Newcastle United 0 Arsenal 1 – Match Report & Video Highlights
Newcastle United 0 Arsenal 1
Sunday 19 May 4pm
Watch Video Highlights
Starting with the positives, after three and six goal nightmares at home, at least today had some respectability.
Newcastle were actually the better team in a decent first half and if Cisse had put away Newcastle’s best chance after an excellent cutback by Mapou, then who knows who would have ended up in the Champions League.
Once again though the lack of scoring options is woeful, with so much weight of expectation on Cisse’s shoulders that no wonder his game has been affected.
One positive today though was Yoan Gouffran playing centrally and giving Cisse more support. Gouffran’s running and intelligent play made him arguably our best performer in that half.
Naturally he didn’t get that much chance to impress in the second half as he yet again was substituted, much to the crowd’s displeasure.
Hatem Ben Arfa looked the most likely to get a home goal and a handful of exhilarating runs were ruined by wayward finishing as he blazed his shots high and/or wide. He was though the one player on Newcastle’s team who looked capable of producing in a creative sense and I simply don’t understand then when you get fans moaning when he tries something and it doesn’t come off. To see moments of magic you have to accept that sometimes they will lose the ball, that is surely why you have the likes of Jonas and Tiote in the team to cover for Ben Arfa.
Speaking of getting exasperated, it was no surprise to see that our corners and set=pieces were almost exclusively a waste of everybody’s time. However, why then did we have moaning when we did short corners or played free-kicks short, surely it is worth a try rather than chipping the ball into the middle and hoping Taylor somehow eludes the whole of their defence and scores.
Naturally, their goal had to come from a corner didn’t it.
Koscielny getting first to a knockdown and planting it into the net via Harper’s face at close range. The twenty year veteran had a decent game but perhaps could have done slightly better , though it would have taken some smart work to keep it out.
Mapou was easily the pick of our team and as well as coping comfortably with Walcott, he was at times our best player going forward. Playing with a bit more freedom at full-back he is showing himself to be a very clever and classy player, one who it is vital we keep hold of as he adapts to our league.
As usual Newcastle faded in the second half and could find no end product despite often getting in and around the Arsenal box.
Taken in isolation this wasn’t a bad performance but when it comes on the back of 0-3 and 0-6 scorelines, three defeats in a row and 0-10 in terms of goals is what most people will remember.
Newcastle United: Harper, Debuchy, Coloccini, Taylor, Mapou (Campbell 80), Ben Arfa, Tiote, Cabaye (Anita 57), Jonas, Gouffran (Marveaux 64), Cisse
Unused Subs: Alnwick, Perch, Simpson, Obertan
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Metesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Ramsey, Arteta (Oxlande-Chamberlain 28), Rosicky, Cazorla (Wilshere 88), Walcott, Podolski (Giroud 77)
Ref: Howard Webb
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