Newcastle United 1-2 Arsenal

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Press conference

Emery - Torreira gave us more balance

Lucas Torreira

Lucas Torreira hasn’t started a game for us yet - but he’s more than made his mark.

The Uruguay midfielder has been easing his way into English football after a successful summer at the World Cup and his presence is being increasingly felt.

Torreira came off the bench to put in a flawless passing display at Cardiff before the international break and he was at it again at Newcastle, coming on at half-time to drive us forward.

Matteo Guendouzi made way for Torreira and Unai Emery explained his decision after the game.

“I want to give every player confidence,” he said.

“I am very happy with Matteo and also very happy with Lucas. But maybe in the second half we needed a little more balance on the pitch with the positioning. Lucas gives us this balance.”

Post-Match Report

Newcastle United 1-2 Arsenal: How it happened

Hector Bellerin and Mesut Ozil celebrate our No 10's goal at Newcastle

WHAT HAPPENED

Granit Xhaka scored a peach of a free-kick and Mesut Ozil struck on his 200th appearance as we came on strong in the second half to beat Newcastle.

Our Swiss midfielder is no stranger to goals from long-range but this effort had precision as well as power, a curling effort into the top corner shortly after the restart.

Granit Xhaka celebrates opening the scoring at Newcastle

Granit Xhaka celebrates opening the scoring at Newcastle

 

That gave us a grip on the game that was tightened by Ozil at the end of a patient, probing move that came alive when Nacho Monreal’s deft pass found Granit Xhaka in space on the left.

He picked out Alex Lacazette for a shot that was blocked, and Ozil was calmness personified to slot the rebound past Martin Dubravka.

Our first 10 Premier League goals of the season have been scored by different players

Our first 10 Premier League goals of the season have been scored by different players

 

It was an impressive change of pace from us after a pretty humdrum first half, during which Newcastle gave us a few problems.

They tested Petr Cech with a string of deliveries from wide positions, but our goalkeeper’s handling has been solid all season and it was here too.

We got going once Ozil got the measure of the game. As ever Hector Bellerin was a reliable outlet on the right but our best chance of the first half came down the left.

Lacazette slid in Aaron Ramsey with a clever pass and we waited to see if the Wales midfielder would take on the shot or pick out Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang on the edge of the six-yard box. But Ramsey did neither - to his immense frustration.

Sokratis made three crunching challenges to stop Newcastle in their tracks but, despite bossing possession, we struggled to carve out openings for ourselves.

Matteo Guendouzi in action at Newcastle

Matteo Guendouzi impressed in the first half before being substituted at the break

 

That changed after the break when the team - including half-time substitute Lucas Torreira - went up a gear.

A third goal looked well within us and Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan and Lacazette all went close.

But two was enough, despite a stoppage-time header from Ciaran Clark.

HOW IT HAPPENED

 

FOUR THINGS WE NOTICED

 

THE PICTURES

 

TEAM NEWS

Unai Emery kept faith with the same team that lined up against Cardiff City before the international break.

Indeed, there were no changes to our 18-man squad. Alex Iwobi - ill for the trip to Wales - did travel to the north east, but didn’t make the final squad.

Laurent Koscielny, Sead Kolasinac, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Carl Jenkinson are still recovering from injuries.

 

WHAT’S NEXT

We kick off our Europa League campaign at Emirates Stadium on Thursday against Ukrainian side Vorskla.

That starts a run of four home games in 10 days, continuing with Everton in the Premier League and then Brentford in the Carabao Cup.

Press conference

Unai Emery’s press conference: every single word

Unai Emery

Mesut Ozil’s influential display, Lucas Torreira’s instant impact and the latest on Aaron Ramsey’s fitness.

All that and more came up when Unai Emery faced the media after our 2-1 win at Newcastle. Here’s what he said:

on what he said to the players at half-time…
In the first half we didn’t control the match like we wanted to. Also, we needed that control to input our ideas. We conceded a lot of chances for transitions and counter-attacks, but not giving away major chances. They had a lot of corners and a lot of possibilities to arrive in our box. In the second half, the balance on the pitch was better - our positioning and when we were attacking we didn’t make the transition easy for us. I think the key is the first goal. This goal gave us the confidence to continue to improve in the match. We finished the match with the result.

on the impact of Torreira…
I want to give every player confidence. I am very happy with Matteo and also very happy with Lucas. Maybe in the second half we needed a little more balance on the pitch with the positioning. Lucas gives us this balance.

on Ozil’s performance…
For me, every player is the same - I want to give them the confidence and push them. Today I’m happy because I want every player to have chances to score. Today Mesut scored and I think that’s important. He continued his process on the team, helping with his quality and working every day to continue with the performances we want the team and him to have.

on if he’ll rotate in the Europa League - and if Leno will play…
We are going to change and use a lot of players for different competitions, but only thinking about the best performance for us to win on Thursday. Every competition for me is about [doing as well as you can] and normally you use a different goalkeeper in those [other] competitions, but it’s about giving [your best] performance.

on winning away…
We need to push for ourselves and also the challenge. One challenge is to have better performances away and to be more competitive and to have a lot of chances to win, but this needs to be done with consistency and our demands are very hard. We need to continue because we need to prove that we’re being more competitive and I think that’s one of the important things that the team showed us.

on whether Ozil not playing for Germany can benefit Arsenal…
It’s a new way for him and we want his performance in each training day and each match to give his qualities to us. I want also his best performances for us and today I think that first he worked well and then also I think he did a good match.

on Aubameyang being annoyed at being substituted…
It’s normal. I want the players when I change the team or when I decide them not to start them in the first XI to be angry and have ambition to play and help the team and stay on the pitch. For me it’s a normal situation.

on Ramsey being substituted…
It’s also normal. He played with the national team two matches and then he played 80 minutes with us, so he asked us to change him. It’s not a big problem but he was tired. I think it is no problem.

Press conference

The verdict on Ozil’s 200th Arsenal appearance

Mesut Ozil

Mesut Ozil has reached 200 appearances for us, and he did it in some style.

The 29-year-old pulled the strings from a central role at Newcastle - especially in the second half - and he capped an encouraging performance with his first goal of the season.

It was Ozil’s first game at St. James’ Park and Unai Emery was impressed.

“For me, every player is the same - I want to give them the confidence and push them,” he said.

“Today I’m happy because I want every player to have chances to score. Today Mesut scored and I think that’s important. He continued his process on the team, helping with his quality and working every day to continue with the performances we want the team and him to have.

“It’s a new way for him and we want his performance in each training day and each match to give his qualities to us. I want also his best performances for us and today I think that first he worked well and then also I think he did a good match.”

Interview

‘Mesut said that I could take the free-kick!’

Granit Xhaka scored his first free-kick for us on Saturday with an absolute beauty into the top corner from 25 yards.

Mesut Ozil added a coolly-taken second and both goalscorers spoke after the game. Here’s what they said:

on whether that was almost a perfect away performance…
GX: No, not really. I think it was a difficult start for us in the first 20 minutes. After, we were in the game. The second half went very well for us and I think it was an important three points for us.

on if there was any doubt about who’d take the free-kick for the first goal…
GX: Yeah, Mesut said as well that I could shoot! We try it a lot in training and I was happy to score.

on Ozil’s goal on his 200th Arsenal appearance…
MO: I’m happy. The most important thing was to take the three points here. Congratulations to the whole team on playing very well. I know that Newcastle, especially at home, are very good and aggressive, but we showed character, gained the three points and we’re happy now.

on playing under Emery…
MO: I’ve said in the past that I’m very happy to play for Arsenal. The new coach knows what he wants, the team have accepted that and the whole team supports him. We have a good relationship with him and you can see that especially today as well. When we score, the whole team is happy, even the players who don’t play so many minutes. You see we are one team that wants to reach our goal. We are happy to take the three points.

on if the team are building momentum…
GX: We know it’s an important week for us. We now have four games at home, having won two games away, which is more than last year! We are happy to win today.

The Breakdown

Analysis: How vibrant Torreira made the difference

We won our third match in succession on Saturday as we beat Newcastle United 2-1 thanks to goals from Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil.

In the latest episode of The Breakdown, Adrian Clarke examines the match in detail, focusing on:

  • Lucas Torreira's instant impact off the bench
  • Sokratis' dominant display at the back
  • How we still need to deal better with crosses
  • Granit Xhaka's fine all-round performance