Arsenal took no chances in claiming the final Champions League qualification spot as they narrowly beat Newcastle at St James’ Park.
Alan Pardew post-match… “We were under strength to enter two competitions as we did. The Europa League on the Thursday night takes away a lot of legs for the Sunday. We’ve got very good young players. I think 80% of that team next year will do very well for us but they do need a lift, a bit of experience, a bit of quality. We have got some great players here.”
Arsene Wenger post-match… “They are special. I’ve told them many times but they’ve shown it in the last two months they’ve been absolutely exceptional. We have shown character and attitude. We make 73 points, that’s three points better than last season.”
Man of the Match…Laurent Koscielny: If Arsene Wenger is going to build his defence around anyone it needs to be Koscielny. Other than scoring the goal that confirmed Champions League qualification for Arsenal he was towering presence at the back and held the backline together.
Flop of the Match…Cheick Tiote: The unfathomable mystery that is Tiote continues to boggle. Last season he was a towering barrier of defiance in front of the Newcastle back four. This season he’s looked off the pace and struggled to complete the basics, such as passing to a teammate, all afternoon.