, author, Fever Pitch. Since I started supporting Arsenal, every mood of mine, every bit of my behavior is a reflection of Arsenal's form! Well, that's enough a description to tell you how much I love the Gunners! :D I have my own Arsenal blog, blazingcannons.wordpress.com

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