10. 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.
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. Borussia Dortmund 0-1 Arsenal, Champions League Group Stages, Westfalenstadion, 6th November 2013
(Arsenal – Ramsey 62)
Arsenal just had to win this game to keep pressure on Dortmund and Napoli in the group of death, and they did it by putting in a massive performance under the lights at the intimidating Westfalenstadion. Having been beaten 2-1 by Dortmund just days earlier, it took a Ramsey header in the 62nd minute to separate the two sides. Arsenal defended sternly throughout the match, despite Dortmund having more efforts. Not the best performance visually, but a massive result nonetheless.
7. Swansea City 1-2 Arsenal, Premier League, Liberty Stadium, 28th September 2013
(Swansea – Davies 82; Arsenal – Gnabry 58, Ramsey 62)
Arsenal consolidated their position at the top of the table with a solid display at the Liberty Stadium, a tough place to go to in the Premier League. After a pretty even affair in the first half, young Serge Gnabry put the Gunners into the lead, after being set up by combination play from Giroud and Ramsey. It was his first goal in Arsenal colors. Aaron Ramsey, in the form of his life sealed the win after Szczesny released Wilshere in acres of Swansea space. It was a momentous occasion for the boy from Cardiff. Swansea scored a rather lucky goal through left back Ben Davies, but Arsenal held on for 3 important points.
6. Fenerbahce 0-3 Arsenal, Champions League Qualifiers, Sukru Saracoglu Stadium, 21st August 2013
(Arsenal – Gibbs 58, Ramsey 64, Giroud 71)
Arsenal and Arsene Wenger were under sever criticism having lost the opening Premier League fixture at home to an average Aston Villa side. But they came bouncing back with a vital 3-0 win in hostile conditions in Turkey, trouncing Fenerbahce in a dour evening of football. Kieran Gibbs scored off a Walcott cross from close range, before Aaron Ramsey made it 2-0 thanks to a howler from the experienced Volkan Demirel. Olivier Giroud made it 3-0, converting a penalty after Walcott was fouled by Kadlec.
5. Arsenal 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League, Emirates Stadium, 1st September 2013
(Arsenal – Giroud 23)
The skeptics were still out on Arsenal, while Sp*rs were on a roll, having splashed £107 million on 7 new signings. Arsenal played a composed game, while Sp*rs looked confused for the majority of the match with all those new players on the roster. Olivier Giroud gave Arsenal the lead in the 23rd minute from close range, and Arsenal impressively kept Sp*rs out, while creating chances for themselves. A day later Arsenal would sign German international Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid for £42.5 million, angering Tottenham even more, who had sold their star asset Gareth Bale to Real for a staggering £86 million.
4. Arsenal 2-0 Napoli, Champions League Group Stages, Emirates Stadium, 1st October 2013
(Arsenal – Ozil 8, Giroud 15)
15 minutes is what it took Arsenal to destroy Napoli with some breathtaking football. Attacking right from the word go, it took the Gunners just 8 minutes as Mesut Ozil scored his first goal for the club having been setup by Aaron Ramsey, who was initially released by Giroud. Giroud and Ozil combined again to setup the former to a fine finish past Pepe Reina in the 15th minute. Napoli, 2nd in the Italian league barely threatened and were reduced to taking long shots as Arsenal professionally sealed the win.
3. Newcastle United 0-1 Arsenal, Premier League, St. James Park, 19th May 2013
(Arsenal – Koscielny 52)
With nothing short of a win required to secure a top 4 finish, Arsenal completed the job on the least day of the season at St. James Park with a vital win over Newcastle. The Magpies looked dangerous on more than one occasion, but a resilient Arsenal side held on. Laurent Koscielny poked home the winner in the 52nd minute, in a repeat of his heroics last year, when he netted the 5th and final goal in a 3-2 win away to West Brom, also in the 52nd minute. Arsenal celebrated like they had won the league, but it was a well deserved moment, after a testing season.
2. Arsenal 2-0 Liverpool, Premier League, Emirates Stadium, 2nd November 2013
(Arsenal – Cazorla 19, Ramsey 59)
The Gunners silenced high flying Liverpool with a classy display at the Emirates. Arsenal started in earnest, going at Liverpool, with some persistent crossing, resulting in several airborne clashes between Martin Skrtel and Olivier Giroud. In the 19th minute, a Sagna cross was headed on to the post by the smallest man on the pitch, Santi Cazorla, but it rebounded perfectly to the feet of the Spaniard, who made no mistake this time to slot it past Simon Mignolet. Luis Suarez, in hot form this season was kept pretty quiet by the irrepressible Laurent Koscielny. In the 59th minute, Aaron Ramsey scored a peach from long range, after being set up by Mesut Ozil.
1. 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.
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