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(Peter Nicholls/Reuters)

Arsenal continue unbeaten run with Newcastle rout

(Peter Nicholls/Reuters)

Two Premier League teams remain undefeated in 2020. One is obviously leaders and de facto champions Liverpool, the other is 10th place Arsenal. I know, it surprised the hell out of me too, but since Mikel Arteta took the reigns at the end of December they have looked a different side. Sunday’s 4-0 win over Newcastle was another example of that.

Both teams started the day on 31 points which tells you everything you need to know about Arsenal’s season so far, and after the first half the difference between the side was non existent. Arsenal were tight at the back, as they have been under Arteta, but lacked that final touch going forward. Newcastle were set up for a draw in the hopes of nicking a win as is often the case against bigger clubs.

Then the second half started and Arsenal dominated. Eddie Nketiah should have scored in the 51st minute but somehow managed to hit the bar from Pepe’s cut back in the box, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finally gave them the lead in the 54th minute.

For Arsenal, the attacking play of left back Bukayo Saka caused Newcastle all sorts of problems, his involvement in the second goal easily the moment of the game. With two Newcastle defenders watching him he nutmegged Valentino Lazaro before putting a low ball into the box for Nicolas Pépé to blast home for Arsenal’s second goal of the game in the 57th minute.

There were still enough moments to show the Arsenal of old (who leaked twelve goals in the eight games prior to Arteta’s arrival) were still lurking when Newcastle forward Allan Saint-Maximin seemed to just muscle his way onto the ball and hit the post from about 20 yards out. Ciaran Clark also had a decent chance to score for the Toon Army at 2-0 down but couldn’t direct his shot on target.

FIFA 20 Arsenal Career Mode: Episode 41

Late goals from Mesut Özil (unbelievably his first Premier League goal of the season) and Alexandre Lacazette padded out the score line and gave Arsenal their first win by a three or more goal margin since February 2019. With 12 games left Arsenal fans can continue to believe in Champions League football next season, especially given the recent Manchester City ruling.


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