Arsenal 1 Newcastle 0 – Saturday 16 December 2017 3pm
Elliot 5 – Made one good save. Ozil’s goal was fantastic but could the keeper not have come for the first ball? I’m sure someone who saw a replay would tell me better. Distribution was poor all afternoon too. Looks like a goalkeeper will be one of the first priorities in January.
Yedlin 7 – One of the few players who can hold his head high after today’s performance.
Lejeune 5 – Haven’t been impressed with him at all since he came back into the side following injury. Needs to show much more than just his ability to pass the ball. Looks a little all over the place defensively.
Lascelles 7 – We look much better defensively with Lascelles in the side, that is without a doubt. Adds an extra presence to the back and played really well. Looked a threat at the attacking end too.
Manquillo 6 – Doing his best and looks ok defensively! Going forward he refuses to use his left foot which is a major hindrance.
Atsu 5 – Not made for days like this when we are up against it. Struggled to make an impact and spent more time closer to his own goal than Arsenal’s.
Merino 5 – Poor and generally quiet. Overran by the Arsenal midfield and didn’t provide enough defensive cover alongside Hayden. Did try his best to unlock the defence going forward but wasn’t good enough on the day. We really shouldn’t be relying on a 21 year old player to be our main guy.
Murphy 4 – Yet to be impressed by this guy. I know he’s young and needs more time but he was poor today and I think he’s been poor ever since signing. In need of some confidence, and I think going out on loan in January would do that…providing cover is brought in.
Hayden 6 – I thought he did really well and got about the pitch. Was one of the few players out there who wasn’t afraid to get stuck in.
Perez 5 – Another poor display. Not blaming him at all for their goal but it was typical that he was the one who gave the ball away in the middle of the park when all he had to do was put his foot on the ball. Too weak, too lightweight. Doesn’t work hard enough for me. Not getting away with the journos who claim he works hard.
Joselu 7 – I thought he did really well today! Won his fair share of headers and held the ball up well at times. More of that would see him in the line up more often (at least until January).
Ritchie 7 – Looked like he had a point to prove when he came on and Newcastle were slightly livened up. Had a few chances too.
Gayle – N/A (Not on long enough)
Diame – N/A (Not on long enough)
Stats from BBC Sport:
Arsenal 1 Newcastle 0
Arsenal: Ozil 23
Possession was Arsenal 71% Newcastle 29%
Total shots were Arsenal 23 Newcastle 10
Shots on target were Arsenal 5 Newcastle 2
Corners were Arsenal 7 Newcastle 5
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Manquillo, Murphy (Gayle 67), Hayden, Merino (Diame 82), Atsu (Ritchie 54), Perez, Joselu
Darlow, Clark, Dummett, Aarons
Crowd: 59,379 (Newcastle 3,000)
(Method in the madness of Rafa’s team selection – Read HERE)
(To read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to today’s match, go HERE)
(Newcastle in bottom three after Saturday results, read HERE)