78 mins Iwobi shot 0-1
89 mins Mavididi shot 0-2
90+4 mins Gilliead shot at Gallowgate End 1-2
1 Gunners 2
an encouraging display at SJP on Friday, Peter Beardsley's side
remain winless after three games this season and have now failed to register a
single clean sheet in eighteen league outings.
Newcastle's cause wasn't helped by a failure to turn their first half
domination into goals, and the dismissal of Callum Williams just before the
hour mark tipped the balance firmly in favour of the Londoners.
The young defender tripped an opponent on the edge of the United box to earn a
straight red card and although the resultant free kick came to nothing, the
Gunners eventually broke our resistance.
Doubling their lead with five minutes remaining before missing an opportunity
to make it 3-0, Alex Gilliead halved their advantage deep into added time but
a wasted free kick from Gael Bigirimana in the 96th minute was our sole chance
of snatching a point.
Returning to action after almost a month, Newcastle started brightly and
stretched the visiting defence with some intelligent probing and patient
build-up play. The first good chance arrived on 17 minutes, when Kevin Mbabu's deep cross from the right found
the unmarked Ivan
Toney - only for him to head wide.
Another neat build-up after 24 minutes then saw Sean Longstaff shoot against the
'keeper's feet from close in, before the Gunners enjoyed some possession
that ended with Jeff Reine-Adelaide
thumping his header off a post.
Karl Darlow palmed away a 35th minute shot from Kaylen Hinds before Toney
hit the bar with a dipping effort from outside the box, Longstaff unable to steer the rebound home.
The second period almost got off to a great start as Toney robbed an
opponent on the edge of the box, but he advanced before flashed his shot wide.
Having been reduced to ten men when Williams impeded Stephy
Mavididi, Darlow kept his side in it with a strong block to win a one on one
with Reine-Adelaide. However he could do nothing to prevent Arsenal going ahead five minutes later,
Alex Iwobi leading a counter attack before tucking a low shot inside the
far post at the Leazes End.
The Gunners then doubled the lead with a minute remaining when Iwobi's shot was
blocked by Darlow but Mavididi knocked in the loose ball. Newcastle's Alex
Gilliead then netted with a low shot from close range in the fourth minute of added
time - his first league goal since March 2014 - but there was no further
scoring as Arsenal replicated their 2-1 win at SJP last February.
PS: Although he wasn't called off the bench, it was heartening to see full back
Liam Gibson warming up on the SJP pitch after recovering from an injury that
sidelined him in 2014.