Newcastle United 1-2 Arsenal
Another one that just to got away from Newcastle…
STARTING XI: Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles (Clark, 45), Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie (Muto, 79), Hayden, Diame, Murphy (Kenedy, 69), Perez, Joselu
A first team selection that felt like it was a final friendly of the season more than our best eleven. Only time will tell if those sitting on the bench at the start of this one would be utilised more fully in the games and months to come.
If this was a boxing match then Newcastle would have been ahead on points at half time. Slightly the better of the two sides they could consider themselves unlucky not to have made more of a number of nervous moments in that first period.
Cech in particular looked all at sea on more than one occasion with arsenal looking frail at the back. But even a succession of corners and some good pressure would not find a way through for the home side.
The introduction of Torreira at half time by Emery made a huge impact in the game however. His introduction at the centre of all that was good about Arsenal it the second half. Speed of mind and good early distribution, always towards the Newcastle goal, something that the visitors had been missing to that point.
Newcastle could do little about the opening goal. A free kick beautifully curled into the top right hand corner of Dubravka’s net leaving the Newcastle keeper with no chance.
That goal on 49 minutes was the start of a period that saw Arsenal completely take control of the game. It would only take a further 9 minutes for the away side to double their lead, this time Ozil placing home after Lacazette’s shot had been blocked.
Only an injury time consolation for Ciaran Clark, turning in fellow centre half Fernandez cross would give the Magpies anything to cheer, but that was all too little too late as Arsenal saw out the game to improve their recent dreadful away record.
The atmosphere in the stadium during the game told a great deal about the mood in the camp right now. Things are pretty painful at the moment and only goal difference is now keeping us from propping up the table.