Three Arsenal players who impressed in their side’s win over Newcastle United
Arsenal extended their winning streak to 6 matches in all competitions, as an Olivier Giroud brace helped them to a 2-1 win against Newcastle United at St. James’ Park on Saturday. John Carver’s men, after trailing their visitors by 0-2 at the break, came out fighting in the second half and Moussa Sissoko halved the deficit in the 48th minute, but they could not breach David Ospina’s resistance for the second time on the day. It was close to a no-show from the Gunners in the second half and Arsene Wenger cut a frustrated figure in the dugout, but who were the three architects in Arsenal’s narrow win over the Magpies?
The French striker continued his impressive goal scoring form against Newcastle on Saturday, scoring a couple of poacher’s goals in quick succession to put Arsenal in a commanding position even before the half hour mark. Giroud boasted a shot accuracy of 67%, scoring with 2 of his 3 attempts on goal.
The striker’s real test came in the second half, when the hosts were firmly knocking on the door and the visitors didn’t see much of the ball. But Giroud, whenever Arsenal cleared the ball from the danger area, did his very best to hold it up and relieve some of the pressure his defenders were under. He won 4 of his 9 aerial duels on Saturday. It was a clinical display from the Gunners’ leading marksman.
Surprisingly, Chambers was by far the most impressive Arsenal player, apart from Giroud, on Saturday. He was flamboyant in an attacking sense, but his attacking instincts didn’t deter him from defending well. He was a constant menace on Newcastle’s left-hand-side, getting forward at every possible opportunity and providing his side with attacking impetus. Chambers had a mighty impressive take-on success rate of 75%, as he completed 3 of his 4 attempted take-ons.
In a defensive sense: Chambers won 62% of his 13 attempted tackles, while also winning 6 of his 7 aerial duels on the day. In addition, he made 4 interceptions and 4 clearances, to complete a solid day’s work at right-back.
The French midfielder produced another solid display as a defensive midfielder for Arsenal, rendering good defensive cover to his backline while also doing his bit when Arsenal attacked. Coquelin completed 84% of his attempted passes on Saturday, creating 1 goal scoring chance over the course of 90 minutes. The 23-year old midfielder also completed his only take-on of the game.
When Arsenal didn’t have the ball, Coquelin came to his own, averting any potential danger to Ospina’s goal and neutralizing the threat posed by Remy Cabella & co. He won 5 of his 7 attempted tackles, while making 4 interceptions and 4 clearances (3 of which came in the second half, when Newcastle threatened to rescue a point). Coquelin also won all his aerial duels (2/2) against the Magpies.
The aforementioned trio of Giroud, Chambers and Coquelin were definitely the chief architects of Arsenal’s victory over Newcastle on Saturday, but Santiago Cazorla also did his bit while he was on the pitch. He made the assist for Giroud’s second goal, and created 1 other chance during his 71-minute vigil in the middle.