Arsenal completed a consecutive tenth home win in the Premier League after the 2-0 win over Newcastle United. For the first time since 1997/98, the Gunners succeeded in achieving this feat and with no doubt, Ozil played a big role in the win against the Magpies.
On February the 3rd, Arsenal were ten points behind high flying Spurs in third place but this morning, they are two points in front.
It’s a staggering turn around which has seen Emery’s philosophy finally being embraced by his players and performed according to his plan.
As Spurs has slipped, Arsenal have taken full advantage, in a period where anything could happen in the chase for a top four position. It’s obvious that the main two positions are between City and Liverpool and that’s an absorbing contest.
— Premier League (@premierleague) April 2, 2019
After that, there is the current scramble for Champions league qualification, involving four clubs, including Arsenal and it’s difficult to predict how that will eventually turn out.
Never has a Premier League season offered so much excitement on a weekly basis and it ‘ain’t’ over yet.
Newcastle came to the Emirates perhaps thinking that a draw was the most likely option and their line up suggested a tough evening ahead.
Packed at the back and in the middle, Arsenal needed to be patient and even though, they enjoyed a great deal of possession in the first half, Newcastle were in the mood to frustrate.
Aaron Ramsey had given Arsenal an early lead but his effort was disallowed due to an infringement by Sokratis on Lejeune. It was all a bit ‘handbags’ although, Sokratis had tried to wrestle the sleeve off a player.
The perceived infringement had no impact on the goal, which came from a flick on from Iwobi into the path of Ramsey, who thumped the ball in. The decision seemed a bit soft in view of Lejeunes decision to go to ground as if he’d been hit by a thunderbolt.
However, on the half hour mark, Ramsey got his goal. The impressive Guendouzi popped the ball to Lacazette who’s touch pinged back off DeAndre Yedlin and straight to Ramsey, who’s low shot clipped the post before resting in the back of the Newcastle net.
It was no more than Arsenal deserved, they never had less than 70% of possession during the first half and they showed their class time and time again.
Of all the silky skills on show, Ozil impressed the most. He worked his way into the game to become the link to everything that was good.
His touch, his vision and his football brain were on a level that few can match and Ozil was imperious. His stats told their own story and fully justified my own verdict to award him Man of the Match
- 5 crosses – the most in match
- 2 chances created,
- 33 touches
- 63 successful passes,
- 12 recovered balls and
- 10 km distance covered.
For those that regularly criticise the German or feel indifferent towards him, Ozil made his point but it’s a point that has to be made more frequently to keep the leeches at bay.
Almost as impressive was Lacazette who probed, pressed and pressurised the Newcastle defence at every opportunity. His pace and ability to turn on a dime caused heart failure in the Geordie backline. At times, the game looked as if could be one of those ugly contests that ends in an unmerited draw.
Newcastle got opportunities, especially in the second half, most of them were through Mustafi. A slight exaggeration, but the towering German was threatening to gift his opponents with a goal because of his brick feet and jelly legs.
He sold his short passes like rotten pears and team mates scrambled to cover the mistakes on numerous occasions, far too many. Late in the match, he attempted a cross which has just been spotted via satellite still in the skies over Gateshead.
He has had a few shockers since Arsene Wenger was mugged in a dimly lit doorway for the obscene amount of £35m.
In fact, he was so bad at one stage that the crowd occasionally cheered ironically when he completed a pass, which is the ultimate in cruelty.
After 83 minutes, Arsenal finally put the game to bed with a goal by Lacazette. It was a move he started with a lofted poke to Aubameyang, the Gabonese striker headed back into his path for the number 9 to delightfully chip the advancing goalkeeper.
Three points, above Spurs, a good team performance and Ozil playing magnificently. Christmas has come early.