Newcastle went down 1-0 to Arsenal this afternoon in what was a very even and tight game, but after 65 minutes it looked like the Newcastle defense fell asleep, when a Theo Walcott free kick into the box saw an unmarked Giroud head the ball into the net, and it seemed a mix up in the Newcastle defense.
But it’s these type of concentration lapses that cost games in the Premier League, and there was very little between the two sides this afternoon, and Mike Williamson just before half time almost got his first goal for the club when his header from a Cabaye corner kick rebounded off the cross-bar – but it was really a game Newcastle should not have lost.
It was a very even first half with both sides playing for safety and the best moments came in added time of the first half when Sissoko had a terrific shot that Szczesny only just managed to push over the bar. And then from the resulting left wing corner form Cabaye Mike Williamson had a great header that hit the cross-bar but was then cleared and that was almost Mike’s very first goal for Newcastle.
And the referee blew the whistle for half time.
It was a cagey first half from both sides with few chances made – and a few long shots form Cabaye, and Debuchy was almost through but couldn’t control the ball – otherwise it would have been a great chance for the Frenchman.
And into the second half both sides continued to cancel each other out , in a game of very few chances, and then Alan Pardew made his first substitution with Ben Arfa coming on for the hard-working Yoan Gouffran after 62 minutes, and maybe Ben Arfa could provide the spark for Newcastle.
And then after 65 minutes Arsenal went ahead and it seemed the Newcastle defense was asleep when Theo Walcott put in a free kick into the middle of the penalty area, and Olivier Giroud stole in unmarked to glance the ball into the net with his head – but it was a poor goal to concede by Newcastle.
Nobody picked up the French striker and it was certainly a soft goal to concede in such an important game.
After 69 minutes Newcastle were all at sea as a through ball saw Walcott’s shot brilliantly headed off the line by Debuchy, but then Giroud mis-kicked the ball from a few yards out – what a let-off for Newcastle.
Shola Ameobi came on for Vurnon Anita after 74 minutes as Newcastle were trying to get back into this game, and after another five minutes Massadio Haidara came on for Moussa Sissoko as Newcastle went all out for the equalizer.
And then Szczesny tried to clear the ball but it hit Remy flush in the face, and the ball went only a foot or so wide of the post but Remy was down. although he did recover and wasn’t hurt – well not too much anyway.
It was all Newcastle in the final 10 minutes, as the lads tried to get the equalizer, and Tim Krul came up twice for two late corners, and although we came close a couple of times with Ben Arfa proving to be Newcastle’s most dangerous player, it was just not to be, and for the second season running Arsenal won this game 1-0.
But Newcastle gave Arsenal all they could handle today – but we just didn’t get the breaks – maybe we will at the Hawthorns on Wednesday against West Brom – and we need to win that game.
Newcastle are 7th in the table.
Newcastle United (4-3-3): Tim Krul; Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Davide Santon; Vurnon Anita (Shola Ameobi 74), Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye; Moussa Sissoko (Massadio Haidara 80), Loic Remy, Yoan Gouffran (Hatem Ben Arfa 62)
Subs not used: Rob Elliot, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Sammy Ameobi, Papiss Cisse
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Wojciech Szczesny; Bacary Sagna, Per Mertesacker (c), Laurent Koscielny, Kieran Gibbs (Mikel Arteta 70); Mathieu Flamini, Tomas Rosicky; Theo Walcott (Carl Jenkinson 80), Jack Wilshere; Santi Cazorla; Olivier Giroud (Nicklas Bendtner 86)
Subs not used: Lukasz Fabianski, Ryo Miyaichi, Serge Gnabry, Lukas Podolski
Referee: Lee Probert