Arsenal 2 – 1 Newcastle United

Thomas Vermaelen struck in added time as Arsenal came from behind to beat Newcastle and move within a point of Tottenham in the race for third place.

Hatem Ben Arfa had put the visitors in the lead with a powerful left foot shot after 13 minutes but within 60 seconds the hosts were level.

The impressive Theo Walcott’s cross was met by Robin Van Persie who cut inside Mike Williamson and tucked away his 44th goal in his last 45 Premier League games.

The home side should have been ahead well before Ben Arfa’s opener, Walcott crossing for Van Persie inside two minutes but the Dutchman could not connect with the ball from two yards.

Once Van Persie had levelled the Gunners began to dominate, Tomas Rosicky once again at the heart of most things good for Arsene Wenger’s side.

The Czech has been in brilliant form of late and today signed a new contract with the London outfit and could have celebrated with a goal but his glancing header was well saved by Tim Krul.

Moments later Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came close to putting Arsenal ahead with a volley but the Geordies were holding on.

Substitute Gervinho had a great chance from Mikel Arteta’s free kick but fluffed the opportunity and it looked as if the points were set to be shared.

But in the fifth of eight minutes additional time Vermealen’s close range finish secured a vital win for the Gunners.

Tempers flared after the goal as an on running battle throughout between Van Persie and Krul saw them both booked.

Arsenal’s win puts them within a point of Tottenham and more importantly three clear of fifth place Chelsea.

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