Battling draw sees Arsenal edge ahead in the fight for third

Stoke 1 Arsenal 1

Crouch 9; van Persie 15

Although both sides had opportunities to win this game in the closing 15 minutes, a draw at the home of one of their bogey teams will have pleased Arsenal, particularly in the light of Newcastle’s heavy defeat at Wigan. It leaves them in control of their own destiny in the battle for the third and final guaranteed Champions League spot. However, the game was marred by persistent abuse from the home fans, much of it targeted at Aaron Ramsey, who was returning to the ground where he had his leg broken by Ryan Shawcross two years ago. Read more of this post

Arsenal draw creates three-horse race for third

Arsenal 0 Chelsea 0

A goalless draw did little to aid the Champions League aspirations of either club, but a heavily rotated Chelsea will be much the happier after a dogged performance ahead of their critical semi-final second leg in Barcelona on Tuesday. Meanwhile Arsenal created little and squandered the handful of opportunities which did come their way, and are showing signs of fragility, fatigue and faltering momentum just when they need it most.

Just one point from two home games in the past six days has opened the door for Tottenham and Newcastle in the battle for third place. Both kick off later this afternoon six points behind but with two games in hand. Read more of this post

Six in a row as Verminator kills off Everton

Everton 0 Arsenal 1

Vermaelen 8

Arsenal climbed into the top three for the first time this season as Thomas Vermaelen netted the winning goal for the second consecutive game to register the team’s sixth straight Premier League win. However, they were made to battle right to the end by a dogged Everton side who matched the visitors blow for blow after being overrun for the first 25 minutes. With other results going Arsenal’s way, they are now one point ahead of Tottenham and six ahead of fifth-placed Chelsea in the battle for the Champions League qualifying spots.

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Henry delivers a parting gift as substitutes lead Arsenal comeback

Sunderland 1 Arsenal 2

McClean 70; Ramsey 75, Henry 90+1

Legends write their own headlines. Just as it looked like Arsenal would have to settle for an honourable battling draw at a misty Stadium of Light, Thierry Henry poked home an injury-time winner to condemn high-flying Sunderland to defeat and ensure the Emirates Stadium faithful will continue to speak of his name in reverent tones long after he returns to the US next week. With Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle all losing, Arsenal climbed back into the top four.

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No defence for Arsenal as Ramsey suffers kitchen nightmare

Swansea 3 Arsenal 2

Sinclair pen 16, Dyer 57, Graham 70; van Persie 5, Walcott 69

As the old saying goes: if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. On the occasion of his first league fixture in his home country since leaving Cardiff City 3½ years ago, Wales captain Aaron Ramsey was the most notable of several Arsenal players to wilt as Swansea turned up the heat. The visitors’ failings should not, however, detract from Brendan Rodgers’ side, who beat Arsenal at their own game, passing the ball quickly and confidently, working hard when not in possession, and counter-attacking with real purpose. Their well-deserved victory raised them into the top half of the table, while Arsenal are now four points adrift of the top four and looking less like a Champions League team with every passing game.

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