Dec 29, 2012, 3:04 PM EDT
Saturday’s dandy day in English Premier League soccer began with Tottenham’s 2-1 win over Sunderland … and who knew that would be one of the low-scoring contests of the day?
The primary number to consider here is 35 – as in total number of goals in England’s top flight today. It all ended with a stunning result in the late game, Arsenal’s 7-3 win over defensively challenged Newcastle.
It was really a 4-3 or 5-3 match at the Emirates in the way it played out; it was 3-3 with about 20 minutes remaining. But when Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud hooked up for a brilliant strike in the 85th, Newcastle lost its will and allowed two more to drop before it was over.
Heck, it could have been worse as Giroud banged one off the post almost five minutes into injury time.
Rob Smyth of The Guardian, live blogging from the game, said it like this: “I would summarise this game, but I have plans to leave work before 2013. In short, Theo Walcott had the time of his life.”
Walcott (pictured, on left) had a hat trick – more on that and the significance of it later. Meanwhile, consider these numbers.
- This was Walcott’s second hat trick in league play.
- The 10-spot at the Emirates was just one off a Premier League record for goals in a one match.
- Third time this year for Arsenal to score five goals or more at home
- For Newcastle, what an awful and painful week. Alan Pardew’s club scored six goals in two matches this week against some of the best of the Premier League (Manchester United and Arsenal) and come away with zero points. That, in fact, is the first time an EPL side has scored at least three in consecutive league matches and not recorded at least a point.
- FIFA ethics committee bans 11 current, former officials from all football-related activities 3
- UEFA calls for postponement of FIFA presidential election, threatens to boycott congress 5
- FIFA president Sepp Blatter releases first statement since overnight arrests 11
- Three things we learned from the US Department of Justice news conference on the FIFA investigation 6
- FIFA presidential elections will go on Friday despite arrests 6
- FBI, US Department of Justice issues damning statement on FIFA, details corruption investigation 8