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So, Newcastle’s unbeaten run comes to an end. Not with a bang, but a whimper. The relative safety provided by the nine point cushion over Fulham - after their loss to Chelsea yesterday - seemed to cause a lack of urgency and attacking potency; even with the reinstatement of the fabled front three. Not too many positive performances to talk about, however Wilson got 90 minutes under his belt and we may yet need him before the season comes to its’ end.
Thanks for tuning in, look out for all the usual post-match articles from the team and we’ll see you next week when Newcastle have another tough match at Champions League searching Leicester on Friday. For now, we’ll leave you with some reaction from the game!
Bruce on Sky Sports:— Arron | NUFC ⚫⚪ (@Concrete_NUFC) May 2, 2021
"We lost to the better team today"
"We found it hard at times to be honest with you"
"I couldn't fault the effort and endeavor"
"When I see tackles for red...all the things I want to see...be more aggressive...you can't tackle anyone anymore it seems"#NUFC
This lot have spent all week telling themselves how well they’ve done to ‘turn it around’ while they slipped to fourth bottom— Alex Hurst (@tfalex1892) May 2, 2021
They’re the perfect side with the perfect manager for this version of #nufc - happy do the bare minimum to scrape by and self congratulate along the way
Newcastle United look absolutely woeful.— Roberto Rojas (@RobertoRojas97) May 2, 2021
I'm not saying it's wrong what #MUFC fans have done , credit to them for protesting , but if it was #NUFC Protesting against Mike Ashley (which we have before) pundits all go "well , where do Newcastle fans think they should be"— James Smith (@Smithy95111) May 2, 2021
Double standards against #NUFC as always #MUNLIV
96mins: FULL TIME. Newcastle 0 - 2 Arsenal
95mins: Newcastle just playing damage limitation here, not pressuring, just happy to keep it to 2-0. Really poor decisions been made today from Mike Dean and his officials all game long. Would not be surprised to see the red overturned.
94mins: Not many positives to take from this game. Wilson managing 90minutes maybe?
92mins: Martinellli stays down for a good three minutes. Still not a red.
90mins: STRAIGHT RED CARD. Rash challenge by Schar from behind that catches Martinelli. No need for the tackle, no pressure on Newcastle’s goal but he makes the tackle anyway. Was never a red card, but VAR decide it’s not a clear and obvious wrong decision so it stands.
Four minutes added on.
88mins- who’s been one of Newcastle’s best players - gets another good ball in that Wilson battles for, but it’s well gathered by Ryan. Lots of bodies in the box for Newcastle, but everything finding a red head.
86mins: Arsenal pushing high up the pitch, trying to force an issue at the back. Newcastle just can’t find their way past the Arsenal defence. Matty Ryan has been pretty much untested all night.
85mins: Substitutions: Clark off for Gayle as Bruce throws players forward.
Odegaard given a rest by Arteta as Thomas Partey comes in to help shore up the midfield.
84mins: Newcastle really pushing bodies forward now. Dummett and Ritchie pushing up on the left. Saint-Maximin hits an effort from about 30yards out, some say it’s still rising.
82mins: Lots of passing the ball about at the back. Not much else to report on. Change needed.
80mins: Quick free kick releases Murphy who does well to initially find Joelinton who tees up Shelvey from outside the box, but his effort is cleared before Wilson is incorrectly deemed offside by the linesman. Pretty sure he’s not supposed to flag close ones he’s not sure of.
78mins: Don’t like to say it, but Newcastle have looked poor today. Really poor. Second best all game.
76mins: Substitution - Aubameyang is off for Pepe. He’s not looked too bad recently, still not £70odd million mind!
74mins: Arsenal already looking to just game manage here. Passing it around at the back and being patient. There’s no Willock in the squad today (with him being an Arsenal player) and I’d love to see Bruce throw Anderson a spell in that role...we’ll see.
72mins: Double Substitution - Almiron off for Joelinton. Not Miggy’s best game. Hopefully Big Joe can continue his home goalscoring form.
Fabian Schar back in to the Senior side as he replaces Fernandez.
70mins: Arsenal’s counter and quick break now looking dangerous. Some tired legs out there for the Toon and Joelinton looks set to come on.
Also a little update from the U-23s who kicked off at the same time; they’re 1-0 down to Aston Villa U-23s.
68mins: Newcastle need to stay calm and composed, but instead Murphy rushes a cross and then Fernandez puts an attempted backpass from just inside the Newcastle half out for a corner!?
66mins: GOAL. Newcastle 0 - 2 Arsenal. Aubameyang. After a bit of a scramble in front of the Toon box, the ball falls to Martinelli who puts a great ball in thats met at the back post by Aubameyang on the volley,
65mins: Long ball up to Almiron is controlled extremely well. He pulls it back to Saint-Maximin about 30 yards out
64mins: Odegaard puts a cute ball in that Gabriel meets after running from deep, but the header goes way over. Saint-Maximin having to drop into the Newcastle half now to try and get on the ball more.
62mins: Xhaka caught on the top of the foot by Fernandez on the left of the box where Arsenal have a free-kick in a dangerous area. Late from Fernandez there and Arsenal - who haven’t exactly been dangerous this half have a chance.
60mins: Saint-Maximin again looks Newcastle’s best attacking option. Running well but the final ball is eluding the Magpies at the moment. Wilson flies in on Gabriel, probably winning the ball, but Mike Dean gives another Arsenal free-kick.
Couple of down minutes have meant i’ve seen all the shenanigans from over in Manchester. Jeez. Fans have got in the ground and were on the pitch. Hundreds if not thousands of Manchester United fans outside Old Trafford protesting the Glazers.
58mins: Arsenal get forward now. United defend well but Ceballos’ through ball is deflected on its’ way out for a corner. Willian’s corner goes way, way past everyone and directly out for a Toon throw.
56mins: Xhaka could probably be off. Blatant foul on Longstaff. Sean plays the ball away and then Xhaka steps across and completely body checks him to the ground. Newcastle throwing players forward now. ASM does well down the wing but can’t find a target in the box. The ball falls to Murphy who steps inside onto his left but can’t find the right ball in either.
54mins: Longstaff spreads the ball wide to Ritchie well, who then puts a fantastic early cross in towards Wilson again and wins a corner. Ritchie goes and delivers an inswinger from the right but Fernandez can’t connect well. Shelvey then pumps the ball back in to the box but it’s easily claimed by the keeper.
52mins: Substitution - First change of the game, as Luiz limps off and is to be replaced by Calum Chambers at the back.
51mins: Unsurprisingly, another Arsenal player throws themselves to the ground under minimal contact. Wilson almost away as he attempts to battle Gabriel on the edge of the box, but after Ryan stays on his line, Gabriel goes down after a brush of his arm from Wilson. David Luiz then pulls up after attempting another long ball. Looks like his hammy has gone.
49mins: United keeping a high line, forcing the Gunners to look over the top over and over again. The latest opportunity goes out to Dubravka.
47mins: Newcastle definitely look more up for the game this second half. Again though, Longstaff looking over eager and giving a soft foul away.
45mins: Back under way.
Newcastle outplayed in the first half are perhaps lucky to only be 1-0 down, but a side who often leave it late to perform will have every shot. Almiron and Xhaka are playing dangerous games having given a few fouls away on yellow cards. The Toon will be hoping to being Saint-Maximin in to the game more and Wilson will be crying out for better service in the second half.
STAT: Newcastle have scored 67% of their Premier League goals in the second half of games this season, leading the league.
See you in the second half.
45(+2)mins: End of the first half. Newcastle looking rather toothless going forward. Fortunately, they have a good record of goals in the second half.
45(+1)mins: Aubameyang goes down after Fernandez breathes on his back. Freekick just inside the Newcastle half but leads to nothing.
45mins: Ritchie’s outswinger from the left corner finds Wilson, but his header is over and wide. Two minutes added on.
44mins: Willian and Odegaard over the ball, Odegaard hits the wall with his effort and Newcastle clear their lines well. Ritchie plays a lovely direct through ball to release Miggy who attempts to cross, but is blocked for a corner.
42mins: Longstaff breaks forward with Wilson for support on the left and ASM on the right. He picks out Wilson, but he falls on the ball and ends a potential good attack. Almiron then trips Odegaard about 30 yards out, center of the box. Free-kick Arsenal.
40mins: Good ball up from the back releases Wilson, but with no support it quickly ends back with Fernandez. Newcastle struggling to create clear cut opportunities or get Saint-Maximin involved more.
38mins: Lots of sidewards passing now, both teams almost having a breather.
36mins: Luiz again gets his head to a corner but Dubravka able to claim the loose ball. Shelvey and Longstaff getting overrun in the middle of the park here, Bruce should be having a think about the bench if this carries on.
34mins: The Magpies back in their shell a little bit, inviting pressure. Looks like Longstaff is playing quite forward with the front three. Arsenal are a threat from a corner again. Willian to Luiz this time and Wilson required to do his defensive duties to clear the ball.
32mins: Almiron given a yellow card for running past Ceballos. 4 out of 5 for Ceballos’ rolling around afterwards though, Tom Daley would be proud. Martinelli does well on the right to get past Murphy and finds Ceballos in the box but he messes up his shot.
30mins: Xhaka hits a shot from outside the box forcing a flying save from Dubravka. Corner from Arsenal finds Elneny who gets a good header on it and Almiron is needed to head it off the line to prevent Newcastle going 2-0 down.
28mins: The Toon looking the better side here, Arsenal struggling to pick up the movement between Almiron and Saint-Maximin. Ritchie getting forward a lot more and sends a couple of deep crosses, but unable to find their target.
26mins: Murphy does really well defensively to keep up with and dispossess Martinelli before the back line play around with it at the back. Ritchie plays a risky forward pass to Almiron who takes it well before nut-megging Elneny and getting fouled for his efforts.
24mins: The game has become quite messy, both teams sitting fairly deep and hoping to get quick counters or long balls over the top.
22mins: Shelvey with the delivery from the right hand side was again too easy for Arsenal to clear. Xhaka received a yellow for that. Murphy and Saint-Maximin should be licking their lips at the prospect of drawing another foul. Xhaka loves a red.
20mins: Corner was too close to the keeper who punches clear. Looking back on that Saint-Maximin shot he appeared to kick it into his standing leg causing it to bobble up and nearly over Ryan. Xhaka then takes Saint-Maximin out cynically after a lovely bit of skill to go around him.
18mins: United much more patient in their approach, finally getting their foot on the ball, but Shelvey tries to force the issue with a long ball that is intercepted. Ritchie gets it back on the left, pulls it back and Saint-Maximin wriggles free and shoots which needs a save from Ryan. Corner Newcastle.
16mins: Murphy then finds himself half a yard on the right, but his cross is hit over the keeper’s bar. Matty Ryan in goal between the sticks for Arsenal after Leno’s howler against Villareal in the week.
14mins: The Magpies being pinned in, but Wilson being used well as an outlet who finds Saint-Maximin who is fouled. Almiron struggling to have any say on the game so far.
12mins: Foul on Wilson gives Newcastle a freekick just inside the Arsenal half, taken by Ritchie and glanced onwards by Fernandez. Arsenal appear set up to counter at pace.
10mins: United being dominated, look very unenergetic after the initial high press. Bellerin has an attempt from outside the box that nearly goes out for a throw.
8mins: Newcastle’s first attack comes from a positive twisty run from Saint-Maximin who finds Ritchie on the left who puts a good ball in, but it’s well claimed by the Arsenal keeper.
5mins: GOAL. Mohamed Elneny scores a volley from inside the center of the box. Luiz set Bellerin free on the right - after running straight past Ritchie - and put a good cross in towards Aubamayeng who makes a mess of the shot, but it falls to Elneny who volleys in. Dubravka got a hand and will feel he could have done better, Longstaff failed to close the effort down.
4mins: First shot comes from Gabriel, about 30 yards out, but is blocked almost immediately by Shelvey. Little to talk about so far.
STAT: Newcastle have only won ONE in their last NINETEEN fixtures against Arsenal.
2mins: Newcastle start with a high press before Longstaff gives a freekick away after being over eager.
Kick-off: Saint-Maximin gets the game under way for Newcastle.
The players take a knee in the ongoing fight for an equal society, in fighting against all forms of discrimination as Premier League sides say NoRoomForRacism.
Confirmed Team News
Newcastle named just the one change to the side that started against Liverpool, with main striker Wilson regaining his spot at the expense of Joelinton. United’s savior against Liverpool, Joe Willock, is unavailable this week due to being an Arsenal player; something Bruce - among others - hopes will have changed by the start of next season.
Fabian Schar was among contention to start after getting some minutes for the U-23s last week, but finds himself on the bench, along with his teammate from that game, Elliot Anderson who will be hoping for some more game time after making his PL debut against the Gunners earlier in the season.
Newcastle Starting XI:
Ritchie, Dummett, Fernandez, Clark, Dummett
Shelvey, Longstaff, Almiron
Gillespie, Schar, Carroll, Gayle, Wilson, Lewis, Anderson, Hendrick, Krafth, Longstaff
Be sure to check out Abi’s fantastic preview of the game for Coming Home Newcastle over here!
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