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Season 2017-18
Arsenal (a) Premier League 
since 2012 

Saturday 16th December 2017, 3.00pm

 Emirates Stadium

Conditions: cheerless

Admission: £30 (£36.50 in 2015/16)

Programme: £3.50 for a special charity issue with an advent calendar on the cover.



1 - 0




23 mins: Arsenal attacked down their right flank and a pulled back pass allowed Sanchez to shoot, only for his first time effort from 12 yards out to strike DeAndre Yedlin and balloon into the air. 

Florian Lejeune met the ball ahead of Sanchez as it dropped, but his header fell only as far as Ozil who without any preamble smashed it on the volley past Elliot from around 15 yards out, from the left side of the area. 0-1 Fan footage of goal may be here

Half time: Gunners 1 Magpies 0

Full time: Gunners 1 Magpies 0

We Said


"Hopefully we can bring a few additions in January that will give us a lift and the team will have more balance. We have an idea. We have to talk.

"I was talking with Lee Charnley, the managing director, and we know more or less what we have. We just have to be sure we have the options and see if they are possible because sometimes January is very difficult.

"It's frustrating. We were pushing and working so hard, especially in the second half. It's a pity.

"Sometimes you need a little bit of luck, sometimes it's the final decision. When you play against a good team they scored a great goal and after that had a couple of chances, but we were still in the game, still we were competing.

"We've had these situations in the last two or three games, losing to one goal, but at the same time you can see the reaction of the players and the effort they put on the pitch - that's the positive thing.

"If we continue doing that I am confident we will have games like today where we are luckier, score goal and win.

"We had two or three chances, the Perez header and Joselu's deflected shot, but at this time things are against us so we have to work harder to make things change.

"We are learning, it's a learning process we must do quickly if we are to get results now, but it's a long, long season.

"We have to make sure we continue working at this level and get chances to win these games. Things will be different because the distance is not too big in the table."

They Said


Arsene Wenger commented:

"It was more uncomfortable than we would have liked. We created the chances for it to be comfortable and, in the last five minutes, we became a big edgy, but we didn't make a mistake at the back.

“What was even more important was that we get the three points today and that’s what we did.

“Overall, we had a serious game and you could see we played three games in six days and the third game is a bit more difficult, physically.

"We knew before the game it was going to be a game where we needed to be well organised on set pieces and on long balls and on the counter-attacks but we are an offensive team.

"We had plenty plenty of chances, you know. But as long as it’s 1-0 you know there comes a moment in the game where you aren't a threat and they have a chance. It is like that in the Premier League

"Ozil's goal was a gem to watch. I'm happy for Mesut because that is what you want from him, that decisiveness. It was a fantastic goal.

"Newcastle is not one of the teams who has invested hugely after they went up to compete at the top so I believe overall the team look to be organised, mobile, have a good spirit.

The job of a manager is take the best out of the potential of his team. I believe Benitez does that very well.”


United's haul of 15 points from 18 games is their lowest at this stage of the season in any of their Premier League campaigns - and their poorest start to any season since 1977/78. They are one point behind the 2015/16 side at present and occupying the same position of 18th.

The Magpies are now without a victory in nine successive PL games - one away from their worst run in that competition over one season (they did manage a total of 14 winless PL games at the end of the 1998/99 season and start of 1999/00). The club's all-time league record is 21 games without a win in 1978 - spread across the 1977/78 and 1978/79 seasons.

It's now 12 games since Newcastle last recorded a Premier League victory over the Gunners, either at home or away. That was a 1-0 success at the Emirates in November 2010. 

That Andy Carroll-inspired success was followed by a pair of draws, but since then Arsenal have won on ten consecutive occasions - five of them by a 1-0 scoreline, including the last three. 

Magpies @ Gunners - Premier League years:

2017/18: Lost 0-1
2015/16: Lost 0-1
2014/15: Lost 1-4 Perez
2013/14: Lost 0-3
2012/13: Lost 3-7 Ba 2, Marveaux
2011/12: Lost 1-2 Ben Arfa
2010/11: Won 1-0 Carroll
2008/09: Lost 0-3
2007/08: Lost 0-3
2007/08: Lost 0-3 (FAC)
2007/08: Lost 0-2 (LC)
2006/07: Drew 1-1 Dyer
2005/06: Lost 0-2
2004/05: Lost 0-1
2003/04: Lost 2-3 Robert, Bernard
2002/03: Lost 0-1
2001/02: Lost 0-3 (FAC)
2001/02: Won 3-1 O'Brien, Shearer, Robert
2000/01: Lost 0-5
1999/00: Drew 0-0
1998/99: Lost 0-3
1997/98: Lost 1-3 Barton
1996/97: Won 1-0 Elliott
1995/96: Lost 0-2 (LC)
1995/96: Lost 0-2
1994/95: Won 3-2 og(Keown), Beardsley, Fox
1993/94: Lost 1-2 Beardsley

Full record against Arsenal: 

  P W D L F A
SJP 82 40 19 23 143 94
H/Em 83 22 17 44 86 143
League 165 62 36 67 229 237
SJP(FA) 2 0 2 0 4 4
H/Em/W/VG 8 4 0 4 7 12
SJP(LC) 1 0 0 1 0 4
H/Em 3 0 0 3 0 8
Cup 14 4 2 8 11 28
Tot 179 66 38 75 240 265


If nothing else, the return of Jamaal Lascelles to the Newcastle starting XI has coincided with a reduction in the number of goals we are conceding:

With: 2,1,0,0,1,1,1,2,0,1,1,1,1 = 12 goals in 13 games 
Without: 4,3,2,3,3 = 15 goals in 5 games




The magic of the Premier League was in rather short supply on Saturday, as Newcastle continued their downward progress into the relegation zone and their conquerors ended a winless three game run - but in a fairly joyless and unenergetic manner that did little to thrill their followers.

Nine shopping days before Christmas, the prospect of an afternoon on Oxford Street or some other retail purgatory proved more tempting to some home fans than occupying seats they'd paid for. Or maybe it's the prospect of having to negotiate bloggers interviewing each other outside the ground that puts them off.....

Better Newcastle teams have lost by heavier margins here, but that's no cause for celebration - only relief that we did no more than minimum damage to our goal difference and regret that the  squad lacked the devilment or belief to knock successfully Arsenal out of their comfort zone. 

Like the planes in the sky over the Emirates, the Magpies spent most of the afternoon in a holding pattern and when they did get some wind beneath their wings - or at least a moderate breeze through midfield - briefly raised hopes that a rare point was there for the taking.

Sadly though that late flurry failed to see Petr Cech tested, Mikel Merino's shot deflected wide and Ayoze Perez unable to make the most of two opportunities as Arsenal rather obviously rested on their laurels, despite the introduction of Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud. That's just showing off. 

Having scored first at Manchester United and Chelsea and provoked the hosts into action, United went behind here but looked no less comfortable as a result - Arsenal enjoying vast swathes of possession but playing with no more intensity than Newcastle, correctly deducing that one goal would probably suffice and easing through at what looked to be only about 60% effort.
What proved to be the winner was a stunning strike from Mesut Ozil midway, latching onto a slightly aimless Florian Lejeune clearance before volleying the the ball past the helpless Rob Elliot - replacing Karl Darlow and one of five changes to the side beaten 0-1 by Everton in midweek.

Jonjo Shelvey's suspension meant a recall for Isaac Hayden, ever-present Matt Ritchie was stood down in favour of Jacob Murphy and messrs Gayle and Diame were rotated out of the selection as Ayoze Perez and Joselu resumed. 

The first half was mundane in the extreme; United dropping back behind the ball but without really looking to chase and unsettle their opponents, allowing Arsenal to stroll upfield unmolested before seeing moves break down due to a combination of industrious defending and profligate attacking. 

As a way of staying  in the game it was risky, but it did get us to a position of making substitutions after the break that were meaningful in the context of the game, rather than with one eye on next week after having given up on getting anything from this one. 

Sadly this wasn't to be our day, although an awful challenge on Perez in added time as he broke forward brought only a fortunate booking for Granit Xhaka - one of a couple of occasions in this game when Newcastle players avoided the opportunity affofeigning injury 

Elsewhere, wins for West Ham and Crystal Palace left us in the bottom three zone - something that seemed unimaginable after Mikel Merino's late winner against the Eagles took us up into sixth. 

It wasn't just the clocks that went backwards at the end of October though: that bright start may have masked the truth from some, but Rafa has consistently spoken both publicly and privately about the reality as he sees it. He's not quite saying "I told you so" now, but it's not far off....

After beating Stoke in mid-September to go fourth we wrote: "we're making the best of what we've got but if the manager felt his side were short-handed on August 31st then who are we to argue."

This is a run to rival the post-Pardew, Carver calamity at the end of the 2014/15 season where a single point (also against West Bromwich Albion) in ten games almost ended in relegation. 

A win against West Ham saved us then, one next week would certainly help to make things look rather less bleak ahead of the daunting task of entertaining the footballing Harlem Globetrotters.

It's what comes after Man City though that will dictate our fate - beating Brighton, Stoke and Swansea would put us back in the mix. Those hoped-for positive results will have to come from these players: booing or ironically cheering our own or stomping out of SJP if/when we concede to the Champions-elect won't help. 

It's less than seven years since that miraculous recovery to draw 4-4 with the Gunners, but that already seems like it belongs to a different age of tolerance and patience from our some of our lot. 

Enough outsiders revel in slagging us off - let's not help them by making it an inside job. United.    


Page last updated 12 April, 2018