Half time: Magpies 0 Gunners 0
49 mins Alexandre Lacazette
cleverly won a free-kick in a central spot 25 yards away from the Leazes
goal but Federico Fernandez should have been wiser by not
conceding in that position.
From first glance it appeared
that Xhaka's left-footed dead ball effort was perfectly placed, but TV footage later suggested that
Martin Dubravka would be disappointed not to have kept it out as he leapt to
his left in vain 0-1
Xhaka found space
down the Arsenal left and his pull back into the area teed up Lacazette, whose
low first time effort was charged down by Fernandez. The rebound fell into the
of Mesut Ozil and he marked his first visit to SJP by passing it first time into the
The shot didn't look too powerful and was fairly
central but the Magpies custodian may have been unsighted by a trio of his
colleagues who were in his line of vision
pinpoint cross from Fernandez down the right found Clark's head and the
power of the effort from the far corner of the six yard box meant that Cech could only help it into the net. 1-2
Full time: Magpies 1
"Obviously we are
disappointed because in the first half we did really well and deserved more.
We were very close so the team is doing well in terms of organisation and in
terms of work rate.
"We were much better on the ball,
especially in the first half but still we have to improve that and keep the
"That is the key because we had this situation last year where we are
losing games in a row and we finished tenth.
"That message has to be very clear
for everyone. I have confidence in this group of players and hopefully we can
start winning games soon.
"It's a pity after all these good things in the first half you concede
two goals early in the second half, two moments of quality that make the
"It was very difficult for us to
react after this and when we scored the goal it was too late. When you play
against a good side they have quality, they have pace and as soon as you make
mistakes you pay for that.
"They told me they had two shots on target and they scored two goals.
These things can happen when you have a good team in front of you.
"We have to realise that any team in
the Premier League is very difficult for us. You can say these five teams at
the top of the table were very dangerous but Crystal Palace, Leicester and
Manchester United will be dangerous too.
"We will try to do things in the way that we did in the first half and we
will have chances if we do that."
"To lose against the top sides and to
lose by this margin is something that everybody could have expected. But still
we are not happy with that, for sure.
"Itís something that we have to
manage now and be sure that we keep the confidence and we keep working like we
did in the first half.
"I will not talk about just
possession because itís not an issue. For us, itís
to be sure that you can be there, you can create chances and if you miss the
last pass in the final third or this kind of situation, fine, but at least you
are there and we were there.
"That is the main thing for me and the positive for the future, to
try to manage the games and approach the games like we did in the first half.
"The second half, like I have said so
many times, as soon as you make mistakes against the top sides, if you are a
little bit wide, they can kill you on the counter attack.Ē
On Jamaal Lascelles:
"He twisted his ankle in the warm-up. Weíll see Ė the doctor said to
check in a couple of days.
"He said he was fine but afterwards
it was a problem for us because we were making one substitution already.
"In the second half when you concede
two goals you need to change something but we were a little short of options.
As soon as you have made one substitution already you can't react too
"We had five decisions to take: (Matt)
Ritchie was fine, Jonjo (Shelvey) was not fully fit and Kenedy was not
fully fit either.
"(Salomon) Rondon and (DeAndre)
Yedlin came back late and we didnít want to take the risk with both of them.
"Joselu was doing well in the week so
we thought it would be fine. (Isaac)
Hayden, coming back with energy and desire, we thought he would be fine.Ē
Knees-up madre Marrůn. Emery has turned
into a proppa geezer already....
"In the first half we didnít control the match like we wanted
to. Also, we needed that control to input our ideas. We conceded a lot
of chances for transitions and counter-attacks, but not giving away
major chances. They had a lot of corners and a lot of possibilities to
arrive in our box.
"In the second half, the balance on the pitch was better - our
positioning and when we were attacking we didnít make the transition
easy for us. I think the key is the first goal.
"This goal gave us the confidence to continue to improve in the
match. We finished the match with the result.
"We need to improve and score more individually, we need we work every
player, not only the attacking players the midfielders and centre backs
from set pieces. We want to give them all a chance to score but normally all the
attacking players will do more.
"Itís normal, I want the players I change or donít start to be angry,
they have ambition to help the team.
"For me I see the players are the same, each have quality. His [Ozilís]
quality helps the team, it is important he scored.
"I want not only for
him to assist we need him to go in the box and score like today. I will
work with every player and continue our process to create the team as we
Newcastle have won just one of their last 10 Premier League
fixtures (five last season, five this season) and have now lost three
successive home games. Their worst losing run at SJP in the PL era came
last season when they were beaten five times on the bounce in
One point from a possible 15 is United's worst opening to a Premier League
Ruud Gullit's side began 1999/00 with the same return of four losses and one
The Magpies have now started a PL campaign with three successive home defeats
for the first time (Spurs 1-2, Chelsea 1-2, Arsenal 1-2). They last
suffered that fate in the old First Division back in 1987/88 (Nottingham
Forest 0-1, Wimbledon 1-2, Liverpool 1-4).
Four goals from the opening five PL games is the poorest scoring return
since 2015/16 when Steve McClaren's mob managed two. Both of those figures
were an improvement on the 2005/06 season under pundit par excellence Graeme
Souness - one solitary goal. The 1993/94, 2008/09 and 2011/12 seasons also saw United score four times in
the first five PL fixtures.
Ciaran Clark scored his sixth goal for Newcastle - and a third in the
Premier League. He finished on the losing side for the first time in any of
those games though.
Clark's late effort meant that Newcastle have netted in each of their
opening three home PL games, something they haven't managed since 2012.
And a fat lot of good it's done them.
Gunners @ SJP - Premier League era:
2018/19: Lost 1-2 Clark
2017/18: Won 2-1 Perez, Ritchie
2015/16: Lost 0-1
2014/15: Lost 1-2 Sissoko
2013/14: Lost 0-1
2012/13: Lost 0-1
2011/12: Drew 0-0
2010/11: Drew 4-4 Barton 2, Best, Tiote
2010/11: Lost 0-4 (LC)
2008/09: Lost 1-3 Martins
2007/08: Drew 1-1 S.Taylor
2006/07: Drew 0-0
2005/06: Won 1-0 Solano
2004/05: Lost 0-1
2003/04: Drew 0-0
2002/03: Drew 1-1 Robert
2001/02: Drew 1-1 Robert (FAC)
2001/02: Lost 0-2
2000/01: Drew 0-0
1999/00: Won 4-2 Speed 2, Shearer, Griffin
1998/99: Drew 1-1 Hamann
1997/98: Lost 0-1
1996/97: Lost 1-2 Shearer
1995/96: Won 2-0 Ginola, Ferdinand
1994/95: Won 1-0 Beardsley
1993/94: Won 2-0 Cole, Beardsley
Groundhog Day again.
The days and the kick-off times may change, but the scoreline keeps repeating
itself: losing at home to a London team by the odd goal in three.
Today's 1-2 defeat differed from those suffered here at the hands of Spurs and
Chelsea this season, in that once we'd conceded the game was over - no
equaliser here, no false hopes raised only to be dashed, all that was lacking
was a white flag on a stick.
Bemused at conceding, Newcastle's collective haze hadn't cleared nine minutes later
when the visitors scored again. What followed was far too little, far too late
to dislodge a more expensive yet less impressive Arsenal side than usually
seen round these parts. They looked there to be beaten.
Our best period today was an opening 45 minutes in which we followed the stay
in the game mantra but also remembered to attack, pressing to a level that
caused the visitors visible discomfort. Sadly and significantly though, our
reward was nothing more than an abundance of wasted corners.
The loss of Jamaal
Lascelles at that point with an ankle problem sustained in the warm up was to
be a mortal blow, his absence felt not just in terms of defensive work and
organisation but in his very presence on the field. Without him we just seemed
the towel in.
That apparent indifference to our fate among the
players was mirrored in the stands, with not a shred of fight or defiance to
be found. Squeezed out of the body, leaving just a corpse - dressed with
Sports Direct branding and ever-more distracting adverts flashing round the
St. James' Park was hardly rocking during the Spurs and Chelsea games, but the
atmosphere was one hell of a lot better than this moribund apology for a
football crowd. Even chants against the owner that occasionally punctured the
virtual silence quickly withered and died in the second half.
of discontent had begun pre-game with the announcement of a
starting lineup that yet again didn't include Salomon Rondon - recently
returned from playing meaningless friendlies for Venezuela in Miami and Panama
and deemed not to be in good enough condition as a consequence.
The number 9 was on the bench but didn't get to add to his 84 minutes in our
colours to date, in part due to the forced replacement of Lascelles by Ciaran
Clark. That left us with just two swaps to play with and there were many
candidates for the hook - including the entire midfield.
down and worryingly ragged, the arrival of
Kenedy for Murphy and Yoshinori Muto for Ritchie (who had been angling to
come off for some time) did nowt to suggest there was any way back - the Brazilian especially
wayward, prompting more attacks for the visitors than his current side.
Further Arsenal goals that had seemed inevitable failed to arrive, but still a
half-hearted Newcastle failed to make any impression until the final moments
of play. Cech's save from Joselu was then followed by Clark's fine header from
an excellent centre by fellow defender Fernandez.
And even then, Arsenal were able to see out the final few seconds - aided by
our embarrassing inability to get the ball into the opposition half. Urgency
clearly isn't in our collective vocabulary.
Almost inevitably, the Arsenal 4-4 game in 2011 was mentioned during a lively
post-match inquest (brought to you by our sponsors Brinkburn Street Brewery),
recalling the never-say-die spirit that made the unlikeliest of fight backs
possible and gave the crowd something to cling on to and cheer.
What was absent from the current crop today though was the sort of
belligerence that won two penalties and had a visiting player heading for an
early bath. Getting into the opposition area might also have helped....
Memories of times past extended to another 1-2 reverse here, almost ten years
to the day, when the latest post-Kevin Keegan era began with defeat to Hull
City. That took place amid a poisonous atmosphere outside the ground and one
devoid of anything inside. Not far off today then really.
The wasted decade between brought us to where we are now, once
again a club at war - something that has a bit of a track record of ending
badly. 1988/89, 2008/09.....
And when it's wrong here, it's knacked good and proper: if there's something to cheer on the field,
that's often enough to
gloss over our many other shortcomings. If not, then everything is
wrong. Be it the temperature of the pies, subliminal messages in
the SJP DJs set list or the colour of the netty walls, it's all a disgrace.
There's a current social media trend of highlighting the crumbling facilities
in SJP, but had twitter been around in the 1980s, the state of Gallowgate bogs
would have had Mťdecins Sans FrontiŤres treating people for trench
foot. Not that those who inhabited them were particularly bothered if Peter
Beardsley or Chris Waddle were on form.
People are now noticing that roofs are leaking and seats are broken partly
because they spend so much time slumped in them - with nothing happening on
the pitch to bring them to their feet.
It's difficult to argue against the size of the task that the fixture list
presented us with this time round - except when looking back at where we
actually got our points from last season. On that basis, the apparently
"easier" games that now await us are nothing of the sort.
Similarly, the first-choice XI (if it exists) is yet to start a match, but
receiving weekly regular reminders that what lies beneath it is as uninspiring
as was feared does little to lift spirits.
If another week of rest results in Shelvey pinging balls in for Rondon to batter
the Crystal Palace defence on Saturday then rest assured they'll all be toasted in London Pride.
If not though, it's rather easier to bemoan the lack of instinctive movement
and the inability to complete simple passes by their understudies - and a succession of mediocre
signings unsurprisingly giving mediocre performances.
This latest loss isn't a disaster, but one point from the first 15
available tells a story of time rapidly running out. The sequence may be seen as a
triumph for our goal difference in time - but only if we have enough points for
that to count at the business end of the season.
We go to Selhurst Park separated from the bottom of the table by goal
difference, desperately in need of points and also a demonstration that
there's stomach for the fight and enough talent and application to trade blows
Judged by the second half capitulation today, there's genuine doubt it exists.