Smith Rowe and Aubameyang seal it in ET for Arsenal

Arsenal 2-0 Newcastle United


An Andy Carroll howler on 60 minutes and a great save from Leno to deny the same player with only seconds remaining are the two outstanding chances of the game in normal time, in a story of what could have been for the Magpies. A game that the Magpies could and should have won in normal time of what was mostly an 'ordinary' game (and that's being kind).


Dubravka on a couple of occasions and Hayden with a brilliantly timed tackle in the Newcastle area making a difference at the other end.


But a lovely goal from Smith Rowe, who had earlier had a straight red card correctly downgraded to a yellow, early in the second period of extra time, and then a tap in for Aubameyang would give Arsenal their path into the Fourth Round with Newcastle left with nothing to show for their two hours a graft in the Capital.


Another year goes by. Another year without silverware. And not a run that's likely to change any time soon.

Whilst Steve Bruce would take a makeshift squad for this trip to London he was boosted by the return of fit again Martin Dubravka, to whom he committed before the game to feature and indeed would start, and the return of club captain Jamaal Lascelles having returned to training after an extended period out with COVID.

There was less favourable news in relation to Fraser who wouldn't quite be ready for this one. Whilst Lewis and Saint-Maximin would again both miss out, although Allan is at least back at the club having returned from France after his bout of COVID.


United would set up with three at the back, or five when out of possession, which of course would be most of the game.


Arsenal would employ the high press from the off, with United repeatedly failing to play their way through the Arsenal front line of defence and forced to clear long to Carroll who would earn a rare start having scored against Leicester after coming on as a late substitute.


The away side would at least enjoy some attacking play in the opening stages though, Perhaps the lack of fear that come from not playing in the league allowing the Magpies to deploy a larger number of players into the Arsenal attacking third that we've seen in recent fixtures in the Premier League.


The first real chance of the game would of course fall to Arsenal. A long ball leaving the Newcastle defence flat footed and allowing Aubameyang to race clear only to find Dubravka equal to a fiercely struck shot from the corner of the 6 yard box with a very good save.


Next it would be Tierney's turn to cause some havoc in the Newcastle defence, a trick and a nice run and cross down the Arsenal left ending with Clark having to desperately block a Nelson shot.


Next it would be Hayden called into action, making a fantastic toe poke to deny Pepe a clear shot on goal with Arsenal starting to look menacing going forward.


0-0 at half time.


Newcastle started the second half with some purpose. Andy Carroll attempting the spectacular from the angle of the 18 yard box with his deflected effort well saved.


Moments later thought the big man certainly should have scored. A half cleared corner thumped back into the box and falling to a totally unmarked Andy Carroll who looked to have the easiest job of side footing home. His effort was inexplicably hit wide. And whilst his blushes were initially save having been flagged offside, a replay showed he the goal would have counted and with VAR in play it would have been 1-0 Newcastle.


A huge waste.


Willock would then have Dubravka at full stretch after a lovely cross by Pepe had the Arsenal player free and just 5 yards out, heading into the ground before the giant frame of the Newcastle keeper came to the rescue.


Arsenal were starting to look the much better outfit as the second half moved on. Aubameyang and Willock both with efforts from distance that weren't a million miles away from causing Dubravka an issue.

With 10 minutes left there would be a big moment for one young Newcastle fan. Elliot Anderson making his debut for the club in what will be a proud moment for the lad and his family.


A huge chance for Newcastle United with a minute left. A ball setting Murphy away on the right was crossed to Elliot Anderson who couldn't hit the target but the ball would then fall to Carroll who again had a huge chance to score. His smashed effort would be on target this time but Leno would be equal to not just the first effort but then managing to scramble onto t he loose ball.


There was then a moment that could have seen Arsenal reduced to ten men. Smith Rowe initially shown a straight red card from Chris Kavanagh, but after being asked to review on the pitch side monitor by the the VAR official the referee made the correct decision to downgrade the red to a yellow and reprieve the young Arsenal man.


So into extra time we would go with the only real shout in the opening period being a shout for a penalty for a foul from Clark but nothing was given after a VAR review.


But on 109 minutes the breakthrough the home side had been searching for with Pepe playing a lovely chipped ball into Smith Rowe who finished brilliantly, with his right foot shot going in off Dubravka's right hand post. The United keeper left with no chance after an error form the otherwise brilliant Clark.


And moments later it was two. Tierney making a lovely cut inside the Newcastle fullback before crossing to Aubameyang to tap home to seal it for Arsenal.


#BruceOut

Match FACTFILE





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