Result: Newcastle 1 – 2 Arsenal
Competition: Premier League
Date: 15 September 2018
Venue: St James’ Park
Arsenal returned from the international break with another win on the road. It was a poor first half from the Gunners but they bounced back in the second half with goals from Xhaka and Ozil. They dominated the second half but contrived to let in a late goal and set up a nervy finish. Still no clean sheet but the performance in the second half should provide some positives for Emery as a busy few weeks await the team.
The Arsenal Line-Up
Starting XI: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Ramsey, Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette
Subs: Leno, Holding, Lichtsteiner, Elneny, Torreira, Welbeck, Mhkitaryan
0′ – #JusticeforTorreira
It’s an unchanged line-up from the Cardiff game. “Don’t change a winning team” and all that but we’re surprised Torreira still hasn’t started a game for us this season. Could his calf strain from the interlull have played a part in this?
3′ – OZIL IN THE MIDDLE
Ozil has been drifting into the middle, leaving the right side unmanned. That right hand side has seen some Newcastle long balls passed into that channel and will be a key area in the match. Guendouzi has got a lot of work to do to cover that space for the team.
8′ – NEWCASTLE CHANCE
That right hand side is exposed again as Murphy streaks past Bellerin to drive in a low cross. Xhaka drops back to cover and clears the ball for a corner.
10′ – CECH MISTAKE
A jittery moment by Cech. He receives the ball from Mustafi wide right and tries to return the ball under pressure but the pass strays out for another corner. Newcastle have been aggressive so far and are smelling blood.
14′ – FIRST CHANCE FOR ARSENAL
Bellerin sprints down the right with a through ball by Ozil but his cutback was blocked and deflected off him for a goal kick.
17′ – GUENDOUZI CROSS
Guendouzi crosses from deep and the ball loops just past the far post. Arsenal have been struggling to control the game but seem to be getting into their groove slowly.
20′ – MUSTAFI BRAIN FART
Horrible blunder from Mustafi who loses his balance and goes to ground under no pressure. Sokratis bails him out with a great recovery run, kicking the ball out for a corner with Murphy bearing down on goal.
23′ – AUBAMEYANG CHANCE
Ozil lobs the ball over the top for the speedy Aubameyang but Fernandez times his tackle well to avoid an imminent one-on-one situation.
25′ – LACAZETTE SHOOTS INTO THE SIDE NET
The Frenchman spins past two defenders and his left foot shot hits the side netting.
29′ – A GAME OF ATTRITION
The game’s been lacking a bit of fluency despite the high energy approach by both teams.
31′ – BELLERIN HEADS IT CLEAR
Newcastle cross from deep and Bellerin clears it from the penalty spot. Diame’s run was unspotted and it could have been bad news if he went head to head with the Spaniard. We’ve got to stop their crosses from deep which has been quite frequent so far.
32′ – RAMSEY MISSES
A quick counter by Arsenal and a sweet Lacazette through pass finds Ramsey on the left. He skews his shot wide from an acute angle when he should have lobbed it to Aubameyang who was well positioned at the far post. Best move by Arsenal so far.
40′ – ARSENAL GETS INTO THE GROOVE
Arsenal have been pinging the ball around comfortably in the last 2 minutes without much penetration. Bellerin then finds some space on the right to cut back into a crowded penalty area. Newcastle defenders manage to clear the ball before our forwards get a chance to pounce on the opportunity.
43′ – LACAZETTE MISCONTROLS THE BALL
And it goes out for a throw in. It’s typified the half so far.
HALF-TIME: NEWCASTLE 0 – 0 ARSENAL
A half full of graft but very little fluency. Newcastle have been direct in their approach and attacked down our right with much success. Arsenal need to show greater support for the right hand side by having Ozil and Guendouzi cover that space better for our defenders. Could it be time for Torreira?
46′ – IT IS TIME FOR TORREIRA
The Uruguayan comes on for Guendouzi in the second half. He is positioned slightly in front of Xhaka, allowing the Swiss to dictate the passing from deep.
47′ – ⚽ GOAL XHAKA FREE KICK! 1-0 ARSENAL
A quick pass from Torreira to Aubameyang leads to a tackle on the striker and a free kick from outside the box. Xhaka curls it sweetly into the top corner. A good platform for us to kick on from.
52′ – THE SWAGGER’S BACK
The passing has been smoother and faster and the movement, more enterprising. A minor tweak sees Lacazette drifting sightly to the right to offer a passing option for the team. Newcastle have lost their focus since the goal.
55′ – FRONT TWO
Aubameyang takes his place further up the field to form a front two with Lacazette. Ramsey and Ozil are positioned around the inside left and right areas respectively.
56′ – ⚽ GOAL BY OZIL! 2-0
Xhaka finds his way to the left and pulls a ball back for Lacazette who has his shot blocked by a wall of defenders. Ozil pounces on the stray ball with a low shot that squirms under the hands of Dubravka. A great way to commemorate his 200th game for Arsenal.
59′ – COULD HAVE BEEN 3
Another counter attack sees Lacazette pass the ball to Aubameyang who was in acres of space on the left. He tries for the far post but the shot is just wide.
67′ – CECH STARTS A COUNTER
The keeper comes a long way off his line to clear the ball and inadvertently starts a counter. Lacazette slips the ball through for Aubameyang who was just short of reaching it.
68′ – ARSENAL TAKING THE MHKI
Mhkitaryan comes on for Aubameyang and we revert back to a lone striker formation. Mhki takes his place on the left.
70′ – TORREIRA SHOOTS
Arsenal passes the ball comfortably around the Newcastle box. Ozil tees up an onrushing Torreira and he skies his shot high and wide from outside the box.
72′ – MHKITARYAN CHANCE
Another lightning quick counter by Arsenal. Ramsey drives forward from the right and crosses to Mhkitaryan who is in acres of space on the left. His shot is saved for a corner. Arsenal have been excellent in the second half.
76′ – SOKRATIS SAVE
A great recovery run from Sokratis sees him clearing the ball but is unfortunate to have been a recipient of a late tackle by Kenedy.
79′ – ARSENAL SUBSTITUTION
Danny Welbeck comes on for Ramsey. He moves wide left while Mhkitaryan shifts right.
84′ – ANOTHER ARSENAL ATTEMPT
Lacazette sees his shot blocked in the penalty box.
87′ – CECH’S FIRST SAVE
A free header for Joselu, who peeled way from Mustafi, is saved superby by Cech. Their first real attempt on goal.
88′ – WELBECK ON THE COUNTER
The forward streaked past a tired Newcastle defence but could only hit the side netting on his attempt on goal.
90′ – GOAL NEWCASTLE
Clarks finds space at the far post to thump a header past Cech. It’s a nervy end of game for Arsenal.
FULL TIME: NEWCASTLE 1 – 2 ARSENAL
Arsenal bounced back from a flat first half to put in a dynamic performance in the second half. We also saw the introduction of Torreira for Guendouzi which improved our offensive and defensive game. Goals from Xhaka and Ozil won the game in which we dominated play. In typical Arsenal fashion, they let in a goal in injury time for a nervy last couple of minutes before the final whistle.