Mikel Arteta secured his biggest victory as Arsenal boss as the Gunners put in a great second-half performance to blitz Newcastle United 4-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
The Gunners were not at their best for the first-half of the match but started the second period with a flourish as quickfire strikes from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe saw them seize control. Their impressive form after the break continued and they sealed the victory with two late goals from Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette.
Chances for Magpies, but no goals
Steve Bruce’s men looked the most threatening in the early stages. First, Valentino Lazaro took too long to pull the trigger before Granit Xhaka scrambled the ball away. Sean Longstaff’s shot was then deflected towards the bottom corner by Dani Ceballos, only for Bernd Leno to produce a great diving save. Joelinton also went close as he squirted the ball wide from close range.
The Gunners struggled to create any real chances of note for the majority of the first period, with forward Eddie Nketiah starved of any service. The young forward tried his luck with a curling effort from edge of the area but Martin Dubravka collected with relative ease. The Serbian then had to react quickly to tip Pepe’s free-kick over the bar. It was nearly a mistake from the stopper that almost saw the Gunners take the lead as he flapped at a corner, giving Shkodran Mustafi the chance to score but Joelinton got back well to clear.
Quickfire strikes from the Gunners
One of the best chances of the match came only minutes after the restart as Pepe picked out Nketiah but his shot smacked the crossbar from just a few yards out.
The breakthrough did eventually come though and it was Pepe at the heart of the action again. The Frenchman’s left-footed cross floated perfectly onto the head of Aubameyang, who finished expertly by nodding into the bottom corner.
Pepe’s influence on the match continued to grow as he doubled the lead just a few minutes later. Bukayo Saka showed great feet to dance away from a couple of Newcastle challenges and then pulled the ball back to the Gunners’ record signing and he scored by sweeping the ball underneath Dubravka.
Gunners round off a dazzling show
There were fleeting moments that almost gave Newcastle a route back into the game. Allan Saint-Maximin, who was dangerous all evening, thundered an effort against the post to the angst of the travelling Geordies.
That chance signalled the end of the game for the Magpies though, especially when the hosts hit two late goals to round off a fantastic victory. First, Ozil got in on the act as he diverted Lacazette’s miscued shot into the net.
Another fantastic move then saw the Gunners hit another goal in the final seconds of the game. The ever-dangerous Pepe showed great skill to tear into the Newcastle box and then displayed cool composure to pick out compatriot Lacazette, who thundered the ball into the top corner to seal an emphatic second-half showing and victory for Mikel Arteta’s men.
The performances in each half of the match could not have been more different. Arsenal were severely lacking energy and invention but that all changed after the restart. In an attacking sense, it was the best that the Gunners have played in a long time and the win was thoroughly deserved.
Arsenal: Leno (6); Saka (7), Mustafi (6), Luiz (7), Bellerin (7); Xhaka (6), Ceballos (6) (Torreira (N/A), 82′); Aubameyang (7), Ozil (7) (Willock (N/A), 90+1′), Pepe (7); Nketiah (6) (Lacazette (7), 85′).
Newcastle United: Dubravka (6); Rose (6), Clark (6) (Schar (N/A), 83′), Lascelles (5), Fernandez (5) (Ritchie (6), 75′), Lazaro (5) (Hayden (6), 75′); Saint-Maximin (6), Bentaleb (5), Longstaff (5), Almiron (5); Joelinton (5).
Goals: Aubameyang (54′), Pepe (57′), Ozil (90′), Lacazette (90+5′)
Referee: Lee Mason
Yellow Cards: Xhaka (9′), Saka (82′)
Red Cards: N/A
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