Sunday, May 15, 2016

Arsenal 2015-2016: May

May 8, 2016 Arsenal at Manchester City 11AM EST

We're coming to the end of the season and with Leicester having wrapped up the title the only thing left to be decided for Arsenal is whether they can continue their record of celebrating another St. Totteringham's Day by finishing above Spuds. Going in to the match against Man City, Arsenal know that Spurs dropped points by losing at home to Southampton. 

Also to be decided is whether City can catch Arsenal in the race for the top 3. While a win would be the best outcome, a draw would all but secure that Arsenal would finish higher than the billionaires of City.

Arsenal held their nerve and showed some resiliency by coming from behind twice. In the end a draw was a reasonable result and it left Arsenal in a good position to finish above Man City.

Auero's 8th minute goal was answered within two minutes when Giroud evened things up. Giroud scored with a header from a corner that was conceded after former Arsenal defender Gael Clichy made a bonehead back pass to Joe Hart which the goalie had to let go out for the corner.

Kevin de Bruyne gave City the lead again in the 51st minute on a shot that Petr Cech really should have saved. Luckily Alexis Sanchez tied the score with a strike in the 68th minute. Arsenal remain in third behind Spuds by two points and ahead of City by three.

Sunday May 15, 2016 Arsenal vs. Aston Villa 10AM EST

While the score was the same as last May's FA Cup Final, the 4-0 victory didn't have the same excitement level of last year's win. With Aston Villa having been relegated, a win was expected and would put an end to a season that offered lots of hope but ultimately led to frustration and in fighting among supporters.

The only thing left to be decided on this last day of the season was whether or not Tottenham would be able to finish above Arsenal for the first time in 21 years. Spuds held a two point advantage and a superior goal differential heading in to the match. All they really needed to do was get at least one point away to already relegated Newcastle.

Common sense would say that there was no way Tottenham could screw this one up. However, I had a feeling that Newcastle could come up with a surprise victory for their home fans before heading down to the Championship.

Giroud gave Arsenal the lead within five minutes. From there it was a big of a slog but Aston Villa really never looked like they could score. It was 1-0 Arsenal at half time while Spuds found themselves behind Newcastle 2-0 at the interval.

Giroud went on to complete a hat trick with goals in the 78th and 80th minutes. In his last Arsenal match, Mikel Arteta came on in the 88th minute and finished up the scoring with a shot that bounced off of the back of Villa keeper Mark Bunn.

After the match both Tomas Rosicky and Mikel Arteta were recognized for their contributions to Arsenal as they will both be leaving the club this off season.

Meanwhile, wouldn't you know it but up in Newcastle Tottenham pulled off the most amazing display of bottling an opportunity by ending up losing 5-1 to a relegated Newcastle team that had been reduced to ten men. 

While disappointing overall, the season ended with Arsenal in second place and celebrating St. Totteringham's Day for the 21st year in a row.