It was not pretty, but Arsenal got the job done with another away win in the Arsenal vs Newcastle match and 3 points in the bag to keep up with the the table toppers and close rivals.
From the previous article, one can understand the reasons why this victory was so crucial for the Gunners and their faithful lot, but it might be time to start considering that it is okay to begin to believe again.
Based strictly on our recent past, the games against Cardiff City and Newcastle away would have usually ended in points dropped. Either drawn or completely lost.
Only 5 games in, and the Gunners have already achieved more success on the road so far than the entire haul away from home last season in 19 games, both in goals and points.
Even more intriguing were the circumstances accompanying the accomplishments. With flashes of the usual in terms of defensive frailties and new dimensional exciting displays, on and off the ball.
This had been evident since Arsenal’ trip to Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea emerged victorious only because they were let off the hook by unnatural prodigality in front of goal (considering the quality of the players the chances fell to) and maybe “fate” as some would say.
The Arsenal vs Newcastle game wasn’t nearly as exciting but it satisfying, as the main purpose of playing in the first place, was achieved. As expected The Magpies utilized a similar approach as Cardiff City wherein they pressed high and tried to force errors they could capitalize on.
Needless to say it didn’t go to plan as the Gunners’ back-line seemed quite comfortable with the ball under pressure, unlike in the Cardiff game. This immediately created spaces in the midfield, leaving the likes of Matteo Guendozi and Granit Xhaka a lot of room to toil with.
Nevertheless, their partnership seemed quite unproductive, especially in the final third, which made the first half quite unexciting to be honest.
After the break, Unai Emery decided to replace Guendozi with Lucas Torreira and less than 5 minutes into play, they were handed a freekick, which Granit Xhaka dispatched expertly.
At this point, it is fair to say that I expected Xhaka to give way for Torreira and not Guendozi, based on what I had seen in the first half, but I was happily pleased to be wrong and Emery right in retrospect.
The Gunners stayed in complete control of the Arsenal vs Newcastle game and got a second eventually from Mesut Özil’s fine finish to the bottom right of the goalkeeper, after some beautiful build up play.
The Magpies hardly had a shot on target until moments before their opener, which happened courtesy of a cross from Fernandez in the first minute of extra time, that his center-back partner Ciaran Clark properly connected with, despite Cech’s valiant effort to keep his side’s first clean sheet of the season and provided something for the host fans to cheer about in the Arsenal vs Newcastle game.
For some weird reason, that consolation goal did nothing to ruffle Emery’s men in terms of seeing out the win on this difficult ground.
Even from the comfort of my home, I could see the level of composure on display by the Arsenal players for the Arsenal vs Newcastle game, which is something I must confess is a rarity when it comes to this team and slender leads.
But for providence, The Gunners could have even pulled ahead further as Lacazette was unfortunate to have a pass from Mkhitaryan nicked from him as he was about to pull the trigger in the final minute.
Special mentions have to go to Mesut Özil, Granit Xhaka, Alexandre Lacazette, Lucas Torreira and of course the boss himself; Unai Emery.
My Man of the Arsenal vs Newcastle Match is Granit Xhaka. Happy he remained on the pitch to deliver that beauty and of course, to be wrong about my assertion of him… to some level anyway.
Here is a quote from Unai Emery’s post match interview for Arsenal vs newcastle ;
“I want to give every player confidence,” he said.
“I am very happy with Matteo and also very happy with Lucas. But maybe in the second half we needed a little more balance on the pitch with the positioning. Lucas gives us this balance.”
Next up is The Europa League group stages and Arsenal will be taking on Vorskla Poltava at The Emirates.
Time: 20:00 GMT
Date: Thursday, 20th of September 2018.