A Newcastle side full of fight, determination, and a will to win against a time-wasting, petulant, and pathetic Arsenal side. There was only one team that wanted it more, and it certainly wasn’t Arsenal.
A team's ethos and identity stem from the manager. Eddie Howe’s praises intense pressing, quality on the ball and a never-say-die attitude.
Arsenal? Whiny and sour, Mikel Arteta’s pathetic attitude has rubbed off on his players. Jorginho and Kai Havertz are prime examples—the latter was very, very lucky to stay on the pitch after a horrific challenge on Sean Longstaff.
It was a game of two well-drilled defenses which resulted in very few chances. The redemption arc of Jamaal Lascelles is great viewing and his performance against Arsenal was absolutely flawless; he won everything and topped off a brilliant few weeks for the skipper.
Injuries were the last thing Howe wanted. Jacob Murphy returned and began the game on the substitutes bench. He later came off it but damaged his shoulder again, requiring surgery. We likely see Murphy sidelined for around a month.
That wasn’t the only disappointment in what was a positive night for Newcastle. Dan Burn had a nasty fall and landed on his back. At this point we do not know the extent of his injury. Burn sat the whole of the second half on the bench as Tino Livramento replaced him, which saw Kieran Trippier move to left back for the first time while at NUFC.
The decisive moment came when Murphy’s shot span wide and was kept in play by Joe Willock, whose cross was flapped at by David Raya before being headed down by Joelinton for Gordon to turn home.
VAR had three attempts to disallow the goal: one for the ball going out of play, the second for a foul on Gabriel, and the third for a possible offside. All were inconclusive and the goal was eventually, correctly given.
Arsenal piled some late pressure on Newcastle but their defence stood tall and limited Arsenal to one shot on target. That shot was a comfortable catch for Nick Pope.
As time ticked towards the end of the game, my heart was beating out my chest. It was nervy, to say the least. The final whistle blew with relief and collective happiness at getting one over the whiniest team in the Premier League.
After the game, it was revealed that Bruno and Willock were subjected to racial abuse. Newcastle rightly released a statement condemning it. Arsenal released a statement backing Arteta’s temper tantrum.
It was another pathetic display from Arsenal who have lost a lot of respect from several people in the football world due to how they conducted themselves on Saturday night.
Did Howe whinge to the media when Newcastle were on the wrong end of numerous poor decisions last season? No. He showed class and continued to be measured whenever pressed by VAR and officials. Arsenal’s mask slipped on Saturday—they showed just how petulant they are.
The win for Newcastle closes the gap to fourth-placed Arsenal to four points. They face a tough trip to Dortmund on Tuesday night before another away trip to Howe’s old side Bournemouth before yet another international break.