What a nail-biting afternoon for Arsenal fans as we watched Newcastle defend admirably for over an hour with ten men against the might of the Gunners attack force, and the only way that we penetrated their defence was when we got a lucky own goal from Oxlade-Chamberlain’s wayward strike.
Wenger believes that the sending off actually made it harder for us because the Toon just camped out in their penalty area and the Gunners had to wait patiently for an opening. “Patience and nerves.” Le Prof said after the game. “I believe that we needed to not rush our game, to wait for our chances and to take one of them.
“I must say that Newcastle decided from the start to make the game quite physical and we had to keep our nerves and not become a little bit aggressive as well. I thought we did that well. Afterwards it was a strange game. You play away from home, 11 against 10, and you know that they will play 15 yards deeper, you play 10 against nine in the final third.
“the crowd is behind their team which puts pressure on the referee, and then it’s very difficult. We didn’t find the space. They defended well and they’ve shown why they didn’t concede at Manchester United as well. We are happy to have the three points and to win 1-0.”
Arsenal have now only gained a point at home from two games, but we seem to do better away from the Emirates. “It was important.” Wenger continued. “We know we’ll turn it round at home so it was important mathematically not to drop points today, not to be too far from the top teams. It was important mentally as well because we dropped points at home. We had two different away games at Newcastle and Crystal Palace but we’ve got six points. That is very good.”
It was very nerve-wracking from where I was sat, but it was nice to see Liverpool and the Portugese bus conductor drop points later on. Perhaps we are not looking so bad after all, but when are our strikers going to find out where the net is……