Premier League 2018-19, Arsenal 2-0 Newcastle United: 5 Talking Points and Tactical Analysis
The game wasn’t the greatest spectacle as the Gunners found it tough to find their rhythm at the start. However, once Aaron Ramsey’s opener went in on the half-hour mark, the Gunners controlled the game.
In the second half, the hosts’ play looked a lot more purposeful with them searching fervently for their second goal.
The net-bulger arrived seven minutes from time when Alexandre Lacazette played a superb one-two with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and deftly chipped the ball over the opposing goalkeeper.
While the victory enabled Arsenal to claim pole position in the race for the top four slots, the defeat left Newcastle stranded in 14th with them flirting dangerously with the idea of a potential relegation tussle.
Here is a look at five talking points from the game:
#5 Arsenal’s perseverance puts Newcastle away
The game at the Emirates was always expected to be a tight affair. Under Rafa Benitez, Newcastle has favoured calculation over creativity and the said trait was evident on Monday night too. Yet, the Gunners eventually broke down the Magpies’ rear-guard through sheer will.
In the opening period, Arsenal’s approach play looked slick. However, they were unable to carve any clear-cut opportunities. The closest the home side came to breaking the deadlock was when Ramsey’s goal was disallowed.
But, the Gunners’ dogged determination to keep posing questions paid off in the 30th minute when the Welshman scored.
In the second half, the hosts turned the screws and kept pushing and probing. Their endeavours were rewarded when Lacazette firmly put the game beyond doubt in the 83rd minute.
Through the course of the game, the Gunners only had seven shots at goal of which four were on target. But, they did enjoy the lion’s share of possession and stitched together 700 passes.
The hosts were diligent in their build-up and methodically moved the visitors’ defence across the pitch. Their exhaustion chasing the ball led to the lapse in concentration for the second goal. Thus, highlighting that the Gunners’ tactics bore fruit.
Over the past few years, Arsenal has been guilty of not putting such games to bed with their inability to mix patience and panache often a stumbling block. Yet, on Monday night, they showed that they might just have turned a corner.
And with push officially having come to shove, Unai Emery would’ve been thrilled with the triumph.