Arsenal striker Theo Walcott says Tottenham will be nervous
Tuesday 13 March 2012
Theo Walcott claims Tottenham will be nervously looking over their shoulders after Arsenal reduced the gap between the two north London rivals to just one point following last night's dramatic win over Newcastle at the Emirates Stadium.
At the end of last month Spurs stood on the verge of extending the gap between themselves and Arsenal to 13 points, but a second-half capitulation in the north London derby and two further defeats have put Harry Redknapp's team in danger of surrendering third place in the Barclays Premier League.
Arsenal defeated Liverpool two weeks ago and last night came from behind to beat Newcastle to reduce the margin between the two bitter rivals to one point, and Walcott thinks Tottenham will be looking at the Gunners' progress with fear.
"Tottenham have got to be watching over their shoulders now," Walcott told Sky Sports.
"With the squad of players we've got - and we've got a lot of players coming back to fitness now - we believe that we can go much further.
"It's been an up-and-down season, but it's the way you finish, and that's the most important thing."
A third-place finish would have been unthinkable at the turn of the year for Arsenal when they were struggling to put a decent run of results together after a woeful beginning to the campaign.
But the Londoners have now racked up five straight wins in all competitions, four of which have come from losing positions.
Three recent victories - over Sunderland, Liverpool and Newcastle yesterday, came courtesy of injury-time winners - something which Arsene Wenger believes shows how strong his team's character is.
"We won in the last minute at Sunderland, Liverpool and now Newcastle. That shows we have absolute commitment," the Arsenal manager said. "They are refusing to lose. That's fantastic."
Thomas Vermaelen was the man who snatched all three points last night, turning home Walcott's cross in the 95th minute after Arsenal had equalised Hatem Ben Arfa's opener through Robin van Persie.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew was happy with his team's efforts, but lamented the fact that they went on the attack in the final throes of injury time, leaving them vulnerable to a killer goal.
"We are very disappointed because we had the ball in their corner in the 94th minute," he said.
"We had a few problems towards the end of the game - Cheick Tiote had cramp, Danny [Simpson] had an injury, and in the end he couldn't get back to end to stop the goal.
"When the board went up saying there were five extra minutes, I could see our weary bodies and I knew it was going to be a long five minutes.
"I thought we had just done enough but we hadn't."
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