Traditionally this is a fixture that has produced a lot of fireworks – this time the match may not have been high scoring but there was certainly no shortage of drama.
It was a game that Arsenal needed to win to make sure that they didn’t get too far away from leaders Man City even at this early stage.
There was good and bad news in the line up as Koscielny was back from injury to partner Gabriel which I think is our best centre back pairing even when Mertesacker comes back from illness. This is because both of them are fast and technically better footballers in my opinion.
Other good news was that Oxlade Chamberlain started on the right meaning that we had two wingers for once but this was only because of the bad news of Mesut Ozil being injured. Another big blow for us this season but as a Arsenal fan I am used to us getting a lot of injuries. This also meant that Ramsey played in his preferred central midfield position.
Another big shock was that Walcott started up front instead of Giroud which I actually thought was the wrong decision because it was Giroud’s type of game with plenty of aerial duels and Walcott is still very unproven as a striker.
The game itself was a very heated display with tackles flying everywhere. The referee was getting a bit carried away by booking any player who fouled so basically every Newcastle player! They were obviously trying to disrupt our free flowing passing so I suppose they did deserve it. But in the future I do think that referees should be a bit less harsh and remember how football used to be. It is a contact sport after all!
We should have also had a penalty when Bellerin went down but it wasn’t given and the referee’s day went from bad to worse.
Newcastle also along with many other teams played defensively and we dominated the possession as always. This was really helped when Newcastle’s new striker signing Mitrovic who had a reputation for being controversial got himself a straight red card for a tackle on Coquelin. It was quite harsh from the referee but I have seen them given and he did go in with his studs.
This meant that Newcastle were down to 10 men and so defended even more as a result. A lot of people say that it is sometimes harder to play against 10 men because they work even harder as a team.
Walcott missed a few chances showing his inexperience up front but at least he got in the right positions. But other than that we didn’t have many clear cut chances. The 1st half ended 0-0 as a result.
We did eventually get the opening goal in the 2nd half and it was another own goal (who is our top goal scorer so far this season with 2!) It was deflected in from Chamberlain’s shot and it relieved a lot of pressure off us and made Newcastle have to go for it a bit more.
We couldn’t manage to get a second goal though somehow with Giroud missing a great chance right at the end and Newcastle did play very well considering they had 10 men for the majority of the game.
1-0 to the Arsenal is a familiar song for older Arsenal fans and it does the job. It was another 3 points away from home and now all we need to do is start playing better at home and we could have a great season. We also need to take our chances a lot more than we have done so far as we have created the most out of any team with the worst efficiency.
It was also good to win because of the international break this coming weekend so the team can relax a bit and not have to worry about bouncing back like Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United will have to do!
Now all the attention is on transfers and I do think that we really need another striker at least especially as we get so many injuries. Cavani is being linked the most along with many other strikers and he would be good but will it be him or someone else that no one expects?
Are we going to sign anyone before the deadline at 6pm on tuesday?