Tag Archives: Newcastle

Match Report: Arsenal 4 – 0 Newcastle

Arsenal (0) 4 Newcastle United (0) 0
Premier League
Emirates Stadium, Drayton Park, London N5 1BU
Sunday, 16th February 2020. Kick-off time: 4.30pm

(4-2-3-1) Bernd Leno; Hector Bellerin, Shkodran Mustafi, David Luiz, Bukayo Saka; Dani Ceballos, Granit Xhaka; Nicolas Pépé, Mesut Özil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang; Eddie Nketiah.
Substitutes: Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Alexandre Lacazette, Lucas Torreira, Emiliano Martínez, Joe Willock, Sead Kolašinac, Gabriel Martinelli.
Scorers: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (54 mins), Nicolas Pépé (56 mins), Mesut Özil (89 mins), Alexandre Lacazette (94 mins)
Yellow Cards: Granit Xhaka, Bukayo Saka
Arsenal Possession Percentage: 67%
Referee: Lee Mason
Attendance: circa 60,000

For our first competitive match in eighteen days, we welcome old adversaries Newcastle United, who are a place below us in the Premier League table at the time of writing, but unfortunately share the same points as us; both sides desperately need a victory at The Emirates this afternoon, which by rights, should lead to a fiercely competitive match. The big news of the day is that young and exciting Eddie Nketiah has earned a place in the starting eleven ahead of Alexandre Lacazette; could this surprising decision be a glimpse of the future?

A wild and thunderous beginning to the match which saw Granit Xhaka picking up the first booking of the game with less than ten minutes on the clock due to a reckless challenge; however, as a team, we started to push the ball around fairly confidently and were unlucky not to open the scoring when an impressive attack broke down in the Magpies’ penalty area. Incredibly, goalie Bernd Leno pulled off a miraculous save when a shot from Sean Longstaff ricocheted off Dani Ceballos’ leg which was destined for the back of our net, when somehow our goalkeeper twisted himself around to turn the ball around the post for a corner. A close shave indeed. Despite the team struggling to gain rhythm and control in the first quarter of the game, Bukayo Saka was unlucky not to score after twenty minutes when a looping shot from outside the box narrowly missed the opponents’ goal. Worryingly, Newcastle United seemed to catch us cold with fast smash’n’grab tactics, and it has to be said that it was some kind of miracle that many of their attacks did not end up with the visitors taking the lead. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang claimed our first shot on target just after the half-hour mark when a Mesut Özil inch-perfect pass found our Gabon striker just inside the box, but his left-footed shot was easily saved by Martin Dúbravka in the visitors’ goal. Now we started to wake up, with a series of intelligent movements both on and off the ball; it was one of these attacks on the visitors’ goal that led to a superb shot from Eddie Nketiah that by rights, on any other day, would have been a goal had it not been for an excellent save from the Magpies’ goalie, who just before half-time also athletically tipped a Nicolas Pépé free-kick over the bar.

Half-time came and went, with the second half starting pretty much as the first one ended, with Arsenal gaining control and passing the ball around looking for a way through the Magpies’ midfield. Eddie Nketiah hit the crossbar from close range after some sterling work by Nicolas Pépé on the byline, jinking in and out of defenders seemingly at will. At last, after fifty-four minutes, a Nicolas Pépé cross into the visitors’ area found the head of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who wasted no time in opening the scoring for us, and incredibly, just two minutes’ later, Bukayo Saka twisted and turned two Newcastle defenders inside out on the left wing, then passed the ball low and true for Nicolas Pépé, who scored our second goal of the day with his sweet left foot. Fortunately for us, Ciaran Clark missed an open goal just after the hour mark, and we somehow appeared to just reboot and start again with hardly a blink. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang bounced the ball off the crossbar after a Mesut Özil assist, and by now, our confidence became obvious to all and sundry as the match wore on. Allan Saint-Maximin hit the post with an clever shot with a quarter of an hour remaining, and although we were shaken, we were certainly not stirred. After Bukayo Saka pointlessly received a yellow card for an unfortunate collision, Lucas Torreira replaced Dani Ceballos with ten minutes of the match remaining, and so with the game ebbing away, Eddie Nketiah was substituted for Alexandre Lacazette; seeing fresh legs on the pitch, the team were off and running again. Literally, with a minute to go on the clock, Nicolas Pépé managed to pass a simple ball to Alexandre Lacazette, who, as he was falling down, got the ball to the advancing Mesut Özil, who easily put the ball into the back of the net for our third of the match (and his first goal for ten months as well). Joe Willock replaced goalscorer Mesut Özil in injury time, and despite the massive advantage, we still came forward looking for more goals to be added to our tally; and we did! Alexandre Lacazette got our fourth and final goal from close range in the fourth minute of injury time to make it a satisfying afternoon’s work for everyone involved with Arsenal Football Club.

Well, just how good was that win today? Overall, we played very well, and there were so many good things to take away from this match. Just how impressive was Bukayo Saka out on the left? It was great to see Nicolas Pépé becoming the player that we all know he can be, and Mesut Özil played like a man possessed at times, spraying passes hither and thither. There couldn’t have been an Arsenal fan in the stadium who wanted to run on the pitch and give Alexandre Lacazette a hug of relief  when he scored the winner in injury time. We needed this victory so much after everything the fans, players and this club has been through in the past few months. Let us savour the win, and hope it gives us renewed confidence for the rest of the season, starting with the Europa League game at Olympiacos on Thursday. At last. Remember everyone, keep the faith, get behind the team and the manager, as this season is going to be crucial for our future success in all competitions. Stick with the winners. Our next match: Olympiacos at Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium, Piraeus, Greece on Thursday 20th February at 8.00pm (Europa League). Be there, if you can. Victoria Concordia Crescit.

Steve

Too Dearly Loved To Be Forgotten: Arsenal v Racing Club de Paris 1930-1962 by Steve Ingless (Rangemore Publications, ISBN 978-1-5272-0135-4) is now available on Amazon.

Match Report: Newcastle 0 – 1 Arsenal

Newcastle United (0) 0 Arsenal (0) 1
Premier League
St. James’ Park, Barrack Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4ST
Sunday, 11th August 2019. Kick-off time: 2.00pm

(4-2-3-1) Bernd Leno; Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Calum Chambers, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Nacho Monreal; Mattéo Guendouzi, Granit Xhaka; Reiss Nelson, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Joe Willock; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Substitutes: Emiliano Martínez, Dani Ceballos, Alexandre Lacazette, Lucas Torreira, Nicolas Pépé, David Luiz, Gabriel Martinelli.

Scorers: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (58 mins)
Yellow Cards: Granit Xhaka; Reiss Nelson, Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Attendance: circa 47,600

You’ve really got to wonder haven’t you? This always happens on the first day of a new season; high (and sometimes unreasonable) media predictions along with the exuberance of supporters means that we all get carried along on a wave of hope, and God forbid, horror. Having said all that, this victory today in a rainy St. James’ Park was a fantastic way to start this, an extremely important season for us all.
I would much rather be us than them; demonstrations against the owners outside the ground, a much publicised toothless boycott along with their new/old signing wearing an “icon” baseball cap; can this really be life in the 21st Century for the Magpies?

Arsenal however, absolutely ooze determination, class and a desire for success. We saw this in the first half, when Newcastle United pinned us back in our own half for long periods, with Jonjo Shelvey prodding and poking our defence with sweeping passing and snap shooting. Indeed, it was just before half-time when a shot from Shelvey clattered against the post, with Bernd Leno beaten. Trudging off the field, our players looked a wee bit downhearted, but there was nothing that happened in the first half for them to question themselves; if anything, theirs was the glory, despite the driving rain.

As we observed in the last campaign, our reserves of strength appear in the second half of matches, and this looks as if it will be the same this season. Although Unai Emery left most of the new signings on the bench for this match, the players that took the field simply assumed control, with the remarkable Ainsley Maitland-Niles winning balls and getting first to tackles in the midfield  areas, and it has to be said that his influence and spirit inspired the others to go ahead and win this match. It was starting to look as if three points were there for the taking, and slowly and surely, we were directing traffic as only we could.

The goal, when it came, amazed everyone, snd in some ways, surprised no-one. Ainsley Maitland-Niles seized the ball from the hapless Paul Dummet’s wayward pass, and suddently everyone in the stadium sensed that something special was on. Simply ignoring the poor efforts of  Jamaal Lascelles, he slotted an inch perfect ball into the space between the defence and the goalkeeper where the predatory Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang lay in wait like a hungry shark eyeing its prey. Just two touches from the Gabon international and the ball was in the back of the net in the blink of an eye, and from this moment onwards, the Magpies were finished.

Unai Emery brought on three newbies, namely Dani Ceballos, Gabriel Martinelli and our record signing, young Nicolas Pépé to lively up ourselves, which certainly worked. With our substitutes on the pitch, we became imaginative, brave and in a funny way, risk averse. Newcastle never looked as if they were able to equalise at any time, let along provide the spark to go and grab one; Arsenal just simply did what they always do best, namely shut up shop, keep the ball and run the clock down, which they successfully did.
Lots of good things came from today’s performance in Newcastle, the “Young Guns” who were utterly superb, as well as the older players who worked tirelessly to keep the much-coveted clean sheet, which at this level is an increasingly hard thing to achieve. Much too early for us to get excited, but a win on the first day of the season is one that sends us all back to work tomorrow with a smile on our faces, and hope in our hearts for a successful campaign.

Remember everyone, keep the faith, get behind the team and the manager, as this season is going to be crucial for our future success in all competitions. Stick with the winners. Next match: Burnley at The Emirates on Saturday,17th August at 12.30pm. Be there. Victoria Concordia Crescit.

Steve

Too Dearly Loved To Be Forgotten: Arsenal v Racing Club de Paris 1930-1962 by Steve Ingless (Rangemore Publications, ISBN 978-1-5272-0135-4) is now available on Amazon.

Match Report: Arsenal 2 – 0 Newcastle

Arsenal (1) 2 Newcastle United (0) 0
Premier League
Emirates Stadium, Drayton Park, London N5 1BU
Monday, 1st April 2019. Kick-off time: 8.00pm

(4-2-3-1) Leno; Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal, Maitland-Niles; Ramsey, Guendouzi; Kolašinac, Özil, Iwobi; Lacazette.
Substitutes: Čech, Elneny, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang, Suárez, Jenkinson, Nketiah.
Scorers: Ramsey, Lacazette
Yellow Cards: Monreal, Kolašinac
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Attendance: circa 60,000

Great to have the Premiership back, and it’s even better to have our first match after the enforced international break here at The Emirates against Newcastle United. A good crowd with a buoyant atmosphere makes for a crackle in the air and a desire for the right result which should take us to third place in the table if everything goes the right way, of course.

Sure enough, right from the kick-off our intent was there for all to see. After just thirteen minutes, Aaron Ramsey’s goal was disallowed for a foul by Sokratis on Florian Lejeune; it has to be said that the Newcastle man didn’t even look like he was going to get close to getting the ball despite the foul. A bit harsh really, but all it did was harden our resolve to win the match. It was now becoming obvious that not only did we dominate this period of the match, we constantly and successfully pinned the Magpies back in their own half. Of course, on the half hour our skilled play and domination paid off. The movement started and finished with Aaron Ramsey; he flicked a clever ball over to Alexandre Lacazette with the outside of his right foot, and almost immediately received it back and elegantly swept it home past a nonplussed Martin Dúbravka for the first goal of the night. Although the visitors did come back into the match for the last quarter of an hour of the first half, it was Arsenal’s half from the very moment Anthony Taylor’s signal started the match to forty-five minutes later when the same whistle brought proceedings to a close.

Could the second half be any better for the Magpies? Not really. To be fair, although they did have some moments where it did look as if they could threaten our defence, in reality their general play was both flaccid and tiresome. It was becoming fairly obvious that Newcastle United decided to implement Plan B; basically, if we can’t get through Arsenal’s defence, and we are unable to adjust our system accordingly, then let’s stop them playing their brand of football instead. And that, in a nutshell, was what happened here in North London tonight. Arsenal then did, under Mr. Emery, what Arsenal does best, which is continue to play their own style of football and just simply wear Newcastle down. We did start to look rather frustrated, so it became a case of fresh legs and fresh ideas. In the space of just eight minutes, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang replaced Alex Iwobi, and Mohamed Elneny took the place of our goalscorer, Aaron Ramsey. Now the sparks started to fly, with the movement from midfield becoming crisper, the shots on the visitors’ goal more urgent.

Sure enough, we got the second goal that our play deserved. Seventeen minutes from time, Alexandre Lacazette got the ball to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who in turn headed it back, and Alexandre Lacazette cleverly lobbed the ball over Martin Dúbravka into the net for a well-taken goal. Our third and final substitute came a couple of minutes later when Henrikh Mkhitaryan replaced a tired Mesut Özil, and almost immediately we were off again. If the match had carried on another five minutes, we could have got a third, but it was not to be, and two-nil was the score of the night.

This is great stuff. Who would have thought it a few months ago? Ten home Premiership matches in a row undefeated, and after tonight’s win, we have simply leapfrogged Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur into third place in the Premiership. So many good things came from tonight’s match; the resolve of the defence, the sharpness of the attack, and hey, doesn’t Aaron Ramsey get better with every game? This is our only sadness, that our little Welsh wizard is to leave us in the summer. Let’s hope beyond hope that out there in the wild blue yonder there is a tailor made replacement for him. He’s out there somewhere! Remember everyone, keep the faith, get behind the team and the manager, as these early days are going to be crucial for our future success in all competitions. Stick with the winners. Victoria Concordia Crescit.

Steve

Too Dearly Loved To Be Forgotten: Arsenal v Racing Club de Paris 1930-1962 by Steve Ingless (Rangemore Publications, ISBN 978-1-5272-0135-4) is now available on Amazon.