Arsenal vs Newcastle ended in a comfortable home win as the Gunners’ extra quality shone through.
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Bukayo Saka scored early in the first half and Gabriel Martinelli added a beautiful second goal as Newcastle were torn apart by two moments of real quality.
Mikel Arteta’s side were dominant throughout but Aaron Ramsdale made some fine stops and Eddie Howe’s first game on the sidelines as Newcastle boss ended in defeat.
With the win Arsenal now sit on 23 points for the season, level on fourth-place West Ham, while Newcastle are on six points and sit bottom of the table with no win in their opening 13 games.
Arsenal vs Newcastle final score, stats
Arsenal 2-0 Newcastle
Goals scored: Saka 56′, Martinelli 66′
Shots: Arsenal 23, Newcastle 9
Shots on target: Arsenal 6, Newcastle 5
Possession: Arsenal 67, Newcastle 33
Three things we learned from Arsenal vs Newcastle
1. Aaron Ramsdale continues to be key: At 0-0 there were a few chances for Newcastle in the first half and Ramsdale came up big. Again. His great stop to push the ball onto the bar from Shelvey’s effort was key and when Arsenal need him he makes the saves which make the difference. That cannot be underestimate as Arsenal recorded a sixth shutout in their last 10 games.
2. Newcastle offer little in attack: In his first game on the sidelines as Newcastle boss, Eddie Howe looked a worried man at full time and rightly so. His side only went close from long-range and didn’t have a go at Arsenal until they were 2-0 down. Perhaps that defensive approach was understandable but this was like watching a Steve Bruce side. Newcastle have now failed to win any of their opening 13 games of the season and sit rock bottom of the table. Howe needs a big January window to bring in new players and even that may not save them from relegation. Their next two games against Burnley and Norwich (both at home) will basically show us if they have what it takes to stay up.
3. Young Gunners taking steps forward: They were humbled at Liverpool in the second half last week but this young Newcastle side is taking care of business against the teams they should be beating. The next step is to take that confidence into the games against the big boys. There were a few naive giveaways, a few times Newcastle got in too easily over the top and a few times that Ramsdale needed to make good stops, but overall Arsenal were in control for the entire 90 minutes.
Man of the Match: Bukayo Saka – Lovely finish to open the scoring and had the extra quality to unlock Newcastle. Shame he had to hobble off with an injury in the second half.
A tight, tense opening saw Arsenal go close as Saka almost slid home an effort at the back post after a fine ball from Albert Sambi Lokonga.
At the other end Callum Wilson was played in over the top but couldn’t find a teammate and the visitors stayed solid defensively but struggled to get on the ball.
Martin Odegaard’s free kick up and over the wall was superbly pushed away by Martin Dubravka, then Aaron Ramsdale pulled off an excellent stop at the other end.
Jonjo Shelvey’s curler from distance was acrobatically pushed onto the bar by the Arsenal goalkeeper.
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Arsenal should have taken the lead just before half time as Saka created havoc.
From his cross Smith Rowe’s header was saved by Dubravka and fell to Aubameyang. However, the Arsenal skipper inexplicably hit the post from close range with a shocking miss.
Star-boy steals the show
In the second half Arsenal stepped things up as Saka led the charge with some great runs and crosses in the final third.
Saka gave Arsenal a deserved lead as he set up a move on the left and was played in by Nuno Tavares before slotting home across goal to send the Emirates wild.
Arsenal’s young star hobbled off with an injury moments later, and his replacement made it 2-0.
Martinelli lobbed home a beauty of a finish after a great ball over the top from Takehiro Tomiyasu.
Newcastle come up short
Just before that Newcastle wanted a penalty kick as Callum Wilson raced on to to a ball over the top but Nuno Tavares did just enough to put him off at the key moment as Wilson fell to the floor and wanted a penalty kick.
A VAR check confirmed there was no penalty.
After they went 2-0 down Newcastle finally came out swinging and had a few chances but Ramsdale stood firm and the Magpies were kept at bay.