Petr Cech struggles to explain how Arsenal lost to Newcastle after being ‘in control’ each half
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.
“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
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie (Murphy 86), Shelvey, Kenedy, Perez (Joselu 79), Gayle (Slimani 63))
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)
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