Arsenal Season Review 2012-13 in Pictures and Videos
The Season's 10 Best Moments
Arsenal finished 4th in the 2012-13 Premier League with 73 points. It was a disappointing campaign with calamitous exits to Blackburn and Bradford in the Cup competitions. The club exited the Champions League in the round of 16 against Bayern Munich, and were almost denied a place in next year's competition by an ever-improving Spurs side.
Despite this lack of achievement, there were some memorable moments and pleasant surprises to satiate the fans' need for drama and delight. The following is a review of the best moments from Arsenal's 2012-13 season.
1. The impact of Santi Cazorla
Arsenal signed Santi Cazorla from cash-strapped Malaga on August 7th 2012. The fee was an estimated 16 million pounds. He made an immediate impact, claiming man of the match in his debut against Sunderland. He soon scored his first goal for the club in a 2-0 win at Anfield.
Cazorla went on to score 12 goals and make 16 assists in 48 matches. This included a wonderful hatrick in a 5-2 demolition of Reading, and a haul of 4 assists against Wigan. The video showcases the exploits of this little magician.
Santi Cazorla's first season
2. The performance at Anfield
On September 2nd 2012, Arsenal traveled to meet Liverpool in the Premier League. The all-round team performance was spectacular, with Abou Diaby powering through the midfield on several occasions. We all knew Diaby was capable of this level of skill, but his frequent injuries had prevented a consistent showing. Arsenal cruised to a comfortable 2-0 win with goals from Podolski and Cazorla.
Abou Diaby vs Liverpool
3. Beating Reading 7-5
On October 30th, one of the most exciting Carling Cup matches of all time was played at Reading's Madejski stadium. Including extra time, twelve goals were scored over the course of the match. Arsenal were 4-0 down after 37 minutes before a sensational comeback began. Walcott netted a hatrick, Chamakh got two, and Giroud and Koscielny also scored as Reading's defense fell to pieces.
All 12 goals in Arsenal vs Reading
4. Beating Spurs 5-2 again
Less than a year earlier, Arsenal had annihilated Tottenham 5-2 in a season changing encounter. On November 17th 2012, the same exact scoreline was repeated again. Suspected spy, Emmanuel Adebayor, dutifully got himself sent off for an atrocious high tackle on Santi Cazorla.
Before being dismissed, Adebayor had given Spurs an early lead. Mertesacker then equalized with an emphatic header before goals from Podolski and Giroud gave the Gunners a 3-1 half time lead. Two more goals from Cazorla and Walcott completed the rout.
5. Walcott's hatrick against Newcastle
On December 29th, Theo Walcott struck a hatrick in a 7-3 thrashing of Newcastle at the Emirates stadium. Giroud scored twice in the match, with Oxlade Chamberlain and Podolski adding to the tally. The match will be remembered for Walcott's final goal. Somehow he wriggled through 3 challenges before expertly chipping the goalkeeper to conclude a stunning solo effort (video).
Walcott vs Newcastle
6. Arrival of Nacho Monreal
After the disastrous form of Andre Santos and a long term injury to Keiran Gibbs, Wenger was forced to buy a left back in the January transfer window. He had been monitoring Nacho Monreal for several months and was planning to buy the player in the summer.
On January 31st 2013, Monreal was signed for 8.5 million from the Spanish Champions League side, Malaga. As Spain's 2nd choice left back, he was a welcome addition in the eyes of many Arsenal fans.
On his debut against Stoke, Arsenal kept a clean sheet and won the match 1-0. He scored his first goal for the club in a 2-0 win at Swansea on March 16th 2013. Coming in the 74th minute, it was a vital goal to open to scoring.
Monreal's 1st goal for Arsenal
7. Return of Jack Wilshere
After 14 months out injured, Jack Wilshere returned to first team football on October 27th, and went on to become Arsenal's best player over the next 4 months.
His efforts included a goal in the 1-0 win against Swansea in the FA Cup. However, Wilshere's dribbling and acceleration while in possession were what stunned many football fans. He made numerous driving runs through opposition midfields, and was always able to produce quick, intelligent passes. In particular, he shined against Swansea and Liverpool at the Emirates. The video below is a compilation of his efforts this season.
Jack Wilshere in the 2012/13 season
8. Beating Bayern 2-0
On March 13th 2013, Arsenal traveled to Germany to meet Bayern Munich in the 2nd leg of the Champions League knockout round. The team were trailing 3-1 after the first leg. They put in a fantastic effort, defeating the Germans 2-0 on their own turf with goals from Giroud and Koscielny. Before this encounter, Bayern had won 16 games in a row and were unbeaten in 28 matches. Arsenal exited the tournament on away goals, but it was the start of a turning point in the season. Arsenal went on to play 10 more games, winning 8 and drawing 2. Bayern went on to win the Champions League.
9. Defensive Solidarity
The season-saving run just described coincided with the re-inclusion of Laurent Koscielny into the first team. Captain, Thomas Vermaelen, was dropped by Wenger after making several defensive errors in recent matches. Koscielny and Per Mertesacker went on to form the best defensive partnership in the Premier League for the remainder of the season. Beginning with Bayern Munich, Arsenal won 9, drew 2, and conceded only 5 goals between March 13th and May 19th!
10. St. Totteringham's Day
Coming later than ever this year, St. Totteringham's Day was celebrated on May 19th 2013 (the last day of the season). This yearly event marks the point when Tottenham are no longer able to finish above Arsenal in the league. Laurent Koscielny scored in a 1-0 win away to Newcastle to seal their fate.
In a hilarious bonus, a spy in the Spurs ranks fed them news that Newcastle had scored an equalizer. The news was incorrect, but the wild celebration from their fans was priceless (video).
Laurent Koscielny's defensive performance on the day was legendary. He was already the best player on the pitch when he scored the decisive goal. It resulted from a Walcott free kick that Podolski headed towards goal. Koscielny stretched out his right leg to fire the ball into the net from 2 yards.
Tottenham managed to beat Sunderland, but they were once again condemned to next season's Europa League (where they belong).
Every Arsenal Goal in 2012-13!
Arsenal Player of the Season
- Santi Cazorla
- Laurent Koscielny
- Jack Wilshere
- Theo Walcott
- Per Mertesacker
It was an eventful season elsewhere, with Alex Ferguson finally retiring and being replaced by David Moyes, and Luis Suarez outing himself as a vampire by biting Branislav Ivanovich.
The season ended with many Arsenal fans calling for an improved team. Furthermore, reports from within the club suggested that Arsene Wenger finally had the funds to make it happen. Indeed, over the next summer, Wenger finally splashed the cash on proven talent by bringing in Mesut Özil to the tune of 43 million pounds!
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