Arsenal have failed to improve upon their woeful away record this season with a 2-1 loss to Newcastle United at St James’ Park tonight. The Gunners did get the lead through their French forward, Alexandre Lacazette within the first 15 minutes of action but struggled to hold off the charged Rafael Benitez-headed squad.
Shkodran Mustafi did well to see the run of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang behind the Newcastle backline and launched an inch-perfect ball forward. The latter found a bit of space on the left and lobbed in a perfectly-weighted ball towards the far post which was skillfully volleyed in by Lacazette. 0-1
The Magpies did not have to wait long for an equaliser as nine of their players combined to score the equaliser through Ayoze Perez. Deandre Yedlin found himself with space on the right and drilled in a low driven ball inside the Arsenal box. The Spaniard got in front of the clueless Mustafi and slammed in a first-time effort towards the near post. 1-1
A back and forth contest ensued despite Arsenal maintaining majority of the possession. The hosts were full of intent with their defensive approach and Arsene Wenger’s side did not. And the punishment was well earned by Arsenal as Benitez’s men got the winning goal in the 68th minute.
An advanced throw-in from the Arsenal half was badly handled by the backline and Newcastle took advantage. Rob Holding was left alone to stop two United players as Dwight Gayle calmly laid of Matt Ritchie clear on the right. The winger shot a well-hit shot over Holding and Cech with his weaker right. 1-2
Here is how the Arsenal players rated on the night.
Petr Cech – 5/10
Well beaten for both the United goals but could have had a had for the first one as per his lofty standards. Otherwise sharp to pick up the scraps.
Calum Chambers – 5/10
Very optimistic on the run understandably sloppy with possession. Was at the end of two quality chances inside the opposition box but could not convert.
Shkodran Mustafi – 4/10
Another night poor marking saw Ayoze Perez get in front of him for the first Newcastle goal. Equally shaky for the rest of the night.
Rob Holding – 5/10
Struggled to hold off the speedy Dwight Gayle and let him get behind the Arsenal defence on plenty of occasions.
Nacho Monreal – 5/10
A poor clearing header eventually led to Newcastle’s second. He did get into good spaces in the Newcastle half.
Granit Xhaka – 5/10
Looked calm with the ball but not clinical enough with his passes. Usual to what we have come to expect from the Swiss international.
Mohamed Elneny – 6/10
A relentless runner but lacks the creative edge. Nevertheless, a decent shift.
Joe Willock – 5/10
Didn’t seem to get a hang of the game but by no means a Premier League bad debut for an 18-year-old. He covered his space and was not shy to lunge into tackles. Needs more experience.
Alex Iwobi – 6/10
A mix of highs and lows for the Nigerian. Brilliant technical abilities to hold onto the ball but fell short with his final balls.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 7/10
He had to take a more submissive role on the left wing but certainly was the best player on the pitch for Arsenal.
Alexandre Lacazette – 6/10
Almost a spectator without any quality service from the back. Did well to get the goal.
Danny Welbeck – NA
Ainsley Maitland-Niles – NA
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