Arsenal v Newcastle United
Barclays Premier League
Kick off: April 28, 2014 8.00 PM BST
A typical first half performance from Arsenal in many ways, building slowly from the back and waiting for opportunities to present themselves. Newcastle weren’t posing much of a threat, and Arsenal were free to do as they wished in midfield.
There was not much action in the opening 25 minutes, the most notable moments being a counter attack led by Ramsey and Giroud; neither quite having the pace to make it to goal. And a corner punched clear by Krul, only falling as far as Özil who volleyed just wide.
The breakthrough came however, when Giroud was hauled down off the ball Sissoko, giving Arsenal the chance to drill the free kick into the box. Giroud seemed to be the main threat, and drew in several Newcastle players around him. Koscielny lost his marker, Sissoko, and made a run across goal; knocking it past Krul from a few yards out. 1-0 Arsenal.
It was all Arsenal from then on, and they looked capable of scoring at any moment. Podolski was denied twice by Krul, first as he came into no man’s land to challenge the German, and then again as Podolski headed goalwards from the resulting corner.
There was one scary moment that brought back some painful memories of the famous 4-4 draw, Cheick Tiote striking a venomous shot from a way out. It was a brilliant strike, but thankfully curved straight into the arms of Szczesny.
Arsenal got their second just before half time, a little luckily in the end. Giroud was played onside and put one-on-one with Krul, but failed to finish as he shot straight at the Dutch keeper. It fell straight back to him, only for Krul to save once again. It then fell to Özil who slotted through Debuchy’s legs. 2-0. Özil was actually offside, Krul coming out past the German to challenge Giroud, but it was fine margins.
A decent performance from the Gunners, but helped by a poor Newcastle first half. Let’s just hope for more of the same in the second half.
Sagna Mertesacker Koscielny Monreal
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