Skip to main content

Last-gasp Vermaelen goal earns Arsenal crucial win

March 12, 2012 -- Updated 2245 GMT (0645 HKT)
Thomas Vermaelen was in the right place at the right time to score a crucial late winner for Arsenal against Newcastle.
Thomas Vermaelen was in the right place at the right time to score a crucial late winner for Arsenal against Newcastle.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A last minute Thomas Vermaelen goal sees Arsenal defeat Newcastle 2-1
  • The win sees Arsenal close gap to third-placed Tottenham to just one point
  • Getafe claim a 2-1 success at Villarreal in the Spanish Primera Liga on Monday
  • Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven sack coach Fred Rutten following a run of defeats

(CNN) -- A last minute Thomas Vermaelen goal gave Arsenal a vital 2-1 Premier League home win over Newcastle on Monday, a result that closes the gap on third-placed Tottenham to just a single point.

Central defender Vermaelen pounced from close range to finally end the resistance of a stubborn Newcastle side who had defended superbly in an absorbing encounter.

Arsenal enjoyed the majority of possession but it was Newcastle who opened the scoring in the 14th minute when Hatem Ben Arfa cut inside from the right and fizzed in a low shot that beat goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny at his near post.

But, within a minute, Arsenal had drawn level and yet again it was Robin van Persie who scored for the Gunners.

The Premier League's top scorer produced great skill to hold off defender Mike Williamson before firing home his 26th league goal of the season and 33rd in all competitions.

Arsenal continued to pose the bigger threat after the break, although Newcastle looked dangerous on the counter-attack.

Tomas Rosicky nearly celebrated signing a new Arsenal contract when firing wide from close range, while substitute Gervinho somehow missed the Newcastle goal from six yards out.

Then Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul pulled off a brilliant save to tip over a powerful Vermaelen header.

But Vermaelen was not to be denied and, with just a minute of injury time remaining, Arsenal broke clear through Theo Walcott, and the England international's cross was met by his Belgian teammate who had made a 50-yard run to get into the penalty area.

Arsenal, who also became the first team in Premier League history to win four games in a row after conceding the opening goal, are now three points ahead of Chelsea in the race for fourth place, with Newcastle a further five points behind in sixth place.

Elsewhere in Europe, Getafe secured their first Spanish Primera Liga win since January with a 2-1 success at struggling Villarreal.

Goals from Diego Castro and Abdelaziz Barrada proved enough for the Madrid-based side, who are now up to 13th in the table, while Villarreal remain just three points above the relegation zone.

Meanwhile, Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven have dismissed coach Fred Rutten following a run of three straight defeats.

Rutten, who took over as coach in April 2009, is replaced by his assistant Phillip Cocu until the end of the season, after recent losses to FC Twente (6-2), Valencia (4-2) and NAC Breda (3-1).

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
Last season Jose Mourinho wrote off the title of hopes of his "little horse" -- but now he has a squad primed to dethrone Manchester City.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1858 GMT (0258 HKT)
Luis Suarez will have to wait until late October to make his competitive Barcelona debut his ban for biting an opponent was partially upheld.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1649 GMT (0049 HKT)
Can Louis van Gaal cut it at Manchester United? Will Bayern conquer all in Germany? Is this PSG's year to win the Champions League?
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 1012 GMT (1812 HKT)
It's been a difficult year for Barcelona on and off the pitch, and the signing of Luis Suarez has only increased the prospect of more controversy.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1435 GMT (2235 HKT)
Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who scored a total of 16 goals at four World Cup finals, has announced his retirement from international football.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa line up in their tuxedo kit.
When celebrating an important anniversary, it's always good to look your best. At least that's theory for a Spanish football team's preseason tuxedo kit.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1103 GMT (1903 HKT)
While many top European clubs are targeting the U.S. market, French football is setting its sights on expanding into Asia -- with China playing a key role.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 1229 GMT (2029 HKT)
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1656 GMT (0056 HKT)
Europe's top clubs have booked a summer holiday to the U.S. -- but this is business not pleasure as they look to cash in on the World Cup afterglow.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1828 GMT (0228 HKT)
Brazil's new coach Dunga won the World Cup as a player in 1994.
Former World Cup-winning captain Dunga is appointed coach of Brazil's national team for the second time, charged with restoring national pride.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez continues Real Madrid's long tradition of signing "Galacticos."
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1007 GMT (1807 HKT)
Germany's World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has decided to go out at the top by announcing his retirement from international football.
ADVERTISEMENT