It was a case of normal service resuming for Arsenal fans.
After that 2-1 win in April gave Newcastle their first home victory over the Gunners since 2006, Saturday saw three points once again heading back to North London.
Reading these comments from Arsenal fans below is illuminating.
Obviously they are happy to have won but I get the feeling that they aren’t too sure how it happened.
They want to believe that they are improving but seem to fear that it was Newcastle folding that gifted them the game, rather than Arsenal getting significantly better in that second half.
Arsenal fans comment via various message boards:
‘Just got back. The Geordies ain’t as bad as you’d think!
They’re all right. Shaking hands before the game, wishing us luck (never experienced that at an away ground, ever).’
‘I nearly fell asleep during the first half, second half we destroyed them. Not sure why Newcastle backed off so much second half allowing us time and space, but I’ll take it.’
‘First half was pretty dire overall… second half Newcastle looked sick or something, they were awful and gave us buckets of time on the ball…
Beauty of free kick from Xhaka and then nice play by Xhaka to set up second goal (!)… overall we strangled them but in traditional fashion don’t give up a shot on goal until 88 and they fu..ing score…
Mustafi was awful and could have been culpable for 2 goals if not poor header by Newc and good save by Cech.’
‘It was a bit more end to end and yes they had their chances but so did we. Never felt we were hanging on although of course a late goal jangles the nerves somewhat.’
‘I am glad Arsenal won and I am an Arsenal fan but you have to be realistic.
There is a long way to go but Arsenal have to improve to get 4th place.’
‘Newcastle fixture is difficult but man they look awful.’
‘Gotta say, Newcastle have been pretty unlucky this season. They’ve played Spurs, Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal and lost them all 2-1. They should have got something out of at least 2 of those games.’
‘Shame no clean sheet, but 3 points again! Tough away ground too, our play will improve, as long as we keep on winning these games I’m happy.’
‘The general performance has been sugarcoated by the result ultimately.
Our ability, or lack of ability to carve out clear cut opportunities is a big worry of mine going forward. Even against Cardiff the goals came from sublime individual out-of-nowhere efforts from Laca and Auba which would feel unrealistic to rely upon on a regular basis.
But given our recent run on the road last season I’ll happily prance in joy with the 3 points.’
‘I bought a 12″ pizza for £4. Four quid?!
Northern hospitality, man. Can’t knock it.’
‘Two players with the goals that needed the confidence boost. I think Newcastle expelled a lot of energy in the first half and it showed in the second.
Two away wins on trot, absolute progress. Still a long way to go but we are at least looking more like a team game by game under Emery.’
‘I actually don’t even think the first half was as poor as most people say. We had about three chances through Bellerin when he got into the box and cut the ball back but we just couldn’t get on the end of anything, and Ramsey 9 times out of 10 would’ve squared it to Auba or Ozil when he got in down the left but he fucked it all up.
Newcastle basically had several corners which came to nothing and one chance that Cech had to beat away that wasn’t even on target.
It wasn’t scintillating but the post match analysis from many people has made it seem like Newcastle were all over us and should’ve been ahead which I think is kind of ridiculous.’
‘Ok… really weird game… I rewatched a couple of bits to start second half and I have to say I still am not sure wtf really changed… my current judgment is mostly to blame Newcastle for losing their gameplan and energy and then having a hard time getting going at all after we scored.
The time we suddenly had on the ball time after time was insane… I can remember so many moments where our player received the ball in the middle ON THE NEWCASTLE side and he could take 2, 3, 4 touches, move the ball forward, drag a defender (EVENTUALLY) to him, than drop it off easily to an open player, wide, back, or even in some cases forward.
Having said that, we largely controlled the game and strangled them… not a shot on goal until minute 88? Like it. We were pretty limp on attack in first half, but I do credit Newcastle a bit with that… they were organized and tough and had lots of men back consistently.
Overall relatively poor quality football match – passing by both teams was all over the shop.’