Arsenal have cruised to a 2-0 win at St. James’ Park. Newcastle were marginally better in the second have but offered little threat upfront in a comfortable win for the Gunners.
Steve Bruce made no changes after a poor first half had Newcastle down 1-0. Newcastle were a bit brighter to start the second half trying to get Wilson and Saint-Maximin on the ball but questionable foul calls hindered some potential opportunities.
Fifteen minutes into the second half and Newcastle were still unable to create any clear-cut chances. The lads were better than the first half and limiting Arsenal but just unable to mount much of a threat.
Arsenal were able to double their lead in the 65th minute through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The ball was laid off to Martinelli just inside the area down Newcastle’s right. He whipped in a cross that Aubameyang put away with an acrobatic finish from about five yards out.
Bruce made his first changes in the 71st minute bringing Fabian Schar on for Fernandez for his first appearance since February. Joelinton also came on for Almiron as Bruce transitioned to three strikers on the pitch.
Just like after the first goal, Newcastle failed to put in much of a reaction as they seemed a bit deflated. Arsenal continued to cruise while Newcastle struggled to mount a comeback. Bruce threw one last roll of the dice bringing Dwight Gayle on for Ciaran Clark in the 84th minute.
Newcastle pushed late to try and get back into the game. However, the second goal killed any chance of a result as the quality was just lacking in the final third for the Magpies.
Fabian Schar’s return was short-lived as he received a straight red in the 90th minute. It was a rash challenge through the back of Martinelli but looked like a harsh decision by Mike Dean.
Newcastle still hold a 9-point edge over Fulham with just four matches remaining but this was another drop in performance. It’s an opportunity lost as Newcastle were never at the races today.