By Walter Broeckx
No changes in the starting line up so we have Arsenal at the start: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Ramsey, Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette.
On the beach: Leno, Lichtsteiner, Holding, Elneny, Torreira, Mkhitaryan, Welbeck.
The ref for this match sends shivers down my spine… Lee Probert…. if ever there was a Dean at his worst-clone this is him….
Not much co-ordinated football from both teams in the opening minutes. Lots of misplaced balls and misinterpreted movements. Newcastle with a first ball near to the goal after a short taken corner but it was a few meters out. Arsenal then give away a corner in the typical play it out from the back style. Luckily it comes to nothing. Finally a goot attack from Arsenal but the cross from Bellerin bounces back against his body for a goal kick. 0-0 after 15 minutes.
A shot-cross from Guendouzi sails half a meter over the crossbar a bit later. Arsenal a bit more attacking now but then Mustafi slips but Sokratis can make up for it and save for a corner. Cech has to make a good clearance on a headed cross and punches the ball away that is then cleared. Özil sends Aubameyang away but a defender with a last ditch tackle can clear the danger for Newcastle. Lacazette on the end of a lose ball in the Newcastle penalty area but his shot hits the side net. The angle was difficult. Aubameayng twice can’t find a teammate with a cross. So still 0-0 after 30 minutes.
Newcastle again with a few corners but no real danger. Lacazette at the other end with a nice touch to Ramsey but he slips when he wants to cross to Aubameyang at the far post and the chance goes away. A long running Arsenal attack causes some trouble in the Newcastle penalty area but the low cross from Bellerin is somehow cleared when the ball bounced awkwardly around in the Newcastle penalty area. Probert then stopping a quick free kick from Arsenal when there was a bit of space. Not a really good match of football from both teams so far in the first half and we go in at 0-0 after 45 minutes.
Torreira entered the field at the start of the second half in the place of Guendouzi. A foul on Aubameyang some 9 meters out of the Newcastle penalty area. The Gabo striker kicked on the ankle from behind. Xhaka and Torreira behind the ball so difficult to guess who would take it. Xhaka takes it and curls it in the top corner. GOAL! 0-1 to The Arsenal after 49 minutes. What a strike !
Arsenal very much in control in the next minutes. The keep working with the ball very well. And after a good low cross from Xhaka after a long attack he finds Lacazette whos shot is blocked initially. But the ball falls to Özil in the middle who stears it over the line. GOAL!! 0-2 to The Arsenal after 58 minutes.
A long ball finds Lacazette who gives it to Aubamyeang on the left but his left footed shot goes wide. That could have been a third but we lead 0-2 after 60 minutes.
My stream now having some difficulties to keep up with the match. So sorry if I don’t mention some things. But from what I can see I is that Newcastle is trying to go more forward and attack the Arsenal goal a bit more. Cech has to come out a long way to clear a possible dangerous ball and right at the other end the Newcastle keeper has to race out to prevent Aubameyang from getting dangerous.
After 68 minutes Mkhitaryan comes on for Aubameyang. Özil with a clever cut back to Torreira but he misses his shot from just outside the penalty area. Arsenal then almost shoot themselves in the foot after a poor clearance in their own penalty area but they can clear for a corner. Arsenal counter and the ball comes to Mkhitaryan but his shot is blocked in the last instance for a corner after a strong run from Ramsey. The Newcastle player who tried to bring Ramsey down injured himself when his foot got stuck in the pitch. Arsenal still 0-2 in front after 75 minutes.
Sokratis got a knock when clearing the ball but he could continue. And some misunderstanding with a Newcastle substitute and the 4th official who indicated the wrong number. After 79 minutes Welbeck came on for Ramsey.
Arsenal very much in control for most of the time during the last 10 minutes of the match so far. Bellerin with a cross to the far post that found Welbeck who laid it to the middle but the effort from Lacazette was blocked. At the other end Cech had to make a good stop to shot cross and got a little kick but no real problem. Some good offside decisions from both assistants about players becoming active and gaining advantage from their offside position.
A good cross from Newcastle and a good header but Cech with a good save for a corner. Arsenal counter and Lacazette gives it to Welbeck but he just hit the side net. 3 minutes of added time.
A long ball finds a Newcastle striker in some space on the right flank and his cross is headed over the line. 1-2 after 91 minutes. Arsenal almost with a 3rd goal when Özil finds a teammate but Newcastle can save. And that is the final moment of the match.
After a much better second half performance Arsenal win 1-2 and we make it 3 wins in a row.
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