Gunners finish in fourth

2013-05-20 00:00

NEWCASTLE — Arsenal claimed the final Champions League spot at the expense of their arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur on the last day of the Premier League season yeterday with a 1-0 win at Newcastle United.

Defender Laurent Koscielny put visitors Arsenal ahead in the 52nd minute to secure fourth place with 73 points, one point ahead of fifth-placed Spurs who mustered a late goal from Gareth Bale to beat Sunderland 1-0 at White Hart Lane.

Chelsea finished third with 75 points with a 2-1 win to Everton.

Arsenal looked likely to miss out on a lucrative top four finish in the Premier League when they were seven points adrift of north London rivals Tottenham with only 10 games to play. But the Gunners’ unblemished record of qualifying for Europe’s elite club competition under Arsène Wenger was extended thanks to Koscielny’s goal early in the second half at St James’ Park.

There was an extra edge to Arsenal’s celebrations as their success came at the expense of Spurs, who finished one point behind the Gunners.

Newcastle’s third successive home defeat was a disappointment for a crowd of 52 354.

But, following the victory at QPR that confirmed their Premier League status, the main focus for Newcastle was the final game of Steve Harper, the goalkeeper who has spent two decades at the club.

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