Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a goal and an assist as Arsenal ended a three-match winless run with a 2-0 win over Newcastle United at St. James’ Park, a win overshadowed by the fan invasion of Old Trafford in Manchester.
Mohamed Elneny’s fifth-minute goal helped stop the rot for Arsenal, while Aubameyang insured the result in the 67th minute off a Gabriel Martinelli cross.
The Gunners have beaten Newcastle 17 times in their last 18 meetings across all competitions, this win being the seventh in-a-row against the Magpies.
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Arsenal out-attempted Newcastle 19-5 and held 62 percent of the ball in moving onto 49 points and back into ninth place. The Gunners are four points back of the top seven, having played one more match than the next four teams above them.
Newcastle is still nine points above 18th-place Fulham, though 19th-place West Brom could close to within eight of the Magpies with four matches left if it beats Wolves on Monday.
Three things we learned from Newcastle – Arsenal
1. Return to normalcy for Aubameyang: It’s very on-brand for this year in our world and Arsenal’s history that Aubameyang stop-start season featured three-straight PL absences with malaria. His assist was a lucky one on Sunday but his goal vintage Auba, and he’s perhaps quietly scored 10 goals in league play this season.
The Gunners are unbeaten across all competitions this season — seven wins, two draws — when Aubameyang gets a goal or an assist.
2. Quiet Magpies can’t muster more magic: The loss was Newcastle’s second in nine matches, joining two wins and five draws. The accumulation of results by hook and crook have helped the Magpies to a nine-point cushion over the bottom three, but safety is not assured yet because Leicester City and Man City are next on the fixture list and Fulham’s there on the final day. Fulham has Burnley and Southampton next before a meeting with Manchester United, who will have second-place sealed by then. Regardless of the unlikelihood of a Newcastle relegation, being thoroughly dominated by a substandard Arsenal should further underscore the need for a change in leadership.
3. Sub Schar sent off: Swiss center back Fabian Schar was shown a straight red card by referee Mike Dean on the edge of stoppage time for a sliding studs-up challenge through the back of Martinelli.
Man of the Match: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Newcastle – Arsenal recap
The Gunners went in front off a fortunate bounce and tremendous shot, as Aubameyang’s misflick of a Hector Bellerin cross fell for Elneny to lash home from 17 yards.
Allan Saint-Maximin saw his first action with a mesmerizing dribble in the 8th minute that led to a layoff and cross that Mathew Ryan stooped to catch in the Arsenal six.
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Arsenal made it 2-0 after halftime when Aubameyang raced to the back post and leapt to snap Martinelli’s cross inside the goal.
Hector Bellerin won a corner with a dangerous run and rip in the 71st.