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Season 2019-20
Arsenal (a)
Premier League


Sunday 16th February 2020, 4.30pm
Live on Sky Sports

 Emirates Stadium

Conditions: Flaccid (much like the deflating plastic penis confiscated pre-game from an away fan)
Programme: £3.50



4 - 0




Half time: Gunners 0 Magpies 0

54 mins
Nicolas Pepe stepped inside Danny Rose and Allan Saint-Maximin to deliver a precise cross from the right flank. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang adding to his winning goal at Gallowgate back in August by stepping away from Valentino Lazaro to head powerfully past Martin Dubravka. 0-1

57 mins Teenager Bukayo Saka evaded the attentions of both Lazaro and Nabil Bentaleb on the left side of the box before his precise pull back was hooked home by Nicolas Pepe. 0-2

90 mins
A move comprising of 35 passes ended with a soft shot from Ozil being spilt by Dubravka and almost apologetically bouncing over the line. 0-3

90+5 mins After conceding a 94th minute goal in their previous game at Oxford, Newcastle sadly left it even later to go further behind. Joe Willock's through ball on the right side of the box evaded Fabian Schar and fell nicely for Pepe to roll across the box to
Lacazette. The Gunners substitute took aim but missed the ball, only for it to cannon off his standing foot and into the net. 0-4

Full time: Gunners 4 Magpies 0

We Said


Steve Bruce said:

"The first half was as good as we’ve played on a big stage for a long time. However, we’ve made a mistake and then we’ve got punished for the second one too.

“Once we start analysing the third and fourth one, then all of a sudden it becomes a bit of a shock really because nobody expected it. It’s the frustration of that really, but that’s the Premier League. 

"You make a mistake at this level and you get punished, and we’ve been punished a couple of times. Even when we got to 2-0, we had big chances, but we didn’t take them and there lies our Achilles heel.

"We knew Arsenal would play with a bit more intensity in the second half and, unfortunately, we didn’t. We gave sloppy goals away. It’s disappointing.

"We’ve got to make sure we get to safety as quickly as we can. We’ve got two big games coming up against teams around us, and they’re the ones we hope we can win.

"We haven’t scored enough. We are a threat but, even at 0-2 down, we’ve had two wonderful opportunities, big chances - and you have to take them, especially the first one.

"Joelinton has got to learn and improve. He has to be in the box more often. We have to keep reminding him to get in the box and be more selfish. 

"Strikers are judged on goals. He played well, led the line well but he’s got one goal all season in the Premier League."

They Said

Mikel Arteta - who confirmed pre-match that he rejected the chance to succeed Rafa Benitez at Gallowgate last summer - said that:

We talked about turning those draws into wins and those margins that we could improve to translate that into more points. It was going to be very important in the first game at home after the break to get confidence like we’ve done today, so I’m very happy with that.

"We found it difficult in the first 20 or 30 minutes I would say. They’re really compact and really organised, and we talked before the game that you can get a little bit frustrated and start to rush the decisions, and when that happens your team doesn’t travel together and it becomes a transition game. 

"They’re so good with Joelinton holding up the ball and their wingers running, and that makes it a flip of the coin. I didn’t like that game and after half an hour we started to control the situation much better. 

"We started to get into the final third much more continuously and in the second half we tweaked one or two things and attached much better, and it allowed us to control the game in a much more efficient way.

"I will review the game, find the points that we can improve, find out why it happens and convince them why when we do certain things, the opponent has the chance to hurt us. 

"In the opposite way, when we do the things that we have to do and we work and train on them, we will get the results and the rewards. It’s part of the process.

"A week ago before we went to Dubai and we drew at Burnley everything looked like it was too far and it’s going to take an incredible run to do it (qualify for the Champions League), but today it feels a little bit closer. But it’s going to depend on us and we need to improve as a team and be more consistent over 90 minutes. 

"If we’re able to do that, performances will lead to much better results and if that’s the case, we will be in the mix for the last few games of the season.

"The ultimate target now is to improve as a team and win against Olympiacos on Thursday and improve on today’s performance."


The Gunners became the second side this season to complete a league double over Newcastle and emulated Leicester City in keeping a clean sheet in both meetings.

This four-goal defeat made Newcastle's overall goal difference in the Premier League negative for the first time since September 1993. Our current PL record now reads:

946  W 354  D 241  L 351  F 1273  A 1275  Pts 1303 

Since Ayoze Perez netted here back in December 2014 we've failed to trouble the scorer in four visits, today's blank extending that sequence to 387 minutes.

Newcastle have now lost each of their last eight visits to the Emirates - only Manchester City's Etihad Stadium exceeds that in Premier League terms, with ten straight PL losses there. Expanding that to all competitions sees the Emirates go clear as our worst venue, with a quartet of defeats since our League Cup victory at the Etihad in 2014.

Magpies @ Gunners - PL years:

Lost 0-4
Lost 0-2
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

(At Highbury until 2005/06, Emirates thereafter)



Newcastle returned to Premier League action against the Gunners on Sunday, falling victim to a second half salvo that flattered the hosts but exposed our shortcomings only too well.

Unbeaten in nine league and cup games since New Years Day, United were full value for the 0-0 interval scoreline but never recovered from conceding two goals in three second half minutes and tailed off badly.

A promising opening period had seen Allan Saint-Maximin tease the Gunners and make it in the area on several occasions, but only once have the necessary support - Joelinton arriving at the near post to send a first-time effort just wide.

All three January loan arrivals were in Steve Bruce's starting lineup for the first time, left back Danny Rose inevitably booed for his Spurs connections and Valentino Lazaro on the opposite flank not far away from netting before a last-ditch tackle denied him in the area.

Aside from that, our main opportunity kicking towards the travelling contingent was a deflected volley from Sean Longstaff following a corner kick routine that had Bernd Leno scurrying along his line before parrying the ball to safety.

At the other end, the hosts looked disjointed with few hints that their four game winless league run was about to end, grumbles from home fans clearly audible as yet another draw began to unfold. 

Optimism that keeping Arsenal out for the opening 45 minutes would be the basis for ending our long barren run here was long gone by the hour mark however; a slicker approach from the hosts seeing Edward Nketiah hit the bar barely five minutes after the resumption.

The breakthrough was simple when it came, Nicolas Pepe with time to measure his centre from the right and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left unmarked to step back and head powerfully past Martin Dubravka.

And less than three minutes later the game was done; Bukayo Saka nut-megging Lazaro on the left hand side of the United box and crossing for Pepe to side-foot in with other colleagues queuing up.

That knocked the stuffing out of the Magpies and a reverse of Leicester proportions looked on the horizon at that point. The Gunners soon lost momentum however and invited the visitors to try and reduce their lead in a style vaguely reminiscent of our visit to Everton.

Ciaran Clark missed a great chance and when Saint Maximin's shot cannoned back off the goal frame on 75 minutes, our usual pointless visit here seemed assured.

Worse was to come though: rather than the game petering out, an ankle injury to Clark forced a third defensive alteration in quick succession - which proved to be fatal for the black and whites.

In the final minute of normal time Mesut Ozil converted from close range after recently-arrived substitute Alexandre Lacazette found him inside the six yard box and then Lacazette saw a sliced shot hit his standing foot and luckily loop in with seconds of six additional minutes remaining.

Those two late goals distorting the scoreline, although United were in disarray by the end. And in shipping more than two goals their all-time Premier League goal difference is negative for the first time since September 1993 (see below).

The margin of defeat was tough on Newcastle but based on their second half no-show they left with what they deserved. Nothing. Demoralising and unwatchable in equal parts by the end, better Toon sides than this have come badly unstuck here and offered even less in attack than today. It's fair to say that their demise routinely came at the hands of better Gunners lineups than this though.

In the end, the fact that Mikel Arteta was able field players with goalscoring ability and have that option available to him on the bench made the difference. Whether by accident or design, that apparent luxury remains unavailable to us - another transfer window closing and his injured forwards failing to return from injury as promised. Crocks crocked....who knew.

And even in terms of was fielded today as a forward line, the lack of cohesion and understanding between messrs Saint-Maximin, Joelinton and Almiron remains a significant concern - these lads should be getting used to playing together by now surely?

United ended the day 13th in the table, seven points clear of the bottom three and with games still to play against five of the seven sides beneath them in their closing dozen fixtures.

For all of the expressions of wonder about how we've managed to amass 31 points this season, it's the possibility of accumulating any more between now and May that increasingly concerns us: memories of the final day survival after reaching 32 points in February 2015 remain fresh.

After raking over the ashes, more realistic opportunities for taking points present themselves in the shape of Palace and Burnley, before an FA Cup visit to Championship leaders West Bromwich Albion.

That assumes that we can reach the opposition penalty area and do something meaningful when we arrive - but on today's evidence we'll struggle to beat anyone. In amongst all of his waffle, the one kernel of truth that came from the coach was about getting to safety as quickly as possible.


Page last updated 23 February, 2020