Arsenal Secured First League Win Since New Years Day Against Newcastle United
The Gunners had not won a game in the Premier League since 1 January against Manchester United. Coming up against a Newcastle side with many new players, many fans didn’t know what to expect.
After a slow start in the first half, with not many good chances blessing the two sides, the boys in red and white came into the second half with a new spirit about them. They gained chance after chance until Aubameyang scored a header in the 54th minute. Only two and a half minutes later, Ivorian winger Nicolas Pepe slotted home a tidy finish to double the lead.
More good play by for the Gunners was instigated by Nicolas Pepe threading a clever ball through to late substitute Alexandre Lacazette. He put it across to Mesut Ozil, who unconvincingly slotted it past Martin Dubravka for three.
In the 95th minute, with just a little bit of extra time left to play, Lacazette put home a fourth. The atmosphere in the Emirates Stadium was electric.
Newcastle had some chances as well, but the Magpies were not able to take them well enough, leading to a very disappointing defeat. Arsenal now have their seventh league win under their belt, leaving them 10th in the table.
Arteta’s Arsenal Finally Secure Another Win
Arteta slightly rotated the side after the team’s trip to Dubai. Eddie Nketiah made his first Premier League start, ahead of 50-million striker Lacazette. Gabriel Martinelli was rested after an impressive string of performances.
The January player of the month made way for Aubameyang to be put on the left-wing, which proved successful in the end.
Dani Ceballos came in for Lucas Torreira, and playing in a deeper role proved his quality with a good display in the centre of midfield. Furthermore, the highly-criticized Shkodran Mustafi made his way into the side as well. Bukayo Saka stayed at left-back and proved his worth with an amazing performance.
As for Newcastle, it was an interesting lineup from Steve Bruce. Joelinton was up top, with new loan signings Valentino Lazaro and Danny Rose as wing-backs. Miguel Almiron kept his place in the side. Martin Dubravka, the man who almost carries the team, is in goal.
A Slow Start for Arsenal
The Gunners had to come into this game all-guns-blazing after their week-long trip to Dubai.
One couldn’t be criticized for predicting that Newcastle would win after Arsenal’s lacklustre showing in the first half.
Arsenal did indeed have a couple of scoring chances, however. Saka let a few shots fly from a long way out, but all of them evaded Dubravka’s goal. In the 33rd minute, Mesut Ozil angled a delightful ball towards Aubameyang, only for the Gabon man to shoot straight at the keeper.
They put many balls into the box throughout the first half. However, the Newcastle defence made sure those chances were squandered quickly. Nicolas Pepe had a free-kick near the end of the half. However, it was struck too central and Dubravka only needed fingertips to put it over for a corner.
Newcastle caused Arsenal a lot of trouble. Wing-back Valentino Lazaro made many a chance on the right-hand side, drawing fouls and pulling trick-after-trick against the Arsenal defence.
The same goes for loanee Allan Saint-Maximin. His skill helped Newcastle create many goal scoring chances. However, as it proved to be for the entire half, nobody took those chances. The half ended at 0-0.
Nobody would have imagined the response from Arsenal in the second half.
Arsenal’s Electric Response and Newcastle’s Wasted Chances
Even from Newcastle’s kickoff, there was a spark in the side. The forwards ran more, passes were quicker. The team looked ready to give it their all.
In the 51st minute, Eddie Nketiah had the best chance of the game for Arsenal.
Pepe shimmied into the box and made his way towards the byline, only to cut back a perfect cross to the 20-year-old. Nketiah slammed the shot first time onto the crossbar and over. If it was on target, Dubravka would have had no chance.
Only a few minutes later, Pepe cut inside and floated a hopeful cross towards the back post. Aubameyang leapt above two defenders to head the ball into the bottom right corner.
Pepe would then get a goal of his own after Saka received the ball on the left-hand side. He then nutmegged Lazaro and slid a low pass for Pepe to lash into the bottom left corner from close range.
Newcastle had two huge chances to bring them back into the game.
Ciaran Clark was fed a cross from Saint-Maximin, only to slice his shot wide from eight yards out. It did take a small deflection from David Luiz, but it looked to have been going wide anyway.
In the 77th minute, Allan Saint-Maximin hit the inside of the post from 20 yards out, with the Arsenal defence ricocheting it away to safety.
A few minutes later, Arsenal replaced Ceballos with Torreira. Clark sustained an injury from an earlier challenge from Saka, so he’s subbed off for the Magpies.
Late Super-Sub Heroics
Arsenal continued to dominate possession throughout the latter stages of the game. In the 85th minute, the Gunners replace Eddie Nketiah with Lacazette, who hasn’t scored a goal in nine games.
In the 89th minute, Lacazette made an immense impact, after Pepe finds him in the six-yard box. The Frenchman puts the ball across to Mesut Ozil to make it three. Furthermore, he then found himself on the scoresheet after Pepe gets his second assist of the game. Pepe broke away into the box and cut the ball back to Lacazette, who fires a shot past a demoralized Dubravka.
The game ends 4-0 with spirits high and energy funnelling through every Gunner and Gooner alike inside the Emirates Stadium.
Players such as Bukayo Saka, Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette, and Nicolas Pepe put in stellar displays to put the Gunners back inside the top half of the Premier League table.
Arsenal Edge Their Way Closer to Europe
This result leaves the Gunners only six points behind the top four.
Their next five games are against sides that they have good chances of beating, with three of those games coming at home. If they can add an extra 15 points to their tally, they could definitely see themselves pushing for Champions League football. That, and Manchester City’s European competition ban, boosts their hopes immensely.
Mikel Arteta might just have his side set up the way he truly wants them to play: fast, fun, and clinical.