In what was probably Newcastle’s best performance of the season they pushed Arsenal all the way to record a great draw against the League Leaders t9onight.
The sight of Mike Ashley clapping his hands at the end of the game, with a huge grin on his face, then rubbing his hands in glee said it all.
Here was a Newcastle side that fought tooth and nail from the first whistle, and played as a team giving Arsenal all they would ever want in a game. Every Newcastle player played their part but none better than James Milner on the left, Steven Taylor at the back and Joey Barton in midfield, who must have covered miles tonight.
It was exactly the game the fans wanted to see, as Newcastle United matched a good Arsenal side in every facet of the game. This should do wonders to Newcastle’s confidence and we’re sure the fans of Liverpool. Manchester United and Chelsea were cheering on Newcastle, as much as the home fans. The game was an exciting one to watch and of course was beamed around the world on live TV. The home fans were just magnificent in their support of the Newcastle side.Â We would suspect that there’ll be more fans world-wide on the evidence of this game. It was guts and (nearly) glory for a wonderful Newcastle display.
With any luck Newcastle could have won it at the end as both sides opened up and tried to get the winner.
After conceding a goal after only 4 minutes it did nothing to suppress the passion and fight that was Newcastle United tonight. They slowly came back into the game and it was tremendous pressure from Newcastle that finally saw them equalize as young Taylor, who had a great game and epitomized the fighting spirit of the Newcastle players, hammered the ball home after 60 minutes giving Almunia, who also had a good game, no chance at all.
Now Newcastle have to keep up this pride and passion against lesser sides and not many teams in the league will be able to live with their pace and fitness. Arsenal found it hard at times tonight, but Wenger has made a real side out of them and they were just about able to put up with the Newcastle pressure, which at some times during the second half appeared overwhelming.
Just a fabulous display form Newcastle tonight and they hardly looked a team in turmoil. If they can play like this against Birmingham on Saturday they should just be too good for the Midlands side.Â One last word about the game plan – it worked like a charm and all credit to Sam Allardyce, not just for the game plan, but the way he was able to inspire the team, in a time of tremendous stress.Â Good for you Sam.Â Â 😀
Just a great game and a tremendous advertisement for the Premier League, which is so clearly the best league in the world.
Here is our minute by minute commentary on the game – as it happened.
4 mins A weak clearance from Newcastle and the ball was crossed to Adebayor, who brought the ball down beautifully with his chest and slammed the ball home. A half-chance and Arsenalâ€™s very first attack at that.
8 mins William Gallas tried to stop Smith getting to the ball as it went through to Almunia, but Smith went for it and was spoken to by the referee, but this is a physical game and Alan had every right to go for the ball.
13 mins Good play by Milner on the left as he gets by Sagna but his cross goes over the bar. Milner is looking lively early on.
17 mins A breakaway by Arsenal had Adebayor on goal but Given blocks it well for a corner.
24 mins Newcastle are harassing the Arsenal players at every opportunity and they are all working very hard to close down Arsenal but every time the Arsenal team comes forward they look very dangerous.
27 mins Newcastle get a free kick just outside the penalty area and Geremi finds a hole in the wall and forces a sharp save from Almunia low to his left
33 mins A great free kick into the box by Nâ€™Zogbia but nobody can get a touch on the ball. Newcastle are doing well but they need a goal badly.
35 mins A corner comes over and Taylor get a good header in which is scrambled away buy a corner by Arsenal. Almunia pushed the ball onto the post. Newcastle were really unlucky.
37 mins Newcastle have been very impressive up to this point in the game but have had no luck.
38 mins Another excellent free lick by Geremi and Almunia does well to hold onto the ball as he is challenged by Newcastle players
39 mins Arsenal are starting to look a bit rattled with the constant pressure Newcastle players are giving them as they are not allowed to get into any rhythm.
44 mins Oba Martins is straight through on goal and controls the ball well but is flagged for offside. The ensuing TV replays shows he is actually on-side.
45 mins The half time whistle blows after a minute of added time.
58 mins Milner does some beautiful work down the left and gets around two Arsenal players to get in a good shot that Alumnia saves well to his left.
60 mins GOAL: Newcastle ate all over Arsenal as they have increased the pace in the second half and Steven Taylor hits the ball home, in off the post giving Alumina no chance. Newcastle deserve to be level and now the last 30 minutes should be .all action.
62 mins Arsenal are rattled as they are being challenged for very ball and they are starting to lose their composure.
64 mins A Geremi throw into the penalty box is beautifully headed just over the bar by Smith
75 mins Newcastle are pressing hard and it looks like Arsenal may be tiring but Newcastle are giving Arsenal everything they can handle keeping the game at a terrific pace. They certainly must be fit, thatâ€™s for sure, and itâ€™s showing.
79 mins An Arsenal free kick gets through to Rosicky who crosses low and Given makes a great interception and the Newcastle defense clears the danger
The last 10 minutes was excitement personified and with any luck Newcastle would have been able to clinch the winner in what would have been a tremendous victory. But it was not to be but Arsenal will know they’ve been in a game tonight and in the end were probably pleased they picked up the single point.