Arsenal return to winning ways with dominant performance

Arsenal returned to the top half of the table in style this evening when putting Newcastle to the sword at the Emirates.

The Gunners were in control for much of the 90 minutes, but despite a host of chances in the opening half, were unable to clinch the breakthrough.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shockingly missed an open goal (video) from close range around 20 minutes into the matchup, while Darlow was equal to the rest of our efforts, but the second-half proved to be much different.

That man Auba broke the deadlock five minutes into the half with a confidently taken effort, and the team continued their dominance from the first half but with a refreshing new feeling in front of goal.

We looked deadly throughout the half, and it was no surprise to see us double our lead shortly after, but the manner in which we did was a delight to watch.

Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka were the guys to finish off the neat team move (video), with ESR’s fine run down the left before putting on a plate for his partner in crime in the box.

Aubameyang completed the rout with the third (video) when he got into the perfect spot in the box to make it three, while Cedric Soares just managed to keep the ball from going off for a goal kick.

This sort of performance is a delight after our struggles in front of goal against Crystal Palace, and there is so much to feel positive about.


READ MORE:Β Watch Cedric’s sublime backheel against Newcastle

Tags Newcastle Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang


  1. Aubameyang didn’t play well in the first half, then he showed his great shooting ability in the second half. Newcastle’s defense was more open after Aubameyang’s goal and Smith-Rowe capitalized on it very well with his movements/ assist

    Really impressed with all Gunners in the second half, especially with Smith-Rowe, Partey and Soares. They worked so hard to retrieve the ball and assist the others

  2. Arsenal have kept 5 consecutive clean sheets for the first time since 2009!!
    People were always questioning if Arteta really improved our defense.
    Well there you have it lads.

    Saka and Smith Rowe link up as usual.
    Good to have Auba back.
    Holding low-key has been too solid at the back.
    Leno? These clean sheets must be giving him confidence.
    Pepe and Willian should be ashamed of themselves.
    People were really saying it was Arteta’s tactics that had our players struggling.
    Well on to the next win please before we put United in the dust next week.

    1. Arteta’s tactics were part of the struggle in attack but he is not the only reason of our struggle. We lack directness from our wingers at times. Even today we lookd flat in the first half. Its easy to read our attacking play at times and we never look like scoring sometimes. At times where we do look like svoring we mess it up with poor devision making. Too much aimless crossing and hope at times

      1. Lack of directness can’t be aimed towards the manager Kev.
        It’s so clear with Saka & ESR, those two players are always direct and looking forward.
        What’s so hard in doing that? Why’s it always a problem when we play the senior guys. They recycle passes and and they spam crosses into the box without thinking.
        I agree Arteta should be faulted. Faulted for sticking with those senior players for long.
        Also don’t forget this season it’s been our strikers who were being wasteful with chances

        1. That is why I said it wasn’t all his fault. With how he has us playing we need our players to be taking on fullbacks more often. Ceballos and Partey are really key because they can evade pressure well in midfield. He also needs to try new things and not be too predictable in attack because sometimes our play can easily be read. The 4-2-3-1 with ESR as a No. 10 was a very good start. Tactically though there are still issues with how we progress the ball into the final 3rd. You can see this especially in our first halfs.

        2. Eddie the truth is we still don’t create enough chance, you can argue this as much as you like, but as a big team you need to create chances like city and Chelsea and Liverpool, the chances most of our strikers sees in matches are half chances, we need a player that will do what Smith did for that Saka goal, and the other thing is you can’t blame all our failures this season on the strikers this alone, we need midfielders that can score goals, go and look at how many goals city midfielders has scored this season, this is why I keep telling people that when aubamayang is not scoring Lacazette is not the answer because he has never been a proving goal scorer for us, we need players like Ramsey who can score goals from the middle when the strikers are not scoring.

          1. Lacazette had a very good game and much of his work goes unnoticed by many. He would have scored apart from an excellent reaction save from the Newcastle goalkeeper.
            I also take issue with Patrick claiming Aubameyang missed an open goal. If you look again at the bounce of the ball, Aubameyang’s balance and the trigonometry of the angle and the projected amount of goal he had to aim at, it would have been a wonder goal if he had scored.

  3. For all those of you who have criticized Auba this season you were right to do so but all I want to say is Auba is still the same player he was. He hasnt changed because of his contract or body language or whatever. I’ve said it on several occasions that if Auba doesn’t score it means he’s had an average game. As proof you can go back to the seasons where he was even scoring. Many here would still say he needs to contribute more. He’s a poacher so Arsenal’s struggling in creating chances make him look worse and thus affects his confidence. I’m not confident in our attack because its so predictable at times but our defense looks to have improved. Auba easily the MOTM because his goal changed the game.

      1. They may have individually played better than Aubameyang but his first goal changed the whole dynamic of the game because we looked flat. Without his goal to open them up I couldnt see us scoring. Auba easily for MOTM because of his goals

    1. Kev brilliant Kev, when I read people call him lazy I always wondered what they mean, because to me aubamayang has always been like this, but just because he’s not scoring goals he’s suddenly lazy and some were even saying we should bench him for Martinelli. Easily my MOTM too.

      1. I don’t really blame them because his style is annoying if he’s not scoring but he is still the same player. He’s not the kind to always impose himself. He prefers the ball in a position where he has to shoot or a split second decision needs to be made in the box. I still have an issue with him on the wings and even as a player though everyone will point to stats. I guess as long as he’s scoring one cant complain. As a winger Martinelli could displace if we are tbh

        1. I also would love Martinelli to play as a 9 and Aubameyang on the left. Lacazette as a sub.
          Nketiah to start the europa league games. Age is not on Aubameyang side as well. I think he has lost some pace.
          Willian and Pepe have to improve honestly. Saka should be rested to avoid injury and fatigue. We need to move up the ladder. Win our next 8 games and we are in top4

          1. Prefer Nketiah nowhere near the starting 11, rather a loan away. Seen enough, still waiting for him to take the next step. Meanwhile we’re in danger of losing a younger, better, more technical and composed player in Balogun.

            Maybe it’s ok at Newcastle waiting for a striker to come good, but at Arsenal trying to qualify for Europa (forget CL) we need him to have an impact like Martinelli, Saka, & ESR. He’s not even at their level TBH, not even close.

    2. Kev, the big issue with Aubameyang in previous games has been the absense of a player like Thomas Partey. Aubameyang was given the opportunity to score the first goal playing off the shoulders of the defenders, by the vision and passing ability of Partey to play the through ball. Aubameyang needs the ball delivered to him facing goal.

      1. Nonsense! Ceballos gave him a far better, more quality ball against Palace, and he squandered it with poor decision.

        He did well today. Praise him for that and allowing your enthusiasm to control your fingers while you type.

  4. Both Saka and Smith Rowe already look like players playing above their years. Smith Rowe doesn’t over complicate his play, at times he just keeps it simple, one touch & keep the ball moving. A joy to watch these two lads.

    I predicted a 3:1 win but the boys wanted the clean sheet. Nice…

    Aubameyang scored two goals. I hope it helps his confidence. Glad we came to life after an unimpressed first half.

    Cedric had a good game. Special mention.

    3 points, clean sheet, moving up the table gradually. A happy fan..

  5. Partey, ESR, xhaka, cedric (whom I think played way better than bellerin today), saka where the main stars of tonight. Others did well too and I’m excited Auba got his goals. Up to those goals, he was non existent. But here’s hoping to seeing the Auba of last season back. I missed you. Martinelli should have come in sooner though. Well done lads

    1. That is literally Auba’s style of play. He is a poacher. It only looks good when he scores. He has not flopped or is he worse off because of a new contract or whatever. All the seasons he’s played here and even in his best, he has several games where he does nothing but still scores. The only difference this season is that he hasn’t scored much so his inactivity is being pointed out.

  6. Croydon De Bruyne/Auba my motm!
    Clean sheet, 3 points, 3 -yes 3 – goals, Up to 10th….. and…..
    Auba’s back baby!!!! 🀩

    Great 2nd half

    1. Sue yes my MOTM too is between Smith and aubamayang but I will give it to aubamayang just for that his solo first goal.

  7. ESR and Saka will quite rightly get the plaudits for their fine performances, but I too, was very impressed tonight with Cedric who had his best game in an Arsenal shirt.It will be interesting to see if he keeps his place for the next match as he deserves to do.I watched Partey very closely as he grew into the match and he simply oozes poise and awareness.Once he gains in fitness he is going to be a huge asset for us in midfield.All told, a pretty convincing performance.

    1. Cedric has been denigrated by many, despite having limited opportunities. He certainly took his opportunity against Newcastle with both hands with his efforts and application in both defense and attack.

  8. Partey is such a class player, he’s so comfortable with the ball, Smith and Cedric was brilliant. Aubamayang first goal made me smile, such a beautiful player and that celebration ooh was beautiful.

  9. congrats to Arteta for playing Soares finally!
    Auba’s back
    ESR & Saka are building partnership
    We’ll see more from Partey if he stays fit

  10. Also I want to point out. Credits to Arteta for finally doing the right thing even though it took long.
    Under Arteta, the left wing has always been our main point of attack and it was always overloaded with Saka and Tierney bearing too much firepower there while the RW was dead and cold.
    Credits to Arteta for taking Saka and moving him to the RW. Now Instead of having an overpowered LW, we’ve spread that power to the RW. What used to be a one sided attack, is now being spread all over

    1. Yes, Hoyte, too many expectations were put on either William and Pepe on the right wing. So far neither has delivered and I doubt if they ever will.

  11. Should be an interesting period starting with Southampton, then Man. U, followed by a make or break February which is full fixtures which could go 50 / 50 for the Gunners. Nervous, but also excited.

    1. I cant wait to beat Man United at the Emirates. A spanking. Beating Man United by 3 goals to nothing. I cant remember the last time we eat Man united home and away. It has to happen this season. As for Southampton, they are due for a beating. 6 points is a must in the next 2 games. COYG

  12. Partey my man of the match that guy is class he made that midfield a total control..xhaka needs to be going forward more and shooting from distance now that partey has got that DM stable

  13. Partey is my MOTM. His pass to Auba for the goal was in a class of its own. The second also was initiated by him with a pass to Auba who tend found ESR

  14. Partey is too Elegant, I love him.he is going to make much difference if he stays fit. ESM was outstanding, Saka great, Auba is back I never doubted him.Cedric surprised me with his outstanding display tonight. 3points, Clean sheet I couldn’t have asked for more.

    1. Cedric was very sound in defense and provided quality delivery down the right, something lacking from Bellerin. Hopefully Cedric will get more opportunities, because if the team is selected on form Bellerin will have to work hard to displace Cedric.

  15. Once Gabriel Martinelli gets match fit, then Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka and Martinelli look the absolute business. They are the future of Arsenal. ESR is pure quality.

  16. Partey is the most intelligent player on the pitch. Flawless display from him. We have so much to look forward to. Auba, misfiring first half, back at it in the 2nd half. There are still issues with our attack, still some slowness in our play, but the youngsters made the difference this time around. newcastle seemed much more breakable than CP. So glad we were able to get the three points. Also Holding was great defensviely when he was called upon. Dont want his performance glossed over. Newcastle really didnt have a chance and we’re keeping lots of cleansheets. He’s been great this season, and the main hope will be to get our attack back.

      1. Arteta has a selection headache Gab and Mari have been a joy to watch . I expect rotation in the next game Gab & Holding and Cedric to keep his place

  17. Good win and an expected win against a sad Newcastle team. Obvious plusses were Captain Tierney, Saka, ESR, Partey, Holding, Luiz and two goal Auba. We will do a lot better if Auba and Lacca can both find form. Another 3 wins and a draw at least and it will be exciting.

    1. Have to say the Arsenal future for AMN, Nelson and Chambers is not looking too rosy, even Willock and Nketiah at the moment it seems their careers are hanging on the fact they are homegrown.

      All 5 are simply rotational options at the moment. If you are not making the 9 man bench when there are a few injuries, it might be time to consider a loan move at the very least.

  18. Gret second half – so many good performances:
    I thought ESR phenomenal, he was omnipresent – tackling all over the park, one-touch passing, linking, distracting. so hard working, so intelligent.

    TP was awesome: bossed it. strong, calm, positive, precise. If you just watch the ball you miss how much he does off it. He gives the rest of the midfield the confidence to perform. Quite noticeable how much less positive the midfield became when he was subbed.
    Auba is getting there – I don’t mean by scoring (ok lets ignore the first half!), which will of course make a huge difference, but he IS starting to slot into the system. Better movement, positioning, passing, involvement (his crossing is still pretty dire though).
    Cedric on this form was everything Bellerin used to be as a wing back. As a bonus he can defend too. Why can’t he always play with that drive and attacking flair? If he could consistently play like this he would be a shoo-in for that position. Deserves to get a run at it.
    Off-key night for Tierney, but with Saka ASR and even Auba running the Magpies ragged, we for once didnt need him.
    Weaknesses? Willian as always. Another great free kick; Luiz who whilst still making too many mistakes, now plays at a pace noticably slower than the rest of the team (except Willian) – Holding is very much the senior partner of those two;, Elneny who is simply too negative, unlike Xhaka who, dare I say it, seems to be developing into quite an expansive midfielder alongside TP.
    Tough run coming up – but almost all teams are playing erratically, so I can see us creeping back up that table, causing a few shocks along the way….

    1. Good analysis. And from this, we can see how squad depth is still a problem. If Partey is injured, as we saw last few months, our midfield is dead. If Saka is ever out, we have to rely on either Pepe or Willian. If ESR is out, we move the ball like a snail and become most predictable attack in the league. We are very reliant on our first XI right now, and even all of them aren’t regular players who step up. Hopefully fortunes will finally change for Auba after today tho.

      1. RSH, hopefully we will see the top 11 chosen consistently in the EPL, to develop teamwork and build confidence. Players can always be substituted like Partey was today, to give players a rest.

    1. Indeed Sue. Seems I missed a really great game…
      3 points and clean sheet is great. Up the table we go!

  19. what a pleasant difference between first and second halves! First half was like we had sunk back into the slow plodding style but they really came out for the second half. From Laca’s chance on they were really on top. Very nice to see.

  20. Aubameyang is BACK
    But wish he could play in the centre forward position

    Our Defence looks sorted

    Just need a few tweaks in attack

  21. I believe we need to take a run at Almiron, even though he didn’t have a great game..he fits perfectly what Arteta wants from his MF..he would be a beast with a much better team..unfortunately we would have to wait until summer when they get relegated

    1. πŸ‘ I have been an admirer of Almiron, since he played in the US. The only concern was how he would acclimatise to the much tougher EPL and he is playing in a struggling team.

      1. Yes I like Almiron too, but it would be taking a chance. Playing for a struggling side and not scoring as a result can really knock you down. He would be cheap but a bargain if he worked out.

  22. Happy for the win. Auba was playing progressively well these last few games, so the goals were coming. Happy for him!

  23. Fantastic game, auba is back!!! ESR a beauty to watch saka & Cedric covered some ground they ran all game. We have the fourth best defense in the league ….. If only we could score more ,

    1. Kenya 001 Partey and Esr should not even be on that list, how many games have they played for us. I think at the moment our player of the season should be between Gabriel, Saka and Tierney, but if it’s left to me it will be between SAKA and Tierney, Saka has been so good this season for a 19years old and he doesn’t get injured.

  24. The best player on that pitch last night was Partey! Passes with ease and very Confident. Progressive in his forward plays. Covers a lot of space with one movement. And his passes puts us in a position of attack & maybe Counter. He (Partey) was a Joy to watch.
    ESR also did great but I’d love that he’s more direct + Progressive. He’s young, he’ll come good.
    Aubameyang scored 2 goals Yes, but I must say he hasn’t been good enough. He’s become Lazy and has an I don’t care attitude. He should be a Skipper and do more. He has done in d past, he can do alot better.
    I don’t rate Lacazzete right? I wonder if I know Football. Firmino in Liverpool doesn’t score much, but he’s always in the team. Why? Bcos Klop is a brilliant Gaffer. Work rate and the Dimensions he gives the team opens us up for a Chance for another to score. And when he’s properly out thru too, he can Score.
    I can’t trade Tieney for anything. Boy is good. If we can learn to move the ball a bit faster and purposefully, we can win games early enough.
    Our backwards and sideways passes are annoying!
    Kudos guys… Good feeling with the Win.

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