Newcastle gave a tremendous rear-guard defensive performance against a brilliant young Arsenal team. But during the last 7 minutes they finally wilted with Arsenal finally getting 2 goals after enormous pressure in the second half.
To be honest, this was a game in which the Newcastle team were outplayed by the Arsenal youngsters, as strange as that may seem – especially in the second half, when Arsenal went into a higher gear.
This was the beautiful game played beautifully by the Arsenal youngsters . It was almost an exhibition by Wenger’s brilliant youngsters.
But nevertheless this will be an extremely disappointing loss to Newcastle and our fans – because this was our best chance to win something – after so long. We will have to put this behind us and come out anew against Manchester City with all guns blazing because even though the team was outplayed tonight – our new players will be be that much better, after this experience.
But hats off to Arsenal – who were better technically than the Newcastle players tonight – where does Wenger get these players from?
Arsene Wenger – his youngsters put on wonderful exhibition against a resilient Newcastle side
Newcastle did have 3 great chances which all fell to Martins. Oba could have had a hat -trick but he failed to take his chances. After Arsenal’s goal – within a minute Martins again went round the Arsenal keeper â€“ similar to Sunday’s game against West Ham – but again failed to score as Senderos got back to kick the ball off the line. Martins didn’t hit the ball with any power after he rounded Fabianski. Oba looks short of confidence since Michael Owen will have a hernia operation on Friday in Germany.
If Alex Ferguson watched this game he would have seen that Arsenal’s first team and reserve team could probably both win the Premiership this season â€“ their reserve team is that phenomenal. A wonderful performance from Arsenal and Newcastle played a great rear-guard action but didn’t take their chances when presented. No disgrace for Newcastle.
We need to win on Saturday and tonight’s game has been a good game for Newcastle’s new players to understand how tough the football is in England. But Newcastle (and the fans) need to accept that Arsenal have some brilliant players and there’s not many teams as good as them in the premiership. We can prove this by ensuring we not only win at Manchester City but put in a really good performance.
FULL REPORT follows:
The Newcastle manager caused a surprise by playing Shola Ameobi up front with Martins and Milner in a 4-3-3 formation. As expected Faye started in midfield for the first time for Newcastle United.
Arsenal: Fabianski, Eboue, Hoyte, Senderos, Traore, Denilson, Diarra, Song, Bendtner, Eduardo, Walcott
Subs: Mannone, Gavin Hoyte, Perez, Diaby, Lansbury
Newcastle United: Given, Beye, Taylor, Rozehnal, Enrique, Milner, Faye, Ameobi, N’Zogbia, Martins, Smith
Subs: Forster, Edgar, Butt, Emre, Geremi
Referee: Howard Webb
Newcastle started in an attacking 4-3-3 formation and the game got off to a fast start with both teams willing to attack each other. After 10 minutes Newcastle had a wonderful chance to go ahead as Enrique sent in a powerful cross and Martins eluded Senderos rather easily to put in a powerful header, that forced Fabianski made a wonderful save.
Then after 16 minutes Arsenal had an even better chance when Bendtner sent in a powerful header from another excellent cross which flashed over the crossbar when he really should have scored.
James Milner was not his usual self, when after 20 minutes he gave the ball away twice within a couple of minutes. The game was end to end with both sides producing an end to end attacking game in front of a full house at the Emirates Stadium. After 25 minutes there was a half chance for Arsenal when a cross came over from Eboue and Beye challenged Eduardo as the Arsenal youngster slid in but the ball went by the post for a goal kick.
After 25 minutes the Arsenal youngsters were hitting their stride and putting pressure on the Newcastle defense. Newcastle’s defense were being put under pressure as Arsenal were attacking in style and playing some terrific flowing football. After 30 minutes Martins had a good chance but Oba lashed the ball wide when some calmness surely would have ensured a goal. It was Milner who hit a beautiful ball over the top for Martins. Oba needs to gain more composure when these chances present themselves.
After 38 minutes, following a free kick for a foul on Eboue, Walcott sent a shot over the crossbar but he had too much time to shoot. The Newcastle defense is being stretched but they are holding out well. Shola Ameoi is playing out wide on the left but is looking out of place and his confidence is not high.
There is some hope for Newcastle as Senderos has made one or two errors in central defense that Arsenal have not been punished for. Newcastle must think they have a chance if they can get Martins one on one with Senderos exposed. Seems like most of the Arsenal players are teenagers – but their age bears no resemblance at all to their skill as they continue to play excellent football.
The half time whistle comes and everyone is surprised as the game has been enthralling and passed so quickly. An excellent game to watch but Arsenal are the better team – but it’s still 0-0 and Newcastle are still in with a chance.
This is a chance for perhaps Emre to come on in the second half for Newcastle – because the game is pure football and Emre can play in this kind of game. His creativity could open a few chances for the black and whites.
However, it doesn’t look like 4-3-3 is doing Newcastle any favors as Arsenal is playing at a tremendous pace and it’s really hard for the middle 3. As half-time approaches Beye seems heavy legged as he seems to be suffering from the speed of the Premiership. The game is completely open and being played at a frantic pace by the young Gunners.
Where does Wenger find these players?
Arsenal came out attacking in the second and moved up a gear. In the first 10 minutes they put Newcastle under tremendous pressure. After 534 minutes Eboue found himself move easily past Rozehnal but just as he was to shoot Taylor makes a tremendous tackle to save what looks like a certain goal. Then from the resulting corner Charles N’Zogbia heads off the line and over the cross-bar for another corner.
On 60 minutes Emre replaced the ineffectual Ameobi and Newcastle move to 4-4-2 with Smith and Martins up front. Looks like it was a move forced on Sam Allardyce as Arsenal look to over power Newcastle â€“ the Arsenal youngsters are just playing the beautiful game â€“ beautifully. On 64 minutes Diaby comes on for Eboue who does not look pleased to be replaced. He’s been one of Arsenal’s best players so it looks good for Newcastle.
After 68 minutes Arsenal are camped in Newcastle’s half but to their credit Newcastle are defending well especially being under so much pressure. On 69 minutes Butt is brought on for Milner. It seems like some Newcastle players have just been run off their feet and it’s a case of getting good experienced fresh legs in the team. But it seems like it’s a defensive move by Big Sam as Newcastle seem to be hanging on as Arsenal are completely dominating midfield. Who are these Arsenal youngsters?
After 72 minutes Bendtner tries a long shot but it’s way over the bar and rather a wasted shot by the youngster. There’s no way he could beat a goalkeeper of Shay Given’s ability, who has made 3 useful saves in the second half.
The game is still being played at an amazing pace by the Arsenal youngsters â€“ but it’s still Arsenal who look the much better team but Newcastle are hanging on and giving a gutsy and defensive performance. However, the Arsenal goalkeeper has had nothing to do in the second half â€“ which is worrying for Newcastle, who are using all their effort to defend and keep a clean sheet..
How a team can have a reserve team as good as this is just ridiculous â€“ no wonder they easily beat Liverpool in last year’s Carling Cup â€“ so whatever happens Newcastle have given a great gutsy defensive performance and it’s 77 minutes into the game
After a beautiful passing move by the Arsenal youngsters Eduardo shoots the ball just wide â€“ but they have overdone it with too much passing this time. Newcastle are still level but pressure is tremendous against the Magpies defense. Wonder if there’s any chance of signing any of Wenger’s youngsters for Newcastle?
Arsenal finally get the goal that they have been threatening on 83 minutes as Bendtner finally scores – a terrible time to concede a goal.
Within a minute of conceding Martins went round the keeper at the other end. Amazingly he tried to be sure of a goal but the ball is hit weakly and Senderos is able to clear off the line.
Martins should have scored for the second time in the game – but misses. Once you go round the keeper you have to put the ball in the net and Martins missed a wonderful opportunity.
Then after 88 minutes Denilason slams home a beautiful goal which gives Given no chance after Charles N’Zogbia lost the ball in midfield. That’s it there’s no way Newcastle can come back so late in the game. Newcastle have been completely outplayed by Arsenal in the second half.