Newcastle United gave an excellent account of themselves in this tie in the first half but as the second half proegresseds Arsena; started to control and the class of Togo’s Adbeyor was the difference this afternoon.
Adebayor scored two good goals to put his team 2-0 up by the 82nd minute and then Nicky Butt headed a free kick into his own net to give Arsenal what looked to be an easy 3-0 win, but the score-line was flattering to Arsenal.
But it meant there will be no trophies for Newcastle this season and it will now be at least 40 years between trophies since we last won the Inter-City Fairs Cup in 1969.
Newcastle looked full of promise and enterprise in the first half, and deserved to go ahead when Smith had a good chance but Clichy headed off the line to deny the former Leeds United star. Newcastle’s passing was first class and it was amazing to see the difference in the team since Keegan has taken over.
Michael Owen went close but Newcastle just couldn’t put the ball in the net and dominated the game in the 10 minutes just before the break. But just before half time Shay Given made a tremendous save from Abou Diabyâ€™s 25 yard dipping shot, which he brilliantly turned over the cross-bar.
However, as the second half progressed Arsenal started to assume control of the game as their midfield was finally starting to get a grip, particularly Spanish International Fabregas.
The first goal came after 51 minutes when Adebayor drove home a crisp left foot shot from 12 yards into the top left of Given’s goal to put the Gunners 1-0 ahead.
Then after 83 minutes Adebayor made it two. The Togo International went straight past Rozehnal 25 yards from goal and then the goal opened up for Adebayor as he skilfully played himself through, then easily put the ball past Given for Arsenal’s second vital goal. That was with just 7 minutes remaining and Adebayor is fast becoming a real star in the Premier League – where does Wenger find all these top players?
Newcastle, after conceding the first goal had tried to fight themselves back into the game, but couldn’t break through the Arsenal rearguard.
Then, just before the end Milner fouled Fabregas, and the Arsenal free kick from 25 yards was floated into the goalmouth by the Spaniard. Nicky Butt got his head to the ball, but put it past Shay Given into the bottom corner of the net, to give Arsenal their third goal of the game. The scoreline was hardly a fair reflection of the game.
With just seconds of the game remaining Adebayor was bustled off the ball by Claudio Cacapa, and denied a hat-trick â€“ but Adebayor was the star player today, and but for his class, Newcastle may have fared a lot better.
Rozehnal was introduced for Enrique after 77 minutes and Kazenga Lua Lua, our 17 year-old promising midfielder, was brought on for Damien Duff after 83 minutes.
Newcastle gave Arsenal a good game for about the first 75 minutes but the two late goals really killed them off. However there were some good things to take from the game. The defense looked good with Cacapa having an excellent game and Enrique again looking solid. Duff is returning to his old Chelsea form and will probably be great playing for Kevin Keegan. 😀
N’Zogbia looked good but his corners and free kicks were not at their best today.
But it was a gallant performance from Newcastle, especially in the first half, and if they were to go out of the cup â€“ this was the style to do it in â€“ by having a real go.
Newcastle now only have the Premier League games left to play and are back at the Emirates on Tuesday evening in a 7:45 pm kick off.
But the rest of the season is still very important for Newcastle as the team tries to get back to winning ways and maybe even put a winning streak together before the end of the season.
Then with some good players brought in during the summer, and maybe some other players leaving, we can give it a real go next year.
Good promising display from the lads today, which wasn’t good enough to win the game, but augers well for the future.
NEWCASTLE: Given, Carr, Enrique (Rozehnal 77), Cacapa, Taylor, Milner, Nâ€™Zogbia, Butt, Smith, Owen, Duff (LuaLua 83).
Subs: Rozehnal, Harper, Edgar, Carroll.
ARSENAL: Lehmann, Diaby (Gilberto 77), Fabregas, Senderos, Rosicky (Eduardo 10), Gallas, Flamini, Clichy, Adebayor, Hoyte, Walcott (Hleb 77)
Subs: Fabianski, Bendtner.
Ref: M Atkinson