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Season 2015-16
Arsenal (a) Premier League

In association 


Saturday 2nd January 2016, 3.00pm.

 Emirates Stadium

Conditions: Disconsolate

Admission: £36.50 (unchanged from 2014/15)




Newcastle United

1 - 0




Half time: Gunners 0 Magpies 0

72 mins A home corner delivered by Ozil was headed straight up into the air by Paul Dummett and when Olivier Giroud beat Fabricio Coloccini to head goalwards, last man Ayoze Perez was caught flat-footed. The ball fell kindly for Laurent Koscielny to poke it past past Rob Elliot from four yards at the north end of the stadium. 0-1

Full time: Gunners 1 Magpies 0

We Said

Steve McClaren:


"If we’d had Olivier Giroud we would’ve comfortably won the game. That’s the difference. You’re always searching for that.

"Unfortunately at the moment Emmanuel Riviere is injured, just coming back. Cisse, who is a goalscorer, is injured for the next two or three months. We’ll have to wait for a second opinion next week.

"The business we’ve got to do will stay private but we’ve been working behind the scenes and will continue doing tirelessly. We’ve got other goalscorers who need to step up to the plate and start scoring, doing our job.

"First eight games and three points people were questioning the team. Since then we’ve had 11 games and in the last five or six they’ve been excellent. We’ve seen they’ve got the quality. We can do it. There’s 18 to go and we’ve got to start doing it.
"The performances have been there. The attitude, work, energy, organisation. It’s at both ends, isn’t it? It’s why Arsenal are top and why we are where we are.

"That’s what you look for - performance. It’s difficult to come here. The league is very close but we have to keep performing like that, keep believing even though we keep getting knock backs - especially in the last three games.

"I thought it’d really test their spirit and motivation but you can’t fault it. In fact they’ve come back stronger than during the bad week we’ve had.”

They Said

Arsene Wenger

"It was a difficult game against a good Newcastle side.

"Our legs were a little bit heavy today, overall we were tested against a team that has a lot of technical quality. You have to say 'let's stick together and try and win the game if we can', the mental aspect of our game was tested today.

"Not to drop points when you play like we did today is important. It helps the team as well, we will go through the season with moments where we don't play well and memories of doing that before helps you hang on some times.

"I know that when you are capable of winning when you don't play well, that shows a mental aspect of your team that will be very important in moments that will be difficult.

"I think we are more experienced than the teams I had when I moved into the stadium here. On our day we could play everybody off the park and when you had to dig deep you experience it was a bit more difficult. It was different.

"Now, the experience, the quality of their attitude, the team always has the charisma. If you look at the team as a unit, it is like person. If you look at your team like a person and the vibes that are coming out - you can sense in this job if you feel it or not.

"I must say (you see) another aspect of your team in a game like (this one). It is more the mental aspect - you fight, don’t panic and wait for your chance. We were more questioned on that aspect than the way we played football.

"I also believe that everyone else’s organisation has improved. What is even more (surprising) is physically you won games in maybe the last 20 minutes when you were superior technically. That is not the case anymore.

"When you go forward, the team against you in transition always has the resources to come out and kill you. Look at the players who come on. They always have the quality to finish you off when you go for it. That is something new.”

About Petr Cech:

"He made two big saves. One in the first half and one at the beginning of the second, on top of that he gives calm and never panics and today we needed that."


Arsenal collected their ninth successive victory against Newcastle home and away, since a 0-0 draw at Gallowgate in August 2011. It's now eleven meetings anywhere without a Toon victory over the Gunners, since Andy Carroll's header at the Emirates in November 2010 in a 1-0 win.

Moussa Sissoko made his 100th Premier League appearance and they have all been starts.

The Gunners were our first-ever opponent in the Football League (a 2-2 away draw in September 1893) and remain our most familiar ones: this our 178th league and cup meeting - more than both Manchester City (174) and Liverpool (170). Sadly it was our 74th defeat (66 wins, 38 draws).

Goalkeeper Petr Cech faced the Magpies in the Premier League for the 17th time and recorded a 12th clean sheet in those games (15 at Chelsea, two at Arsenal).

United are without a goal in their last 332 minutes of Premier League football - still some way short of their longest famine this season, which stands at 464 minutes.

A third successive 0-1 loss is the first time we've repeated the same result on three occasions in the Premier League since a trio of 2-0 victories in April 2012, leaving us fifth with 59 points.

Magpies @ Gunners - Premier League years:

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

(games up until and including 2005/06 at Highbury, 2006/07 onwards at the Emirates)

Full record against Arsenal: 

  P W D L F A
SJP 82 40 19 23 143 94
H/Em 82 22 17 43 86 142
League 164 62 36 66 229 236
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 178 66 38 74 240 264


First footing - last 20 year-opening results:

1996 Arsenal (h) won 2-0
1997 Leeds (h) won 3-0
1998 Everton (a) won 1-0 (FAC)
1999 Crystal Palace (a) won 2-1 (FAC)
2000 West Ham (h) drew 2-2
2001 Spurs (a) lost 2-4
2002 Manchester United (a) lost 1-3
2003 Liverpool (h) won 1-0
2004 Southampton (a) won 3-0 (FAC)
2005 Birmingham City (h) won 2-1
2006 smoggies (h) drew 2-2
2007 Manchester United (h) drew 2-2
2008 Manchester City (h) lost 0-2
2009 Hull City (a) drew 0-0 (FAC)
2010 Plymouth (a) drew 0-0 (FAC)
2011 Wigan (a) won 1-0
2012 Manchester United (h) won 3-0
2013 Everton (h) lost 1-2
2014 West Bromwich Albion (a) lost 0-1
2015 Burnley (h) drew 3-3
2016 Arsenal (a) lost 0-1



It was a case of new year, old failings for United on Saturday - with a third 0-1 loss in eight days.

And while the manner of this defeat was far more positive than feared, our inability to post a clean sheet and the ease with which Arsenal did so led to that familiar sinking feeling once again for the long-suffering away contingent whose patience is being tested beyond reasonable levels.

Failing to convert chances into goals has been a constant refrain for Steve McClaren's side - with the glorious exception of the Norwich City home game. Taking those six strikes away from the stats though makes for grim reading indeed: 13 goals in 19 games and just 5 in 10 away attempts. 

Our familiar failing would be costly yet again, with Gini Wijnaldum (0 goals from 10 away games), Aleksandar Mitrovic and Chancel Mbemba all failing when well-placed before the Gunners roused themselves to score a winner that they barely deserved. 

The Magpies were certainly worthy of at least a point for a decent display that more than matched the league leaders and left home followers decidedly restless for much of the afternoon. But until a new points scoring system is devised taking into account effort and misfortune, we'll just have to work on the traditional one that rewards scoring more goals than the opposition, or any goals.....

Having failed to manage a single shot on target when the sides met at SJP earlier in the season, this was a much more cohesive performance - due in no small part to the restoration of Gini to a central role and able support in that area from Cheick Tiote, who continued in midfield after replacing the hamstrung Vurnon Anita at West Brom. 

Mitrovic and Wijnaldum had efforts at the end of the first half that went close; the Serbian tried an overhead kick that was almost successful and Wijnaldum intercepted a back pass but Petr Cech smothered his shot en route to extended the Premier League clean sheet record.


And when Gini was through on goal three minutes after the break, he seemed a certain scorer but he shot straight at Cech with the goal gaping. Just seconds later Ayoze Perez crossed for Mitrovic and he skied the ball off his thigh at the near post from point blank range. Not impressive.

Those misses looked costly almost immediately as Aaron Ramsey nearly caught out the fit-again Rob Elliot who grabbed the ball low to his left, Arsenal belatedly trying to make an impact after failing to create anything of note -  presumably lulled into a false sense of security by our lowly position.    

Mbemba had a free header that he got all wrong and skewed it well wide and six minutes later the misses did indeed prove to be expensive as Koscielny steered the ball past Elliot from close range.

But far from buckling under pressure United pushed for an equaliser and Mitrovic again made contact in front of goal, only to head narrowly over from a Perez cross. Wijnaldum did the same from a short corner and with seconds remaining substitute Siem de Jong saw Cech grasp his overhead kick.

Victories for West Bromwich Albion, Norwich City, the mackems and Chelsea added to the misery while Bournemouth gained a point at Leicester City. Only defeats for Swansea City and Aston Villa prevented a weekend of total disaster, but United's new year message is a simple one: 

SOS - Save our season - and SAS: sign a striker - who can hit the ground (and the net) running.

And to hell with the cost. There's more than TV money at stake here and watching the pennies this month will be the ultimate false economy. With even the most diehard supporter clinging on to hope of an upturn, screwing that up will have a devastating effect on the future of this club. People don't need any more encouragement to walk away than they've had in the last three years 

It isn't 2009 and we don't have a divine right to waltz back up. The Championship is a different animal now and the list of grand old clubs living in reduced circumstances is a lengthy one. 

There's nowt else left to say except that if Charnley is going to renege on one promise, let it be the one about trying in the FA Cup this season. The endless replays may now be consigned to history, but the memory of what facing the Hornets in 1989 took out of us remains. Sorry.


Page last updated 31 December, 2016