Newcastle United 2-1 Arsenal: Arsenal Player Ratings
Arsenal were defeated away at St James Park. Shkodran Mustafi and Petr Cech were far from impressive during the match.
Arsene Wenger chose to rest a few key players who had played against CSKA in mid-week. The favourites of the midfield such as Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil were all given a break from the Premier League action against Newcastle United.
Meanwhile, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who was ineligible for Europa League starts together with Alexandre Lacazette. The French boss also chose to give Arsenal academy product, Joe Willock, his first Premier League debut against Rafael Benitez's side.
In the first half, Lacazette opened the scoring in the 13th minute of the game. Just when the Gunners looked comfortable in the game, Newcastle came back into the game. Arsenal looked more dominant in the second-half but the Magpies took a 2-1 lead soon.
Many chances fell for Wenger's team, but Newcastle punished the Gunners by snatching the full three points. In the end, Arsenal could find no way past the stubborn Newcastle players. Here is how the Arsenal players rated for their shock loss on Sunday.
Petr Cech: 5/10
Cech was beaten at his near post for Newcastle's first goal and from close range for Newcastle's second. He could have done so much better for a keeper with massive experience in Premier League. His clearances had been poor even when there was no pressure. Arsenal should relook at who can be Arsenal's first-choice keeper next season.
Calum Chambers: 5.5/10
The Englishman looked a little uncomfortable in the role of a right-back. He illustrated that he can help out in the attack and was the defender who was most keen to support the midfielders and forwards. However, against Ayoze Perez, Chambers struggled to keep him quiet. He may be more suited in the midfield than in the backline.
Shkodran Mustafi: 5/10
Mustafi defended brilliantly to stop Gayle from equalising. However, he could have done much better to stop Ayoze Perez from scoring. The German is unable to find any consistency in his games for Arsenal and his performances look to be getting from bad to worse.
Rob Holding: 6/10
Holding looked more comfortable than Chambers who played as a right-back. He was able to work well with Mustafi as the two centre-backs. Despite Arsenal conceding those two goals, he was hardly at any fault for either of the goals. The former Bolton player showed a mature side of him and deserves more game time for the Gunners.
Nacho Monreal: 6/10
After a set-piece from Arsenal, Monreal was given the chance to deliver a perfect header to set up Chambers for Arsenal to take the lead when the game was at 1-1, but Chambers failed to convert the chance. In the second half, he headed the ball to a Newcastle player right outside Arsenal's penalty box. Eventually, that led to Newcastle grabbing 2-1 over the Gunners.
Mohamed Elneny: 6.5/10
Elneny exerted great pressure on Newcastle players during the match. He stepped up when Mohamed Diame slipped, allowing Lacazette to get a chance to counter-attack. As Arsenal's box-to-box midfielder, the Egyptian worked tirelessly alongside Xhaka. He tried his best to protect Arsenal's backline but the team's defence was unlocked by Jonjo Shelvey's long balls.
Granit Xhaka: 6.5/10
With him in the midfield, Arsenal looked more comfortable in possession. Arsenal missed him in the CSKA Moscow match away from home. In that match in Russia, Arsenal were weaker in terms of their passing and getting forward. Xhaka provided many long balls throughout the game. He looked calm and composed against the Magpies.
Alex Iwobi: 6.5/10
The Nigerian managed to find a good position to score but was blocked by Newcastle defenders. His tame shot which took a deflection was then saved by Martin Dúbravka. His crossing into the box seemed to have improved this game but he needs to have a faster reaction and be quicker to second balls.
Joe Willock: 5.5/10
He intercepted Lacazette's pass to Aubameyang and after a heavy touch, he squandered the chance for Arsenal to take the lead when the scoreline was 1-1. The teenager did not have a dream debut performance he would have hoped for. Throughout the game, he could not make much impact.
Alexandre Lacazette: 7.5/10
Lacazette did well enough to create space for himself but failed to get a clean shot and his attempt went wide. The Frenchman scored his 13th goal of the season after a long ball from the back reached Aubameyang. His effort to find Aubameyang to score Arsenal's second goal was futile after an interception from Willock who missed from close range.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 7/10
Aubameyang made brilliant runs behind Newcastle's defenders for the majority of the game. He seemed to have formed a good understanding with Lacazette and both of them looked sharp in terms of attack.
Aubameyang also showed his willingness to drop deeper in order to have more of the ball. His one-touch passes with the rest of the Arsenal team helps to speed the game up and insert some urgency in their attack.
Danny Welbeck: 5/10
After a stunning performance against CSKA Moscow, Welbeck came on in hope of being able to change the game. After he came on, Newcastle grabbed the winner and sealed the victory. The English forward could not do much to change the dynamic of the game after Newcastle's second.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles: N/A
By the time he made his appearance, the result of the game was all but sealed. There was little he could do for his team.
Eddie Nketiah: N/A
Nketiah was brought on to salvage a point, but he could not find the net.