Petr Cech watched on as Arsenal started brightly, scored after 14 minutes, looking as though they could comfortably go on to take all three points at St James Park.

With only three away wins in the Premier League all season and the last one being four months ago, it would have been a morale boosting result.

However, a goal in each half saw Newcastle come back and win, their first victory over the Gunners at home since 2005.

The first Newcastle goal was one of those were people have asked was it a brilliant finish by Perez or poor goalkeeping to be beaten at your near post, probably a bit of both although the majority of that should be weighted in the striker’s favour rather than blaming Cech.

However, the winning goal left Petr Cech in no doubt, saying ‘Unfortunately we made a series of errors for the second goal which decided the game.’

Though once again the Newcastle players deserved credit as well, Slimani showing he wanted to really win the header and he guided the ball across to Matt Ritchie for a cool finish with his weaker right foot.

The Arsenal keeper claims that his team were ‘in control’ both halves and indeed the possession figures [72% Arsenal] appear to confirm that.

However, the visitors really struggled to break down Newcastle and much of that possession was in non-dangerous areas.

Indeed, Newcastle actually had more efforts on target [4 v 3] and in the second half looked more and more dangerous on the counter-attack the longer the game went on.

Petr Cech:

“I think that we started well. After going 1-0 up, we were in control. At that point, I thought we’d been doing really well.

“Unfortunately, they managed to score a goal, but in the second half it stayed the same way. We were pretty much in control and we tried to find the openings, the winning goal, but we didn’t create enough in the second half to be dangerous enough.

“I think the second goal kind of sums up our away season. We collectively made a number of mistakes at the same time which led to their goal, and we devalued our work during the game with a situation like that.

“I think that it’s happened more frequently than normal over the course of the season, and it’s obviously cost us our position in the league table.

“We knew that Newcastle are playing to stay in the league and for them, it was a huge game. You can see that they had nothing to lose.

“Once they were 1-0 down, they stuck to their plan, defended well and then waited for the counter-attack. They used quick balls behind, so we knew they were going to continue like that.

“The second goal is obviously a big blow for us and it helped them to get a lot of confidence. After that it became very difficult. I would say that it sums up our away form the season.

“We changed the line-up but we did really well in the first half. Having gone 1-0 up, I thought that we were in control and played some good football. We had some possibilities to score a second goal which we didn’t take or we didn’t find the final pass.

“They scored a goal which obviously helped them to regain confidence, then they could stick to their plan for the second half. They defended very well, were well organised and tried to counter quickly behind us.

“We tried to break them down in the second half, which was not happening because we couldn’t create enough in the second half. We were still in control of the game but unfortunately we made a series of errors for the second goal which decided the game. It wasn’t just one mistake, it was a few.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 2 Arsenal 1


Newcastle: Perez 29, Ritchie 68

Arsenal: Lacazette 14

Possession was Arsenal 72% Newcastle 28%

Total shots were  Arsenal 15 Newcastle 8

Shots on target were Arsenal 3 Newcastle 4

Corners were  Arsenal 5 Newcastle 2

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie (Murphy 86), Shelvey, Kenedy, Perez (Joselu 79), Gayle (Slimani 63))

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Manquillo, Clark, Hayden

Crowd: 52,210 (2,700 Arsenal approx)

(Alan Shearer revels in Newcastle win and has Piers Morgan and other Arsenal fans biting – Read HERE)

(United fan/writer instant reaction to the 2-1 victory – Read it HERE)

(Match ratings of all NUFC players after beating Arsenal – Read HERE)

(Arsene Wenger says Newcastle didn’t even deserve a point…Read HERE)

(Rafa Benitez reaction after final whistle – Read HERE)

(Garth Crooks revisits ‘Rafa could win Premier League with Newcastle’ comments – Read HERE)

(Mohamed Diame talks through the win over Arsenal and reaching PL safety – Read it HERE)

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    It`s a funny old game

    • Leazes.

      Not as funny as the people who think they understand it….the ‘Shelvey Out’
      Campaign by Ryder and Co was a doozy….. now its ‘Shelvey for England’….

      Quick bury all previous articles…. they might not notice!

  • superalansuddick

    Possession means sweet FA,Sticking the ball in the onion bag is everything we done it twice they done it once. end of.

  • Philippines

    I felt at the start of the season the ‘luck’ was going the other way. Nice to see that change.

  • pedrodelgardo

    Having watched Rafa’s teams for two years now you really should have learned that posession of the ball does not equate to control of the game!

    • Leazes.

      Victory and points equals happiness, playing well and defeat not so happy.

      The defence seems marshalled and lets face it they’ve had a lot of practice Playing like this home and away….. maybe with a couple of top end strikers could put us in Europe.

    • Wor Monga

      Exactly!…controlling the game is denying the opposition openings to create chances, and you do that by limiting their ability to have possession in and around your own penalty area, and that’s what Rafa’s teams will do…well…

      …Arsenal never had that they never even really tested Dubravka, but we never played out and out defensively against them…we just cut their possession where it would hurt us most, and our forwards like Ritchie, Kenedy, Perez and Gayle worked their nuts off to get at them, and get our possession (not much, but enough) in the areas where they could be hurt!!!

  • thewildchimp

    Not Cech’s fault. His back four was really bad from the time we scored until the end. If they’re gonna mark people so poorly in the box, what can a keeper past his prime do?

  • Scott Robinson

    How much longer do we want to watch 25 -35% possession each week. Arsenal are basically rubbish away from home and had that big cup game, so there for the taking.

    It isn’t ‘amazing’ that we won and I have been saying all season that there is nothing from Burnley downwards to be scared of in this division. Hopefully next season we will have some extra players that will make it 60% possession in our favour at home and a top 6-8 position should be what we are looking for. ‘amazing’ is when we win a trophy or top 4!

    • Leazes.

      Yes Arsenal debuted an academy player too…. so they still thought they had enough to do a job here, but if results come from theses tactics and the club is challenging for a Euro place all is forgiven.

      • Wor Monga

        Of course they thought they had enough to do a job here…they’re an experienced top PL side with a big squad, and an academy that produces proper PL players…and we are almost the exact opposite of all that…but that we could come back and win a game against them is hard for them to take and a big culture shock for them and their supporters…

        …they didn’t have all of their first 11, but they weren’t tired, and they had 2 of the sharpest forwards that almost any team in Europe would love to have in Aubameyang and Lacazette, and they weren’t over in Russia!!!

    • Angelswithdirtyfaces

      We ought to be trying for 8th this season. I don’t have a problem with counter attacking football as a style of play as it requires great organisation at the back and good runners. I don’t think % possession even reflects dominance in a game. Southampton mightn’t be in the relegation zone otherwise as they tend to play that kind of game.

    • Keeganontherebound

      It is ‘amazing’ given Rafa took over a team in disarray two years ago and has had less to invest in the team than has been raised in sales. We’ve just beaten a team with a £100m+ strikeforce when we’re lining up with Gayle up front and have Joselu and a player unwanted at Leicester coming off the bench… Rafa has done an incredible job in very difficult circumstances.

      • Jezza

        Spot on.

      • Paul Patterson

        The one thing Rafa won’t accept, is a lack of effort. This lot have it in spades.

    • NUFCDan

      Real basic stuff – you’ve got one of the fastest players in world football playing for the opposition, do you sit deep, let them have it and have to either cross or stick long balls which Lascelles and Lejeune can deal with no bother, or do you push up, hold possession and leave yourself open to counter attacks?

    • Wor Monga

      Not happy with the win, and the way it was done, you want us to be Man C too…sometimes that amazes me when you read something like this on the net…cos I never saw one person coming out after the game saying “ah! it was allreet, but I wish we’d had more possession”…

      …football’s not all about possession, it’s all about beating the opposition…fair and square!!!

  • Paul Patterson

    You don’t get points for possession!

    • Leazes.

      You do get the ball though!

  • Leicester Mag

    The answer is laid out in one sentence

    However, the visitors really struggled to break down Newcastle and much of that possession was in non-dangerous areas.

    Not one player tried to take his counterpart on so the ball was constantly shunted sideways and back. A limited but supremely organised team only has to wait for a lapse. That’s why you lost and will continue to loose.