After a nervous evening at the Emirates, Mikel Arteta was very pleased to see his Arsenal side beat Newcastle United 2-0 at the Emirates to secure a place in the FA Cup 4th round.
Substitute Emile Smith Rowe broke the visitors’ resistance in the second half of extra-time before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang added a gloss to proceedings with three minutes remaining.
The mood in N5 might have been very different had keeper Bernd Leno not come to the rescue at the end of regulation time. The German produced a fine stop to deny Andy Carroll from snatching an unexpected victory.
“We had to patient,” the boss told Arsenal.com afterwards. “They are a team who are well-organised and make it hard for you.
“We had the chances I think, very big chances to score much earlier but when you don’t do that, the game is open.
“If you don’t do that in your box, you need your keeper in a key moment – like it happened after the corner kick on the counter – to save you.
“Bernd did it in a magnificent way and at the end we scored two and deserved to go through.”
The win, a fourth in a row for the Gunners, ensures our quest for a 15th FA Cup continues and builds further momentum ahead of two important league games this week.
“It’s great to keep the momentum going, to keep winning and keep the boys’ confidence high. Now we have Palace, five days to prepare, let’s go for it.”