Saturday, June 8

Newcastle United 0 Arsenal 1: match report Fourth place? It sure as hell felt like a triumph for Arsenal. They had put Tottenham Hotspur back in their box for another season and they had kept the run of what is now 16 seasons in the Champions League going. It seemed impolite in the circumstances to mention that this was just fourth place for which air was being punched and backs being slapped but that was, indeed, the reality.At the final whistle, Arsene Wenger turned towards his bench with both fists in the air and instinctively hugged the nearest man in an Arsenal jersey, which happened to be Mikel Arteta. This was what fourth place meant to Arsenal so forgive them if it got a little emotional. Compared to the worst-case scenario for Arsenal, which would have been Spurs taking their place among the elite and a future so uncertain that even the best-laid transfer plans could have gone awry this summer, it was a relief for them. When you consider the seven points they trailed Spurs by after defeat at White Hart Lane on 3 March then it was indeed a monumental effort to haul themselves back. (

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