The final day

Behind the Numbers - Last games

This week our statistician looks at Arsenal's record in the final game of the season, and reflects on the seventh campaign at Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal go into this weekend's match at Newcastle knowing they have never dropped a place in the Premier League on the final day of the season under Arsène Wenger.

In all but one of the past 15 seasons, Arsenal's position after 37 games remained the same after the 38th had been played. The exception being 2005/06 - the final game at Highbury - when the Gunners leapfrogged Spurs to finish fourth with a win over Wigan.

"Arsenal have only lost three last-day matches under Arsène Wenger, and all three were in 'dead rubbers'"

Arsenal have only lost three last-day matches under Arsène Wenger, and all three were in 'dead rubbers' i.e. when Arsenal's league position couldn't change whatever the score of the final match.

The last time Arsenal dropped a place on the final matchday was back in 1994/95. That game, coming four days after the Gunners - managed by caretaker boss Stewart Houston - had lost the Cup Winners' Cup final to Real Zaragoza, ended in a 2-1 defeat at Chelsea.

That enabled Chelsea to swap positions with Arsenal, who finished 12. That remains the Club's lowest ever Premier League finish, and the lowest-placed finish since 1976.

Since then Arsenal have twice gained a place, and the rest of the time maintained their position on the final day.

This is the fourth season in a row that Arsenal go into the season's finale without their final league position already confirmed.

In 2009/10 Arsenal were two points clear of Tottenham in third place, going into the last game, against Fulham at home. Spurs lost their last match (4-2 at Burnley), but Arsenal's 4-0 win would have been enough to secure third anyway.

The following season Arsenal were fourth with a game to play, one point behind Manchester City, and with a superior goal difference. The Gunners were held 2-2 at Fulham (Theo Walcott scoring a late equaliser), while Man City won 2-0 at Bolton, meaning even a win at Craven Cottage wouldn't have moved Arsenal up the table.

Last season, of course, Arsenal travelled to West Brom one point ahead of Spurs in third place, knowing a fourth-placed finish would not be enough for Champions League football should Chelsea lift the trophy the following week.

Tottenham won 2-0 at home to Fulham, but Arsenal's 3-2 win at the Hawthorns proved crucial.

Arsenal's last day record

Year Opponents Venue Score Position already secured? Pos before game Final pos
1992/93 Tottenham H 1-3 N 9 10
1993/94 Newcastle A 0-2 Y 4 4
1994/95 Chelsea A 1-2 N 11 12
1995/96 Bolton H 2-1 N 5 5
1996/97 Derby A 3-1 N 4 3
1997/98 Aston Villa A 0-1 Y 1 1
1998/99 Aston Villa H 1-0 N 2 2
1999/2000 Newcastle A 2-4 Y 2 2
2000/01 Southampton A 2-3 Y 2 2
2001/02 Everton H 4-3 Y 1 1
2002/03 Sunderland A 4-0 Y 2 2
2003/04 Leicester H 2-1 Y 1 1
2004/05 Birmingham A 1-2 Y 2 2
2005/06 Wigan H 4-2 N 5 4
2006/07 Portsmouth A 0-0 N 4 4
2007/08 Sunderland A 1-0 Y 3 3
2008/09 Stoke H 4-1 Y 4 4
2009/10 Fulham H 4-0 N 3 3
2010/11 Fulham A 2-2 N 4 4
2011/12 West Brom A 3-2 N 3 3

Arsenal have an impressive record in final games of the season in the Premier League in recent years, and are unbeaten in their last seven, including the last four on the road.

The overall record for the Premier League era is P20 W11 D2 L7 F41 A30, and since 1996 they have taken an average of 2.06 points per game for this fixture.

"The overall goal differences are virtually identical. At the current home it's +277, whereas it was +278 at Highbury between 1999 and 2006"

This is the third season in a row that Arsenal will finish the campaign away from home and it is the 13th time a Premier League campaign has ended away, compared to eight at home.

This is the third time in the Premier League era Arsenal will finish the season at Newcastle's St James's Park, having lost the previous two. Both of those were in seasons where Arsenal's league position was settled before the last game.

Some of the more memorable finales include the 1995/96 season, when Arsenal scored twice in the last eight minutes to beat Bolton at Highbury and qualify for Europe.

Arsenal rounded off the 2002 and 2004 seasons with home wins, against Everton and Leicester respectively, then lifted the Premier League trophy after the final whistle.

In 2006 Arsenal bid farewell to Highbury with a win over Wigan, having earlier also played in the last ever games at The Baseball Ground (a 3-1 win over Derby in 1997) and The Dell (a 3-2 defeat to Southampton in 2001).



Last day record

Last day record



Arsenal's home campaign ended on Tuesday night - the seventh at Emirates Stadium - with a record of P26 W15 D5 L6 F60 A31.

That's the fewest games Arsenal have ever played in a season at Emirates Stadium, but those 26 games produced the most goals seen in a season at the venue - 91, at a rate of 3.5 per match.

Arsenal finished the home campaign with a record of P19 W11 D5 L3 for the 19 league matches. That works out as two points fewer than the Gunners took at Emirates last season, but is still a better record than the title-winning campaign of 1988/89 for example (W10 D6 L3). It is also more points than Arsenal took at home in 2010/11.

Lukas Podolski's brace against Wigan made him the leading scorer at Emirates this season with 12, ahead of Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud with 11 each.

Emirates Stadium, 2012/13 record

2012/13 P W D L F A
League 19 11 5 3 47 23
Champions League 4 2 0 2 6 6
FA Cup 2 1 0 1 1 1
Capital One Cup 1 1 0 0 6 1
Total 26 15 5 6 60 31



Emirates Stadium, season-by-season

Emirates Stadium



The overall record at Emirates is now P197 W134 D42 L21.

Arsenal have scored 428 goals in their seven seasons at Emirates, at a rate of 2.17 per game, which is lower than the last seven seasons at Highbury (2.28 goals per game).

However, the defensive record has improved by same rate as the offensive record has deteriorated: Arsenal have conceded 0.77 goals per game at Emirates, compared to 0.88 goals per game in the final seven seasons at Highbury.

Therefore, the overall goal differences are virtually identical. At the current home it's +277, whereas it was +278 at Highbury between 1999 and 2006.

Combining the all-time Highbury league record with the all-time Emirates home record gives Arsenal an average of fractionally less than two points a game (assuming three points for a win), having scored fractionally more than two goals a game.

All-time Emirates Stadium record

Competition P W D L F A
League 133 86 31 16 248 113
Champions League 37 27 7 3 86 23
FA Cup 14 10 3 1 29 8
Capital One Cup 13 11 1 1 35 7
Total 197 134 42 21 428 151

Highbury v Emirates (all competitions)

  P W D L F A Win percentage
Last seven seasons at Highbury 198 144 36 18 451 173 73 per cent
First seven seasons at Emirates 197 134 42 21 428 151 68 per cent

Home league record (since 1913)

P W D L F A Pts/game
1822 1066 444 312 3646 1804 2

All stats correct as at May 16, 2013

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