Arsenal have come away as comfortable 2-0 victors against Newcastle, getting right back to winning ways.
There had been worries that there could be some hangover from our 4-0 loss to Liverpool last week, but there was no signs of that at any point in the matchup.
The Gunners started positively but it quickly became apparent that the visitors were set on keeping 10 players behind the ball when out of possession. Nuno Tavares was spending more time in attack than in defence, and he could well have been guilty of being a little trigger-happy with his shooting, none of which worked the goalkeeper.
Martin Odegaard and Sambi Lokonga were the two who kept trying to catch Newcastle off-guard with some clever passing, and the latter did play in Bukayo Saka midway through the half, but the forward could only get a half-touch on in it before it went out of play.
The chance of the half game after 40 minutes, when Bukayo Saka dropped over to the left wing to pick up the ball, before dropping his shoulder to create space for the cross, before Martin Dubravka managed to get across to deny Emile Smith Rowe’s headed effort, and with Pierre-Emerick hitting the rebound off the outside of the post.
Despite our limited clear-cut opportunities, it didn’t feel like we went into the break with any negativity, and thankfully we didn’t have to wait long before we finally broke that deadlock.
It was a neatly worked goal down the left, with Bukayo Saka and Tavares combining to get in behind the defence and finally beat Dubravka.
Unfortunately something went a miss with the goalscorer shortly after, and while he tried to play on, the discomfort wasn’t to go away, and he eventually was replaced by Gabriel Martinelli.
With only the Brazilian’s second touch of the ball he had the ball in the net. Tomiyasu Takehiro’s neatly weighted ball over the top was met by the run of Martinelli, and he placed his volley past the out-rushing goalkeeper to make it 2-0.
Gabi got in behind the defence a couple more times only to lose out at the final moment, and ew had to settle for just the 2-0 win in the end.
While it wasn’t the most flattering score-line, it was a return to winning ways, and the performance was more than strong enough, although the big worry will now be whether Saka will be fit to face Man United come Thursday.