Arsenal 4-0 Aston Villa: The Gunners beat Tottenham Hotspur to second on the final day

Report on the actions at the Emirates Stadium on the final day of the 2015/16 campaign.

Arsenal 4-0 Aston Villa: The Gunners beat Tottenham Hotspur to second on the final day
Olivier Giroud celebrates his hat-trick. | Source: Julian Finney/Getty Images
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Aston Villa
Arsenal: Cech; Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal; Cazorla (Arteta, min. 88), Coquelin, Wilshere (Elneny, min. 69); Ozil (Campbell, min. 88), Alexis; Giroud
Aston Villa: Bunn; Lyden (Grealish, min. 75), Bacuna, Lescott (Richards, min. 65), Toner; Cissokho, Westwood, Sanchez, Gueye; Sinclair, Ayew
SCORE: 1-0, min. 5, Giroud 2-0, min. 78, Giroud 3-0, min. 80, Giroud 4-0, min. 90+2, Bunn (OG)
REFEREE: Mark Clattenburg. Bookings; C. Sanchez (min. 39)

It was a simple task on paper for Arsenal; win three points against Aston Villa and watch Tottenham Hotspur lose, and they'll finish second. The home team were elated at full-time to learn that their North London rivals had lost 5-1 at St James' Park and, following Arsenal's 4-0 win over Aston Villa, finish second in the table and above Tottenham for the 21st consecutive year. 

Quick start

Arsene Wenger's men knew the task they faced required work on their end as well as that of Newcastle's; in the fifth minute of the game, Arsenal took the lead through Olivier Giroud. The Frenchman scored a trademark header following a tempting cross from Nacho Monreal from the left, Arsenal were ahead and were heading in the right direction. 

Newcastle lend Arsenal a hand

The game simmered down following the goal, Arsenal were well in control of Villa, who were relegated last month. Following the what could be described as dull game, a cheer erupted around the Emirates as the news broke that Newcastle had taken the lead against Tottenham - A Georginio Wijnaldum strike just prior to the 20-minute mark. 

Arsenal fans finding the news from Newcastle. | Source: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Arsenal fans finding the news from Newcastle. | Source: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

As the game ticked on at the Emirates Stadium, another round of applause rung around the stands of the stadium, as Newcastle doubled their lead through Aleksandar Mitrovic minutes before halftime. Arsenal were well in control of the proceedings in North London, and Newcastle seemed to be doing the same to the delight of everyone associated with Arsenal. 

The final day nerves arrive

Having just watched Mohamed Elneny come close to doubling Arsenal's lead with a volley inside the box, the nerves began to rise in North London as news came in that Erik Lamela had scored for Tottenham; setting the score at 2-1 with 20 minutes to play. The Arsenal fans were on the edge of their seats all over the world, as goalscorer Mitrovic was sent off for a disgraceful tackle on Kyle Walker, shortly after Lamela's goal. Could the ten men of Newcastle hang on, and could Arsenal better their lead?

Pressure relieved 

After being reduced to ten men, Newcastle stunned their visitors by restoring their two-goal lead. Wijnaldum claimed his second of the game from the spot, following a controversial penalty decision from Anthony Taylor

Arsenal also responded to the elation in their stadium as the home fans were informed of Newcastle's goal. Giroud grabbed his second of the game, turning the ball in from close range. Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez combined on the edge of the box, playing a one-two before Özil gave Giroud his goal as he claimed his 19th assist of the season. 

Two minutes later, the Frenchman got his second hat-trick of the season - his first in the league. An inch-perfect through ball from Hector Bellerin found the extended leg of Giroud as he slotted the ball home for 3-0.

Newcastle out-class Tottenham

The Magpies scored two in two minutes to claim their ninth victory of the season, in their final game in the Premier League following their relegation last week. Rolando Aarons and Daryl Janmaat were the scorers as Tottenham were deprived of second place. 

Hero and Villain; scorer and sent off. | Source: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Hero and Villain; scorer and sent off. | Source: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Thing's couldn't get better at the Emirates, as minutes later, club captain Mikel Arteta scored Arsenal's fourth of the day in his final appearance for the club. Villa couldn't clear their lines, allowing Francis Coquelin to intercept play into the direction of Alexis Sanchez, who cut the ball back to Arteta to fire home. The goal has been recorded as a Mark Bunn own goal, as his initial strike hit the crossbar, bouncing into the back of the Villa k'eeper and into the net. 

Second confirmed for Arsenal 

It was a painful day for Tottenham, which in theory confirms that it was a sensational day for Arsenal. The Gunners sealed second place in what can only be described as a bizarre season. Like Newcastle, Villa played their final game in the Premier League as they too will play in the Championship next season following their increasingly displeasing season.