10. Arsenal 3-1 Norwich City, Premier League, Emirates Stadium, 13th April 2013
(Arsenal – Arteta 85 (pen), Giroud 88, Podolski 92; Norwich – Turner 56)
Arsenal hosted Norwich on the bounce of 3 successive wins, and looked to consolidate themselves in the race for the top 4. Despite dominating the first half, Arsenal had to do with a resolute Canaries defence. Norwich took a shock lead in the 56th minute through Michael Turner when he headed in. Arsenal toiled for an equalizer, and were awarded a rather lucky penalty in the 85th minute. Arteta dispatched it, and the floodgates opened. A darting run from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain produced an assist for Giroud to bundle home, before Podolski made it 3-1 with a swiveling shot.
9. Arsenal 5-1 West Ham United, Premier League, Emirates Stadium, 23rd January 2013
(Arsenal – Podolski 22, Giroud 47, Cazorla 53, Walcott 54, Giroud 57; West Ham United – Collison 22)
Arsenal were struggling on the league front and were ravaged with injuries in the midst of a heavy period of fixtures in January. Jack Collison gave the Hammers a lead, with a fine finish. But Podolski unleashed Arsenal’s equalizer just 4 minutes later. Despite several chances, Arsenal failed to take the lead. However, it would all change in the space of 10 minutes, as the Gunners blitzed the West Ham goal. Giroud stabbed home on 47 minutes, before Cazorla back-heeled to make it 3-1. Within a minute, it was 4-1 as Walcott rifled home from close range off a Podolski cross. Before West Ham even realized what had hit them, Giroud made it 5-1 with a poacher’s finish.
8. Arsenal 4-1 Wigan Athletic, Premier League, Emirates Stadium, 14th May 2013
Arsenal (Podolski 11, Walcott 63, Podolski 68, Ramsey 71; Wigan – Maloney 45)
This was a crunch game for both sides. Arsenal needed to win in order to remain in the driving seat for Champions League qualification, while Wigan, who were crowned FA Cup champions just 3 days earlier, needed a win to survive. A draw or a loss, and they would be as good as relegated. Lukas Podolski opened the scoring with the easiest of headers in the 11th minute. Wigan grew in confidence there on and got a deserved equalizer on the stroke of half-time, through a Maloney free-kick. Arsenal, who came into this game on the back of a 10 day rest period, took the game to a tiring Lactics side, who were playing their 4th game in 10 days. Walcott stuck home a goal on 63 minutes, before Podolski poked in just 5 minutes later. Aaron Ramsey confirmed Wigan’s relegation with a fine finish on 71 minutes.
7. West Ham United 1-3 Arsenal, Premier League, Upton Park, 6th October 2012
(West Ham United – Diame 21; Arsenal – Giroud 41, Walcott 77, Cazorla 83)
Arsenal were still proving their early season credentials, as they visited Upton Park for a London derby against West Ham. The Hammers, under a Sam Allardyce revolution, with their direct style of football, took the lead through bustling midfielder Mohomad Diame. However, Arsenal stuck to the task, and patiently carved out chances. Olivier Giroud scores his first league goal for the club, off a Podolski cross. He provided the assist for Walcott’s goal in the 77th minute, after the England winger ran clear of the Hammers’ defence. 3 points were sealed with a beauty from Cazorla in the 83rd minute.
6. Liverpool 0-2 Arsenal, Premier League, Anfield, 2nd September 2012
(Arsenal – Podolski 31, Cazorla 68)
Unlike Arsenal’s visit to Anfield in March, this game was more even, with Arsenal controlling most parts of the game. Arsenal were still looking for their first win of the season, having drawn to Sunderland and Stoke, and struggling for goals without Robin van Persie. Abou Diaby shone in midfield, as Santi Cazorla proved what a class signing he is. He set up Lukas Podolski for the first goal, with Olivier Giroud pulling in both Liverpool centre-backs towards him in the 31st minute. Santi Cazorla scored the second, as Podolski turned provider this time, with Pepe Reina letting the ball go from under his grasp.
5. Manchester City 1-1 Arsenal, Premier League, Etihad Stadium, 23rd September 2012
(Manchester City – Lescott 41; Arsenal – Koscielny 82)
It was not a win, but Arsenal produced a masterful performance at the Etihad as they outplayed the champions in their own backyard, and probably deserved a win for their enterprise. Gervinho was guilty of missing the games best opportunity, when he was spotted by Ramsey, but the Ivorian’s first touch was heavy. Cazorla was threading strings in midfield, but Lescott’s header handed City the lead completely against the run of play. Arsenal did not rest and attacked, and they finally got their reward, 8 minutes from time, when Koscielny slammed the ball home post a poorly cleared corner.
4. Arsenal 7-3 Newcastle United, Premier League, Emirates Stadium, 29th December 2012
(Arsenal – Walcott 20, Chamberlain 50, Podolski 64, Walcott 73, Giroud 84, 84, Walcott 92; Newcastle – Ba 43, Marveux 60, Ba 68)
This is a really really late entry into the list, and just about pips Arsenal’s 2-1 win at Anfield, in February. Arsenal took on a Newcastle side, that had almost scared the wits out of toppers Manchester United, before eventually losing 4-3, thanks to a Fergie time goal from Hernandez. But, they were hampered by injury worries and suspensions. Arsenal started brightly, and took the lead through Walcott’s Henry’esque finish. Newcastle held their own, dominating possession, but having little to show for it. They equalized on the stroke of half time, when Demba Ba’s free kick was deflected in off a ducking Jack Wilshere. 1-1 at the break, and no one could envisage what was to happen next. Cazorla set up Chamberlain for a neat finish, before Sylvain Marveaux tapped in from close range, 10 minutes later. Arsenal took the lead immediately when Wilshere’s cross was headed on to the bar by Collocini, and bundled home by Podolski. Ba escaped the attentions of Gibbs to make it 3-3. 5 minutes later, Walcott swiveled in the penalty area, to score the 4th. And Arsenal went on a rampage after that. Walcott’s cross was met by a diving Olivier Giroud, before Giroud’s classy right foot finish made it 6-3. Late on, Walcott was fouled in the box by two Newcastle defenders, but he carried on running, to chip home Arsenal’s 7th, and complete his hat-trick, in a truly epic game.
3. Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League, Emirates Stadium, 18th November 2012
(Arsenal – Mertesacker 24, Podolski 42, Giroud 46, Cazorla 60, Walcott 91; Tottenham – Adebayor 10, Bale 71)
Arsenal recreated a familiar scoreline, as they blew away Sp*rs by the same margin, they had thumped them back in February with. Who else, but Emmanuel Adebayor to open the scoring in the 10th minute, after Szczesny fumbled from a close range Defoe shot. But, he ruined the afternoon for his side with a mad lunge on Santi Cazorla. Arsenal roared into action, with Mertesacker blasting home a header. Podolski’s shot squirmed in like a possessed top, before Giroud swiveled in the 3rd. To their credit, 10 man Sp*rs made it more of a game, but Cazorla scored in the 60th. Bale, who was running rings around Arsenal’s defenders reduced the deficit, but Walcott made sure of the win, and stamped Arsenal’s authority in North London.
2. Bayern Munich 0-2 Arsenal, Champions League Round of 16, Allianz Arena, 13th March 2013
(Arsenal – Giroud 3, Koscielny 86)
Having been pounded 3-1 in the first leg at home by a might Bayern Munich side, there was only pride to play for at the Allianz Arena for Arsenal. Or so it seemed. The usually noisy German cauldron was silenced in as early as the 3rd minute, when Walcott escaped the attentions of the Bayern defence, and set up Giroud for an easy tap-in. Bayern huffed and puffed, but Arsenal’s new backline, with Laurent Koscielny and Lukasz Fabianski selected ahead of Thomas Vermaelen and Wojciech Szczesny, putting in a majestic performance. Arsenal got their second goal, probably too late, in the 86th minute, when Koscielny headed in off a corner. Bayern were beaten, but not knocked out. It was one of the highlights of the season, as this win propelled the Gunners’ in the league.
1. Reading 5-7 Arsenal, League Cup, League Cup Fourth Round, Madejski Stadium, 30th October 2012
(Reading – Roberts 12, Koscielny (O.G) 18, Leigertwood 20, Hunt 37, Pogrebnyak 115; Arsenal – Walcott 45, Giroud 64, Koscielny 89, Walcott 95, Chamakh 103, Walcott 120, Chamakh 122)
It was literally an unbelievable game of football. Reading started firing on all cylinders, when Jason Roberts tapped home the opener on 12 minuter. 6 minutes later, Gunter’s cross was deflected in by Koscielny, and couple of minutes later, Leigertwood’s ferocious shot made it 3-0. Reading probably could have had a dozen more, and Arsenal’s calamitous defending was met by jeers from the Reading faithful. Noel Hunt made it 4-0 with a header, and Reading had almost booked their passage into the quarter-finals. Or so they thought. Andrey Arshavin played a delightful through ball to Theo Walcott to reduce the deficit to 4-1, before half-time. Surely, just a consolation. Arsene Wenger threw on Olivier Giroud and Thomas Eisfeld and it changed the dynamic of the game. Giroud made it 4-2 with a perfectly directed header. Arsenal pressed, but could not find another goal, till the 89th minute when an unmarked Koscielny headed in from a corner. There was just 5 minutes of extra time for Arsenal to equalize. And they did, as a hopeful ball forward was headed by Chamakh into the path of Walcott who managed to get the ball over the line, despite the Reading player having blocked it. Arsenal completed the mother of all comebacks, when in the 5th minute of overtime, Marrouane Chamakh, yes, Marrouane Chamakh’s long range shot went in. But, there was still drama, as Pavel Pogrebnyak made it 5-5 from close range, with just 5 minutes left in the second half of overtime. Andrey Arshavin went on another of his run, and Walcott poked the ball home from close range. Walcott had his hat-trick. Chamakh ensured a grandstand finish as he lobbed, yes, he can do that, Federici to make the scoreline read an incredible Reading 5 Arsenal 7!
Jai Arsenal! 🙂
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