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Season 2020-21
Arsenal (a) FA Cup Third Round


Saturday 9th January 2021, 5.30pm
Live on BBC1

 Emirates Stadium

Conditions: Recurring
Programme: £3.50



2 - 0




Half time: Gunners 0 Magpies 0

Full time: Gunners 0 Magpies 0

109 mins Attempting to dribble away from his own box, Ciaran Clark mis-controlled the ball and it fell into the path of Emile Smith Rowe. He worked a short pass to Bukayo Saka, who scooped it forward first time towards Alexandre Lacazette on the edge of the United box.

The Arsenal substitute beat Isaac Hayden to the ball and headed it into the path of fellow replacement, Smith Rowe. Bringing the ball under control on his chest and with Paul Dummett in pursuit, the 20 year-old fired low across Dubravka and home via the far post at the north end of the ground.

117 mins A visiting player - possibly Ciaran Clark - lost possession midway in his own half on the Arsenal right out towards the touchline. Smith Rowe pushed forward into space before slipping a pass to the overlapping Saka.

He picked out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the back post and although his header hit defender DeAndre Yedlin, the rebound fell to the attacker.

Aubameyang fed it back to the arriving Kieran Tierney out towards the left and his simple give and go to Granit Xhaka prompted a slide rule pass that the full back met on the byline, pulling it back for Aubameyang to slam in from close range - the third successive game he's netted in against us.

Half time of extra-time: Gunners 0 Magpies 0

Full time of extra-time: 
Gunners 2 Magpies 0

We Said

Steve Bruce:

"In 18 months we've been to two (cup) quarter finals. We're disappointed that we didn't take the next step. As long as I'm sitting in this seat, I'll treat the cups like they should be.

"You have to take your chances when they come along. We had the opportunity in the final few minutes and didn't grasp it. As a cup tie, it could have gone either way and we rue the missed chances.

"I couldn't more pleased with the way they have gone about their work, we just needed to take that opportunity when it came along.

"You're going to hold me on this Brentford one, I know you are. We couldn't be more disappointed after that but the reaction against Arsenal, Man City and Leicester now.

"Yes we haven't won them but what we are trying to do is get higher up the pitch and I think they are getting used to it and I can see signs of progress.

"I have found positives in all of the games, it has been a difficult period in terms of the games we have had to play. We are trying to get higher up the pitch, which is pleasing, and create a few more chances.

"There were a lot of pleasing things. We've had a tough run of fixtures but we dust ourselves down and go again."

On Andy Carroll:

"I thought Andy did fantastically well. If he had topped it off by scoring a goal, it would have been good for him. There's nobody more disappointed than Andy, I thought his overall play was terrific.

"There's nobody more disappointed than Andy that he didn't take one of them, but I thought his overall play and the way he led the line.

"He was terrific, and it would have capped it off for him after scoring last week for the first time in 10 years.

"To have another big opportunity like at Arsenal, when it fell to him on his left foot I think we were all shouting 'Goal!' with 30 seconds or so to go."

On Elliot Anderson:

"A big positive. I thought the kid was very, very good."

They Said

Mikel Arteta said: 

We had to be patient: they are a team who are well-organised and make it hard for you. We had the chances I think, very big chances to score much earlier but when you don't do that, the game is open.

"We want to keep going and win more games. It's always important to stay in the competitions. We want to fight for this competition again, so today was a big game for us.

"Let's go game by game and see who we get in the draw. It's great to keep the momentum going, to keep winning and keep the boys' confidence high.

On FA Cup debutant Bernd Leno:

"You need your keeper in a key moment - like it happened after the corner kick on the counter - to save you. Bernd did it in a magnificent way and at the end we scored two and deserved to go through."

On goalscorer Emile Smith Rowe:

"It was very impressive from Emile Smith Rowe because is playing with a lot of personality, a lot of risk. He is playing in areas where he needs to make things happen and he has got the talent to do it."


NUFC v PL sides in FAC since a win:

Arsenal (a) lost 0-2 (Bruce)
Manchester City (h) lost 0-2 (Bruce)
Watford (h) lost 0-2 (Benitez)
Chelsea (a) lost 0-3 (Benitez)
Watford (a) lost 0-1 (McClaren)
Leicester City (a) lost 0-1 (Carver)
Cardiff City (h) lost 1-2 (Pardew)
2011/12 Blackburn Rovers (h)
won 2-1 (Pardew)

NUFC v sides from same league in FAC since a win away from SJP:

Arsenal (a) lost 0-2 (Bruce)
Chelsea (a) lost 0-3 (Benitez)
Birmingham City (a) drew 1-1 (Benitez)
Watford (a) lost 0-1 (McClaren)
Leicester City (a) lost 0-1 (Carver)
West Bromwich Albion (a) lost 2-4 (Hughton)
Plymouth Argyle (a) drew 0-0 (Hughton)
Hull City (a) drew 0-0 (
Arsenal (a) lost 0-3 (Keegan)
Chelsea (a) lost 0-1 (Roeder)
Manchester United (n) lost 1-4 (Souness)
Liverpool (a) lost 1-2 (Robson)
2003/04 Southampton (a) won 3-0 (Robson)

Newcastle have now scored just one goal from open play in 595 minutes (all competitions).

Fit-again Martin Dubravka played for the first time this season.

There was a senior Magpies debut for Elliot Anderson aged 18 years, two months and four days - older than the likes of Adam Armstrong, Adam Campbell, Andy Carroll and Callum Roberts but younger than current Magpies Matty Longstaff, Sean Longstaff, Kelland Watts and Tom Allan.

He's the 29th player to feature competitively for the club this season, with seven of those attending Newcastle's Academy at some point: (Elliot Anderson, Dan Barlaser+, Andy Carroll^, Paul Dummett, Mark Gillespie*, Matty Longstaff and Sean Longstaff).

+ Barlaser has since left the club.
^ Carroll is in his second spell at NUFC.
* Gillespie was with United as a youngster but released.

Of no consequence whatsoever is the fact that he's the first player ever to wear the number 57 shirt in a senior match for us. That's not the highest number to be worn though, Steven Taylor donning the number 58 when making his PL debut at Bolton Wanderers back in March 2004.

This was the third time in as many seasons Newcastle have played extra time in the FAC; winning at Blackburn Rovers in 2018/19 and Oxford United in 2019/20. The Magpies have never won on penalties in this competition, beaten at home to Bournemouth in 1991/92 and Chelsea in 1995/96.
Gunners v Magpies - FAC history:

Lost 0-2 (a) R3
Lost 0-3 (a) R4
2001/02 Lost 0-3 (a) QFR
2001/02 Drew 1-1 (h) QF
1997/98 Lost 0-2 (n) Final
1951/52 Won 1-0 (n) Final
1935/36 Lost 0-3 (a) R5R
Drew 3-3 (h) R5
Won 2-1 (n) Final
1905/06 Won 1-0 (h) SF
Won 2-0 (a) R1

Full record against Arsenal:
  P W D L F A
SJP 85 41 19 25 146 98
H/Em 85 22 17 46 86 149
League 170 63 36 71 232 247
SJP(FA) 2 0 2 0 4 4
H/Em/W/VG 9 4 0 5 7 14
SJP(LC) 1 0 0 1 0 4
H/Em 3 0 0 3 0 8
Cup 15 4 2 9 11 30
Tot 185 67 38 80 243 277


NUFC last 10 FAC3 ties:

2020/21 Arsenal (a) lost 0-2
Rochdale (a) drew 1-1 (won replay)
2018/19 Blackburn Rovers (h) drew 1-1 (won replay)
2017/18 Luton Town (h) won 3-1
2016/17 Birmingham City (a) drew 1-1 (won replay)
2015/16 Watford (a) lost 0-1
2014/15 Leicester City (a) lost 0-1
2013/14 Cardiff City (h) lost 1-2
2012/13 Brighton and Hove Albion (a) lost 0-2
2011/12 Blackburn Rovers (h) won 2-1

Magpies @ Gunners - PL years:

2020/21: Lost 0-2 (LC)
Lost 0-4
2018/19: 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)

The Magpies retained just four of the side who started the 1-2 home loss to Leicester City: messrs Clark, Joelinton, Almiron and Sean Longstaff. 

The Gunners made seven changes to their starting line-up from the one that began the 4-0 PL win at West Bromwich Albion a week earlier.



Oh, Carroll....

Newcastle's interest in the FA Cup ended at the first time of asking on Saturday, after Arsenal twice found the net during 30 minutes of extra time.

However United only have themselves to blame for allowing the tie to reach that point, Andy Carroll missing two glaring chances to end an Emirates goal famine that is now an interminable 507 minutes.

The returning Martin Dubravka was the busier of the two goalkeepers in a first half when Carroll's best work was done in his own area, defending.

An improved showing from the visitors after the break came with Matt Ritchie on in place of Jamaal Lascelles and Paul Dummett switching to centre back.

The first of Carroll's two opportunities came on 56 minutes, when the striker reached Jeff Hendrick's hopeful ball across the box only to shoot wide. TV replays confirmed that the linesman's offside flag was incorrect.

Carroll did get a 92nd minute effort on target after debutant Elliot Anderson couldn't exploit Jacob Murphy's low centre from the right - but agonisingly crashed the ball off Bernd Leno when a goal seemed certain.

(Our anguished reaction to that latter miss may have been related to the fact that Newcastle to win 1-0 with a Carroll goal was a mammoth 70/1....) 

Having survived a red card that was downgraded to a booking, substitute Emile Smith Rowe profited from Ciaran Clark's mis-control to fire home in the 109th minute - a goal that arose in similar circumstances to the one that put us out of the League Cup at Brentford last month.

A ninth successive defeat at the Emirates for United was confirmed eight minutes later, when an exchange of passes between Kieran Tierney and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saw the latter stab home from close range.

Winless in seven league and cup games, the Magpies now relocate to Bramall Lane on Tuesday teatime, facing a Blades side who won for the first time this season, beating League One Bristol Rovers 3-2.

They do with with gathering clouds over their inability to score - netting from open play just once in almost ten hours of league and cup games.

With Andy Carroll having run himself into the ground here, injury doubts over Callum Wilson, and neither Joelinton and Miguel Almiron offering a hint of a goal threat that's of grave concern - amplifying every costly error made at the other end of the field.

After six substitute appearances so far this season including tonight, Dwight Gayle's time to take a place in the starting line-up may well have arrived - despite facing an uncertain future on Tyneside as his contract nears expiry.

The outcome of Tuesday's meeting with Sheffield United may not be pivotal to the future Bruce, but a failure to collect three points will further diminish his standing among fans - if that were possible.

Regardless of the outcome or level of performance. We know that we're not alone in struggling to watch our games on TV without feelings of regret at not being there, mixed with envy of those who were granted access.

For the most part we've shied away from referencing that, but the "what if" factor was at a level today that we can't ignore it. As our centre forward was missing horribly, his fans were horribly missing.

Ordinarily, the prospect of three away games in ten days - all in evening slots -would prompt inevitable bellyaching about TV schedulers targeting our fans. That all seems like something from a previous era now though and we harbour genuine concerns of ever going back to how it was for away fans.

Despite much of it being negative in our lifetime, so much of our collective memory of this competition is of the fervour, the support, the days out: be it the stand bouncing at Old Trafford, the Geordie invasion of Anfield, the infamous overcrowding at White Hart Lane or the fruitless Wembley visits.

If 54,500 hadn't been at the Forest game in 1974 and some of them not rampaged down the pitch then we'd have gone out that day - and those two Supermac goals (and that Terry Hibbitt pass) wouldn't have happened.

Similarly, our Room 101 moment at Hereford two years earlier - inevitably shown as part of this weekend's Third Round coverage - is rooted in the crowd reaction, those small boys in parkas etc.

The fact that Carroll's two misses here came in front of what would have been the away end emphasised what was missing today. The drama of that 92nd minute one would have been heightened still further from a semi-obscured view behind that goal rather than the front room.

And as for the outpouring if he'd actually scored....think cracked limbs versus a ruffled carpet, or a re-run of the epic day he did score here and we won as we reported then.

Gone also was the sense of injustice that would have been felt at witnessing the reversal of the red card from the other side of the ground was gone; nullified by the fact that instant replays confirmed the decision was flawed.

It's harder to give this Newcastle side the benefit of the doubt when deprived of the emotional content and context of a first-hand matchday experience. Regardless of that though, it's tough to defend our shortcomings; be it the weakness in midfield, general lack of imagination in possession, recurring failures from set pieces - or the same old tired patter from the gaffer.

PS: Spare a thought for Elliot Anderson, making his senior career debut live on national television, but with none of his friends or family actually present. And having watched the laddie on windswept Academy pitches and then at the likes of Shrewsbury and Port Vale, we were a bit gutted also.


Page last updated 15 March, 2022