Football

Arsenal: Top 10 key moments of the season

Koscielny and Mertesacker struck up a fine partnership (©GettyImages)
Koscielny and Mertesacker struck up a fine partnership (©GettyImages).

The 2012/13 Premier League season has finally come to its conclusion and for the next few months all the talk will be based on transfer rumours and speculation.

But what a season it has been, with plenty of ups-and-downs and dramas, especially for Arsenal.

Their fate was sealed on the final day of the season as they beat Newcastle United 1-0 to guarantee Champions League football next season ahead of fierce-rivals Tottenham - and it was quite a fitting end for the Gunners after a very tough season.

Disappointment once again on the trophy-front, but what a great 2013 they had - coming from seven points behind the top four to then secure a fourth-place finish.

The Arsenal official website have released their top 10 key moments of the Premier League season and revealed what the reasons were behind their impressive ending.

Here all the top 10 - in no particular order.

10. A new start

Arsenal believe the three new signings of Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla gave the club a breathe of fresh air and started a new era for the Gunners.

The departures of Robin van Persie and Alex Song were terrible news for the club and the fans, but the three signings that came in impressed and all had great debut seasons.

A new-look Arsenal team now means they can forget about the past and look towards their future.

9. Getting the first victory

After the first two games, Arsenal had drawn two, scored none, conceded none and many people were classing them as a mid-table team already because of the lack of firepower up front, but they then travelled to Anfield and picked up an impressive 2-0 away win thanks to goals from Podolski and Cazorla.

8. Olivier Giroud settling in

Unlike the other two summer signings, it took Giroud a bit of time to get going and to adapt to the Premier League. He missed a couple of chances in each of the opening three games and a lot of people were questioning his abilities, but the Frenchman finally came good at the end and his first Premier League goal against West Ham United was the start of his debut season.

7. Jack Wilshere returning

Injured in the summer of 2011 and returning to first team action late 2012. It was a torrid year for Wilshere and also for Arsenal as they missed their star man in the centre of the park, but his return to first-team action was brilliant news for the club and despite Arsene Wenger saying he won't be back to his best, the Englishman put in some fantastic performances for the club.

Everyone will be looking forward to seeing what he can do next season.

6. Contract extensions

It was a big year for youngsters putting their futures in concrete at the Emirates Stadium and it was mainly those from a British background. Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Carl Jenkinson, Kieran Gibbs, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott all put pen to paper and signed extensions at Arsenal this season.

Great news for the club as they look to the future.

5. ‘Bouncebackability’

The made-up term that defined a lot of Arsenal's season and it meant the ability to win games after suffering surprises losses previously.

Arsenal had just beat knocked out of the Capital One Cup by Bradford City, a team that applied their trade in League Two, but the Premier League side then bounced back and thrashed Reading 5-3 in a league game.

4. Comebacks

They were the comeback kings last season and they were at it again a lot this season, especially nearer the end of the season.

A lot of the time the Gunners would either go 1-0 down or always be pegged back at 1-1, but the side never gave up and always carried on fighting which eventually lead to all three points.

West Ham and Norwich at home are two great examples, going down 1-0 both times but eventually winning 5-1 and 3-1 respectively.

3. Beating Bayern Munich

Arsenal were hammered by Bayern Munich at the Emirates Stadium in the Champions League and had to travel to Germany needing to win - and win big.

They lost the first-leg 3-1 and were given no hope of getting anything at the Allianz Arena, but credit to the players as they fought and fought and came away with a 2-0 win.

The result wasn't enough on the night to see them progress, but it was enough to kick-start their season.

2. Tomas Rosicky returning

At the end of last season, Rosicky was arguably Arsenal's best player and although not being as influential this season, the Czech international was still superb in the last few months.

A real veteran in the centre of the park. He can slow the game down when needs be, but can also speed it up in a blink of an eye.

Outstanding match-winning performance away at West Brom as well as he bagged both goals in a 2-1 win.

1. Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker

If you told all Arsenal fans this would be the partnership that gets them top four this season, they would have laughed in your face - especially because Thomas Vermaelen was the club captain. But by the end of the season, these guys deserve the majority of the credit.

Not only were they solid as a rock at the back, they also contributed to two winning goals: one at Fulham and one at Newcastle.

In the end of season run that saw Arsenal go unbeaten in 11 games, these two were phenomenal at the back and the side didn't concede more than five goals in those last 11 games.

 

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