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Arsenal 7-3 Newcastle

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Walcott: At the double

Walcott: At the double

Arsenal turned on the style late on as they hammered Newcastle 7-3 in a mad game of football at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening.

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A hat-trick from Theo Walcott, a brace from Olivier Giroud and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski's goals handed the north London giants three vital points to go fifth, two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

Newcastle, meanwhile, got the goals through Demba Ba (43, 69) and Sylvain Marveaux (59), but finished the day 15th, three points above the relegation zone.

Walcott continued to back-up his salary demands after opening the scoring with a smart finish from a tight angle in the 20th minute.

At the start of what would become a crazy see-saw encounter at the Emirates Stadium, Ba levelled matters after his free-kick deflected of the head of Jack Wilshere to wrong-foot Wojciech Szczesny and allow the ball to nestle in the back of the net.

The Gunners regained the lead five minutes after the restart as Oxlade-Chamberlain rifled home into the bottom corner, although the visitors once again drew level, Marveaux with a simple tap-in at the far post.

The match went back in the hosts' favour after 64 minutes as Podolski headed home from point blank following some brilliant build-up play from Wilshere.

The Toon Army levelled things up for a third time just five minutes later as Ba ran on to a glorious clipped pass from Marveaux to guide his shot home at the far-post.

However, that would prove the last reason to cheer for the visiting fans as Kieran Gibbs fed the ball to Walcott inside the area, with the midfielder taking time to control before sending his effort into the very top corner

Giroud came on off the bench to devastating effect, scoring the first of his two with a wonderful diving header before completing his brace three minutes from time with a well-taken shot into the bottom corner.

And with just moments remaining Walcott put the icing on the cake, drifting past four defenders before clipping a glorious effort home from a very tight angle to complete his treble.

Posted: 29/12/12 19:24

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