Newcastle 0 Arsenal 1: It was so tense, admits Theo Walcott
Newcastle 0 Arsenal 1: Theo Walcott admitted the atmosphere during Arsenal's victory at Newcastle was incredibly tense
Theo Walcott admitted the atmosphere during Arsenal’s victory at Newcastle United was incredibly tense as the Gunners pipped Tottenham to fourth and a place in next season’s Champions League.
After a goalless first half at St James’ Park, the Gunners made the decisive breakthrough in the 52nd minute when Laurent Koscielny turned home Walcott’s free-kick.
With Spurs taking a late 1-0 lead against 10-man Sunderland, any slip-up by Arsene Wenger’s men would have meant Europa League football for Arsenal.
And after watching Arsenal finish just a point ahead of their north London rivals, Walcott said: “It was so tense.
“Our fans were absolutely fantastic. The pitch wasn’t great at times but Newcastle showed that they shouldn’t be where they are in the league.
“We had to dig deep. Our defence has been absolutely solid, we’ve been keeping clean sheets for fun and that’s what wins you games. Everyone’s very proud of each other.”
He continued: “I didn’t know Spurs had taken the lead. Every game’s important, they did their part. We knew it was in our hands and we knew what we had to do today.
“I’d like to say it’s a shame [for Tottenham] but it’s not really!”
Meanwhile, match-winner Koscielny admitted it was crucial that Arsenal secured their place in Europe’s elite club competition once again.
“We are happy,” said the defender. “It’s like last year. We finished another game with a win and it’s very important for the club to play in the Champions League next year. We did the job well.
“The team played very well and it was good because we are some good players and want to play in the Champions League.”