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Newcastle 2 Arsenal 0 – The three big points that I’m taking from the match

1 month ago
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Newcastle 2 Arsenal 0 – Monday 16 May 8pm

Last home game of the season and who thought we’d be in this situation last August?

Joelinton player of the season, Howe up for Manager of the year, chance of finishing top half of the table? What a wild ride.

Looking at the line-up, glad to see that Schar came back in over Lascelles, and not at all surprised about Wilson starting, given the chances he made against City (and that was with 6 months of rust!). Possible bench appearances from Trippier and fit-again Fraser too, to give us a much stronger looking squad.

From kick-off, we were always harassing Arsenal and looking to stretch them, possibly looking to exploit a less than match fit and shaky defence.

On the seventh minute, Almiron almost caught Ramsdale cold, charging down his attempted pass out, which went agonisingly wide. Wilson trying to catch the defence off guard, being caught offside a lot but certainly giving some pain to White’s less than fit hamstrings.

For the first 20 minutes Newcastle bossing it, but nothing to show for it just yet, although a good attempt from Longstaff across goal being booted off the line by White, followed by another crucial block from White against Joelinton to keep it level.

Then Arsenal started to get a bit of a foothold in the game but the only chance they created was a tame shot by Saka straight into Dubravka’s hands. Still really dominant from NUFC, almost 80% possession on the 30 minute mark! Best chance of the game by a mile coming on the 36th minute, with ASM cutting inside and drilling a shot into the near post, really well saved by Ramsdale though.

Great pressure on the Arsenal backline throughout the first half, White on a yellow, Tomiyasu off injured and Gabriel increasingly frustrated with his teammates.

Second half saw drama from the off, after Schar was clattered by Nketiah, laying him out cold and causing a lengthy stoppage, forcing the Swiss defender off, good to see him walk off under his own steam though.

Then 55 minutes in, the pressure finally told, a great cross from Joelinton was shovelled in by White into his own net with Wilson breathing down his neck. Not the scorer we wanted but well deserved nonetheless. Pressure still piled on, as Wilson almost scored a wonder goal, volleying over a Bruno cross on the hour mark.

Arsenal really forced to throw the kitchen sink at it as they put every attacking player they had onto the pitch in search of that Champions League place, with NUFC responding with additional pace on the wings, bringing on Murphy and a newly-fit Fraser to exploit the gaps.

Almost paid off as well, as a Murphy and Fraser breakaway after some really sloppy play from Pepe, brought a save by Ramsdale from a weak effort, keeping Arsenal in it with 10 minutes to go.

Almost an absolute worldie from Wilson as he sent a long range lob just wide of the post with Ramsdale flailing, he really could have had a hat-trick by now! But even if he didn’t score he provided, forcing Ramsdale to palm the ball out into a dangerous area, leaving Bruno free to calmly slot home and surely make the points safe at this stage with five minutes to go. Fraser almost even added the cherry on top, neatly denied by Ramsdale again, deep into added time, and that was that.

Overall, such a great game, and what could have just been a dead rubber for us, instead every player gave his all for the club and we really look set to end the season on a high.

Here are my three key points that I am taking from the game.

Pressing game = On point

The pressure put on by the entire team here was amazing and I think the performances of Longstaff and Almiron will have given Howe some extra thought on whether they’re worth hanging onto, even just as squad players.

Arsenal couldn’t live with us for large parts of the match and the level of possession we had was really impressive throughout. The team spirit shown by Newcastle leagues ahead of that shown by Arsenal, they looked lost and all at sea, while we were cohesive and so well drilled.

Player of the season AND player of the match

Thoroughly deserving of his player of the season award was Joelinton and the shift he put in today just epitomised that.

He was everywhere, from defending the rare Arsenal breakouts, to winning the ball in midfield, to putting balls in for Wilson and causing threats in the final third.

I know I’ve said it many times before in articles but his resurrection has been nothing less than biblical. Hopefully the form keeps going next season.

Twelfth Man

Regardless of where we are in the league, it can’t be denied that we have some absolutely tremendous fans.

The amazing display before kick off, the support throughout the season – even in the bad times, and the united front we have now is just a joy to behold.

We looked like the team chasing Europe tonight and maybe we will be next season…..

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 2 Arsenal 0 – Monday 16 May 8pm

Goals:

Arsenal:

Newcastle:

White OG 55, Bruno G 85

Possession was Arsenal 49% Newcastle 51%

Total shots were Arsenal 11 Newcastle 16

Shots on target were Arsenal 2 Newcastle 4

Corners were Arsenal 8 Newcastle 12

Referee: Darren England

Attendance:  52,274 (Arsenal 3,000)

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Krafth, Schar (Lascelles 49), Burn, Targett, Guimaraes, Longstaff, Joelinton, Saint-Maximin (Fraser 77), Almiron (Murphy 76), Wilson (Gayle 90+4))

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Dummett, Ritchie, Fernandez, Trippier

(Newcastle 2 Arsenal 0 – Instant NUFC fan / writer reaction to Monday’s superb victory – Read HERE)

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