Arsenal defeat Newcastle, one point behind Man City
Winning 2-0 against Newcastle in the 35th round of the English Premier League on May 7th, Arsenal shortened the gap with table-toppers Man City to just one point.
Arsenal’s start at St James’ Park was reminiscent of Tottenham’s 1-6 defeat to Newcastle two weeks ago. Arteta’s team faced tremendous pressure from the home team in the early minutes but luckily did not concede.
When they regained composure, Arsenal scored from their first shot to take the lead. From then on, both teams created many good chances and shook each other’s goalposts. However, only Arsenal scored for the remainder of the match, becoming the second team this season to leave Newcastle with three points.
Two goals were too few for the number of chances Arsenal created. Conversely, the Gunners also kept a clean sheet in an incredible manner, with Aaron Ramsdale playing solidly and Newcastle hitting the post twice. Most importantly, the victory kept Arsenal’s hopes of winning the title alive, as they trail Man City by only one point – a team that has played one less match than them.
In the first four minutes, Newcastle had up to three chances, the most notable being Jacob Murphy’s curling shot that hit the post in the first minute. In the 8th minute, the referee pointed to the penalty spot after Joelinton’s shot hit Jakub Kiwior’s hand in the box. However, after consulting VAR, Chris Kavanagh overturned Newcastle’s penalty, believing that the ball only hit the Arsenal defender’s thigh.
After the referee changed his decision, Newcastle appeared to lose some momentum while Arsenal became more confident. The visitors unexpectedly opened the scoring in the 14th minute when Martin Odegaard’s low shot found the bottom corner, his 15th goal in the Premier League this season. Goalkeeper Nick Pope was slow to react to the goal but made up for it with three successful one-on-one saves in the rest of the half.
Newcastle were eager to equalize after conceding, leaving gaps in their defense. Gabriel Martinelli and Buyako Saka took advantage of the space and made runs, but both missed their shots. Towards the end of the half, Odegaard had a chance to double the lead, but couldn’t beat Pope from close range.
Pope’s saves helped Newcastle maintain their hope of a comeback and start positively in the second half. However, luck did not favor the home team as Alexander Isak’s header hit the post. Arsenal responded shortly after with Martinelli’s shot hitting the crossbar.
Both teams continued to exchange attacks until Fabian Schar’s own goal in the 71st minute ended Newcastle’s hope of a comeback. It was hard to blame the home defender, as Martinelli’s cross was strong and dangerous, close to Nick Pope’s goal.
The combination of forwards Callum Wilson and Alexander Isak was ineffective, so Newcastle’s manager Eddie Howe refreshed his attack towards the end of the match. The coach brought on speedy players like Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin, but the home team could not change the situation.
Despite the 0-2 loss, Newcastle still maintains third place, two points ahead of Man Utd – who surprisingly lost 0-1 to West Ham. Eddie Howe’s team is three points ahead of fifth-placed Liverpool and has played one less game.
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