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Mikel Arteta talks after gratefully accepting the gifts/goals Newcastle United presented to Arsenal

1 month ago
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Mike Arteta went into Sunday’s match with only one win in eight Premier League matches.

Only eight goals scored in those eight games and Arsenal fans questioning what they saw as an overly defensive approach.

Mikel Arteta taking over a team that had conceded 27 goals in 17 PL games and wanting to correct that failing.

Conceding only seven goals in his first eight PL games, Arteta had made a decent start on that part of the job, but could he improve the attacking side at the same time.

After his ninth Premier League game, I’m not convinced that Mikel Arteta will be any more…convinced that he has sorted it.

A poor first half with two poor teams offering little threat at either end.

That all changed though when a deep cross saw Aubameyang somehow left with a totally free header which gave Dubravka no chance.

As Newcastle opened up invitingly, a second goal only three minutes later finished the game off as a contest.

Two late goals courtesy of a Dubravka fumble and Lacazette fluke won’t have fooled Mikel Arteta.

Arsenal fully deserved their win as they finally upped their game in the second half at the same time as Newcastle quickly accepted defeat after conceding twice in three minutes, but Arteta will know he won’t get many games gifted as easily as this one.

After only two wins in their last 17 Premier League games, even the Arsenal fans, well those who had bothered to turn up anyway with well over 10,000 empty seats, woke from their slumbers at seeing such a relative goalfest. The first time since February 2019 [Arsenal 5 Bournemouth 1] that they had seen their team score four or more in a league match.

Arsenal have won only seven of 26 Premier League matches this season and two of the seven were against Newcastle United.

Mikel Arteta:

 “We wanted to put draws into wins and the home form is going to be vital.

“It was a little bit slow and you can get frustrated but we started to manage the game better after 25 minutes, had a talk at half time and improved in the second half.

“In the final third we were poor in the first 25 minutes. 

“Ten days ago I was disappointed with the draw at Burnley and it [Champions League qualification] looked so far away, now it’s up to us to put a run together.

“I am not conflicted at all [with news of Man City FFP two year European ban], I want the best for Manchester City, for Pep, for the players. The only thing I want for them was positive and good things.

“I want us to do the best we can to achieve what we can deserve.

“After the break, we had to start closing the gap on the top teams and turn draws into wins.

“Today was the first opportunity and we’ve done it. All good.

“I m so pleased for Laca [Alexandra Lacazette] and the reaction of the players and staff towards him.

“He fights hard for everyone and he has been unlucky, he will gain confidence from this and knows how everyone appreciates him.

“Bukayo Saka is doing really well, he keeps his head down and wants to learn, he is performing like a senior player.

“Dani Ceballos is a good example. He was injured and when he started to train I didn’t think he was fit enough. He completely changed his behaviour and trained like an animal. I thought he was the best player on the pitch.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Arsenal 4 Newcastle 0 – Sunday 16 February 2020 4.30pm

Goals:

Arsenal:

Aubameyang 54, Pepe 57, Ozil 90, Lacazette 90+5

Possession was  Arsenal 69%, Newcastle 31%

Total shots were Arsenal 15 Newcastle 10

Shots on target were Arsenal 7, Newcastle 2

Corners were Arsenal 5, Newcastle 6

Crowd: 60,188 (3,000 Newcastle)

Referee: Lee Mason

Newcastle team v Arsenal:

Dubravka, Lazaro (Hayden 74), Fernandez (Ritchie 75), Lascelles, Clark (Schar 83), Rose, Sean Longstaff, Bentaleb, Almiron, Saint-Maximin, Joelinton

Unused Subs

Darlow, Matty Longstaff, Lejeune, Atsu

(Steve Bruce further exposed on Sunday – No other Premier League club would have entertained him – Read HERE)

(Arsenal 4 Newcastle 0 – Watch official match highlights here as NUFC collapse after decent first half – Watch HERE)

(Arsenal 4 Newcastle 0 – Match ratings and comments on all NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Steve Bruce desperate for positives after Arsenal 4 Newcastle 0 – Delighted with 2 players, pleased with Joelinton – Read HERE)

(Arsenal 4 Newcastle 0 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Sunday’s dismal defeat – Read HERE)

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