4 Talking Points From Arsenal’s 3-0 Win Over Newcastle
Arsenal eased past Newcastle 3-0 at the Emirates on Monday to move four points clear in fourth place. Here are 4 talking points from the game from Gunner333.
Arsenal eased past Newcastle United 3-0 at the Emirates on Monday night to move four points clear in fourth place. Here are 4 talking points from the game from Gunner333.
Now approaching the final hurdle in the race for fourth, Arsenal were looking to take full advantage of Everton’s weekend slip-up with a win at home against Newcastle. The Gunners’ form at the Emirates looked encouraging, with that opening day loss to Villa the only defeat suffered there this campaign. In addition, the Gunners would be boosted by the recent poor form of their opponents, who had lost their last five on the bounce.
Newcastle’s attempt to slow the tempo down and ‘kill’ the game was evident in their early passage of play, as they looked comfortable for Arsenal to monopolise possession and try to hit us on the break.
Despite the home side’s contentment to play at an slow pace, it was Arsenal who broke the deadlock. Both Collocini and Williamson were unable to get a head on Cazorla’s free-kick, which was eventually poked in by the stretched foot of Laurent Koscielny.
That goal looked an invaluable lesson in the art of communication for the Magpies’ back-line, but they failed to respond and conceded in a similar vein just ten minutes later. A foolish attempt at the offside trap left Giroud with acres of space. A double-save from Tim Krul to deny Giroud was not enough though, with Özil confidently dispatching the eventual rebound.
First half concluded and the continuous pressure induced by the Gunners had told upon Pardew’s men with hopes of a second-half comeback looking menial at best.
Tactical presence was bare for the home side early in the second half, as their attempt to hold a two-goal cushion with an incredibly high line was almost rightfully punished. Gouffran showing great pace and power to get ahead of Nacho Monreal, only for his unbalanced effort to be hit straight at Szczesny in goal.
Prolonged spells of Newcastle possession and the potential threat of a comeback were quickly stamped out by Arsenal just moments later. Özil dealt the ball down the flank, his cross into the area latched onto by Giroud, who confirmed the header as his 21st of the season. Newcastle fans let their voices be heard with angered protests aimed at manager Alan Pardew.
Full time and the race for fourth looked to be grinding to a halt, with an Arsenal win on Sunday securing Champions League football for a sensational 17th season. Here I will now analyse four talking points from the game;
1) Supporting Strike-Force
A collage of Arsenal chances arose in this game simply through complacent Newcastle defending. Little movement was required for Koscielny to find space for the opener, whilst a simple run down the middle carved them open for the second goal.
While Newcastle were bad, we were looking like our old selves again with Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla combining beautifully at times. The trio forged our attacking threat supporting behind Olivier Giroud, as the Frenchman was found lacking once again. Hopefully we’ll have another striker spearheading our attack next season, but for the remaining games, it’s important the likes of Ozil and Cazorla maintain their form.
2) Superb Stamina
It is fair to say the opposing side in this clash was hardly electrifying, but that doesn’t mean our performance should fall short of praise. Aside from the odd five minute spell, we absolutely dominated possession and were very quick to regain it when Newcastle did get hold of the ball.
Some of the greatest sides concede possession to make the most of a mistake and counter with pace, Chelsea at the weekend is the prime example, but although we have chosen to play in this style away from home on the odd occasion, our home performance are always played on the front-foot and our energy levels were excellent last night.
3) Artistic Arteta On the Up?
Amid the flourish of Arsenal talent in the middle of the park, lays our midfield rock and ‘El Capitan’ Mikel Arteta. Recent slow-paced displays by the skipper have drawn out great criticism from Arsenal fans, but last night showed greater promise. Players in his position especially can often be disregarded as soon as they have reached a certain age, but his determination to keep the ball moving last night relighted hope in the Spaniard.
Formerly dealt blame for slowing up our progression from back-to-front with a pass to an unmarked defender, he seemed to have his priorities correct last night and was a key factor in our successful midfield battle. There’s little doubt his lack of pace is a worry sometimes, but few can argue with his professionalism and he’s still a useful member of the squad.
4) Where Does That Leave Us?
Given the fact we have been top for longer than any other team this season, one might think it is slightly demoralising to now be battling for fourth at the closing moments of the marathon. Just one year ago, Koscielny scored the winner at St James’ Park to secure Champions League football for us ahead of Tottenham. Although we look likely to confirm our top four place one game early this time around, we’re still going to end up in the same position, so one question remains- where does this leave us?
Grounded by injuries and poor showings in the big games, our title challenge unravelled at the the same seasonal stage in the calendar and has called into question the value of Wenger’s role. If we can secure fourth spot and win the FA Cup, it may be a solid season. However, despite the euphoria of ending our trophy drought, I still feel we’ll always come up short of being league champions until we properly invest in the squad.
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