Post-Match Report

Match report: Arsenal 2-0 Newcastle United

Bukayo Saka celebrates scoring at Emirates Stadium

Newcastle United -

Emirates Stadium
Premier League
Premier League
  Arsenal
      
                  Saka (56)
                   Martinelli (66)
            
   crest
Arsenal
Saka (56)
Martinelli (66)
2 0
  Newcastle United
   crest
Newcastle United

WHAT HAPPENED

Two beautifully crafted second-half goals fired us back to winning ways at home to Newcastle.

Bukayo Saka broke the deadlock after the interval, finishing smartly after he, Emile Smith Rowe and Nuno Tavares combined well to open up the space.

Ten minutes later substitute Gabriel Martinelli sealed the win, showing a deft touch to volley home Takehiro Tomiyasu's cross just moments after coming on.

It was no more than we deserved for a dominant display - Mikel Arteta's men enjoyed nearly 70 per cent of possession - but in truth the first half was played at a pedestrian pace in the main, with neither side really taking control of the game.

Saka had our first sight of goal, stretching to connect with a deep, searching pass from Sambi Lokonga, and shooting just wide.

Aaron Ramsdale pulled off a now customary, eye-catching save on the half hour, springing away high to his left to push a Jonjo Shelvey drive on to the crossbar and over.

That seemed to spark us into action at least, and we should have taken the lead moments later. Smith Rowe's header from 10 yards out was parried by Martin Dubravka, the ball fell to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the far post, but the skipper's snap shot hit the upright from close range.

Tavares, keeping his place at left back ahead of Kieran Tierney, was never afraid to shoot when the opportunity presented itself, but his radar was off, and only two of our 12 shots in the first half were on target.

Our first effort of the second half was on target, but Saka didn't put enough power behind it, after doing so well to work his way into a shooting position in the box.

He made sure with his next effort though, and it was a wonderful team move that created the chance.

Arsenal were patiently moving the ball outside the area, drawing Newcastle out of position, before Emile Smith Rowe fed the ball into Tavares and the full back's clever pass released Saka, who unerringly found the far corner with his left foot.

Saka was soon withdrawn but his replacement Gabriel Martinelli wasted no time in announcing his presence on the pitch, doubling our lead with a wonderful finish.

Takehiro Tomiyasu floated the ball in to the box and the Brazilian forward beautifully cushioned his volley over Dubravka into the net.

It was a breathtaking way for the youngster to score his first of the season, just 93 seconds after coming on.

We kept attacking, looking for the third, and racked up 23 shots by full-time, but in the end were content with a two-goal win, a sixth Premier League clean sheet of the season, and three points that keep us in fifth place.

WHAT IT MEANS

The Premier League table

The Premier League table


TEAM NEWS

There was just the one change from our defeat at Anfield last weekend, with Martin Odegaard returning to the side in place of Alexandre Lacazette. It was the Norwegian's first start since the draw with Crystal Palace on October 18.

WHAT'S NEXT

A busy December schedule kicks off on Thursday evening, away to Manchester United in the Premier League - with United likely to have Ralf Rangnick in charge for the first time.

We follow that up with another away league game - at Everton's Goodison Park on Monday night.

We'll play eight games during the month – seven of which in the Premier League – in a potentially pivotal period.

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