Arsenal 2-1 Newcastle United
Last Updated: Mon, 12 Mar 2012 22:13
Arsenal created Premier League history as they came from a goal down to defeat Newcastle 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium on Monday evening.
Hatem Ben Arfa put Newcastle ahead in the first half but Robin van Persie replied immediately for the Gunners before Thomas Vermaelen sealed the win with an injury time strike.
It is the first time in the league's 20-year history that a club has come from behind to win four successive games, while more importantly the latest victory puts Arsene Wenger's men to within a point of third-placed north London rivals Tottenham.
Alan Pardew's Magpies remain in sixth spot but are well placed for Europa League qualification.
Arsenal went close to taking the lead in the third minute when Theo Walcott's inviting cross from the right almost fell for Van Persie but the prolific Dutch striker could not stretch his leg any further to divert the ball into the net from close range.
Newcastle did go ahead on 14 minutes when they broke quickly and Gabriel Obertan found Ben Arfa down the right side of the Arsenal area. He cut inside Kieran Gibbs before hitting a fierce left-foot strike inside Wojciech Szczesny's near post.
The lead lasted less than a minute as Walcott broke down the right and whipped in a cross to Van Persie, who checked inside Mike Williamson before smashing his left-foot effort past Tim Krul from close range.
Van Persie hit an effort just over the Newcastle bar on 17 minutes as the hosts dominated possession for large spells of the half but could not add to the score-line.
Arsenal continued to dominate in the second half with Krul needing two attempts to save a flick header from Tomas Rosicky on 49 minutes, before denying Van Persie's angled strike with his legs six minutes later.
Van Persie fired another angled drive past the far post on 79 minutes after Gibbs took advantage of some sloppy defending by Danny Simpson, while Gervinho missed from a couple of yards out when Arteta's free kick went through a crowd of players and fell at his feet at the back post moments later.
Vermaelen got forward to see his header cleared away from near the back post by Simpson and then forced a great save from Krul, who tipped his 90th minute effort over the bar at full stretch.
However, the big defender was not to be denied and grabbed the winner in the fifth minute of stoppage time when Walcott's cross from the right dropped to him at the back post and he swept it past Krul from close range.