Arsenal threw away a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 to Newcastle after another woeful away Premier League performance.
Matchday: Team News – Player Ratings – Match Highlights
Match: Newcastle United v Arsenal
Stadium: St. James’ Park
Kick-Off (GMT): Sun 15 April 13:30
The Premier League returned for Arsenal after a busy week of European action. The Europa League hangover has often frustrated Premier League clubs in the past and it felt familiar for the Gunners in the early exchanges.
When the breakthrough came, it was for the Gunners. Shkodran Mustafi played a brilliant drilled pass into Pierre-Emerick Aubmaeyang’s path. The forward was forced out wide but whipped a fine ball across the face of goal and Alexandre Lacazette was on hand to finish it off.
The Gunners looked to push forward and grab a second but couldn’t quite fashion any clear opportunities. Alex Iwobi showed some good footwork in the box but his shot was straight at the goalkeeper before Calum Chambers skied a couple of decent openings in the box.
But Newcastle continued to threaten. Jonjo Shelvey was afforded too much space deep in midfield and pinged a fine pass forward to Dwight Gayle. The forward played it out wide to DeAndre Yedlin whose cross was perfect to the onrushing Ayoze Perez. A well worked goal but Shkodran Mustafi will be disappointed he didn’t track the Spaniard and Petr Cech will be furious he was beaten at his near post.
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The game closed up in the second-half with both sides seemingly content at 1-1. That came to an end after the hour mark when both managers threw on some attacking players.
Islam Slimani came on for the home side and the on-loan Leicester man had a hand in Newcastle’s second goal. The Algerian forward fed the ball into the feet of Matt Ritchie who had far too much time in the box and just played the ball past Cech.
Arsenal pushed forward after that but never really looked capable of threatening the Newcastle defence.
Here’s how we rate the Arsenal players:
GK) Petr Cech – 3
A really poor performance from Petr Cech. The goalkeeper really could have done better for both Newcastle goals and made no saves of note throughout the match.
RB) Calum Chambers – 5
He wasn’t the worst player in the Arsenal defence. Calum Chambers put in a decent performance at right-back, especially moving forward. He looks far more comfortable out wide than at centre-back.
Sub: Ainsley Maitland-Niles (78′) – N/A
RCB) Shkodran Mustafi – 2
A woeful performance from Shkodran Mustafi. He was at serious fault for both goals and didn’t do a great deal right during the rest of the match. The German just seems to lose concentration so easily.
LCB) Rob Holding – 5.5
He was okay at times. Rob Holding looked a lot more assured than his centre-back partner but still will be disappointed with his performance.
LB) Nacho Monreal – 3
One of Nacho Monreal’s worst performances all season. The Spaniard offered little defensively and had a tough match out wide. Monreal made some baffling decisions in the run-up to Newcastle’s second goal.
RCM) Granit Xhaka – 5
The Swiss midfielder returned to the side and looked a little rusty. Granit Xhaka played the simple passes relatively well but didn’t exactly control the midfield.
LCM) Mohamed Elneny – 5
He was fine. Mohamed Elneny worked hard but was a little negative on the ball which Arsenal didn’t need.
RAM) Joe Willock – 5.5
Joe Willock did okay on his full Premier League debut for the club. He kept the ball well in the first-half but the confidence seemed to drain from him after he failed to convert a chance on the break just before half-time.
Sub: Danny Welbeck (68′) – 5
Didn’t see the ball before the final five minutes.
CAM) Alex Iwobi – 6
Alex Iwobi had his moments. The Nigerian international looked sharp in possession but lacked quality with his final pass and shooting.
Sub: Eddie Nketiah (86′) – N/A
LAM) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 5.5
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had some moments in the first-half but his influence shrunk as the game progressed.
ST) Alexandre Lacazette – 6
Alexandre Lacazette looked sharp but just didn’t see enough of the ball to threaten the Newcastle defence.