It may have taken only four disastrous days to undo much of a season’s good work. Arsenal could have sealed a spot in next year Champions League Thursday. Two games, two losses and a six-point swing at Tottenham later and the Europa League beckons instead. Their longest trip this campaign proved among the depressing, a deserved loss to Newcastle, leaving Arsenal dependent on an ill-fated Norwich side for a favor on Sunday if they are to have any chance of leapfrogging their neighbours.
Their exile from the European elite looks set to last for a sixth season. They seized the fifth place from the jaws of the fourth. Instead of a groundbreaking campaign, it looks like a mixed success that, right now, may look like a failure.
An opportunity was squandered amid five defeats in nine games, the concession of five goals in two games and two appalling displays. A self-defeating streak was symbolized by a goalscorer in their last setback. Arsenal can beat Arsenal and, just as Newcastle deserved victory and the exceptional Bruno Guimaraes justified his decisive strike, the finishing touch for their opener came from a visiting player. Ben White have been unlucky, but too often Arsenal have been the architect of their own downfall. They are now two points behind Spurs, with further reason to rush the North London derby on Thursday.
Arsenal had left White unused at Tottenham, even finishing with Granit Xhaka in place of centre-back, to save him for St James’ Park. And while that decision seemed justified when he showed his solidity as Arsenal were under pressure in the first half and nearly knocked out his own line of Miguel Almiron and Callum Wilson, his return had unintended consequences. . He beat Aaron Ramsdale, Arsenal’s £50million centre-back for Newcastle.
Joelinton surged clear to the left, with Mohamed Elneny in distant pursuit, to cross. Wilson tried to apply the finishing touches. White did it for him. He came close to a second own goal later on, but he didn’t feel like the guiltiest defender. Cedric Soares was nowhere to be found when Joelinton cleared on the Newcastle left. Injuries have been a constant companion for Arsenal of late and the Portuguese were dropped after a poor showing on Thursday. But when Takehiro Tomiyasu limped off, Cedric was called up and, again, Arsenal looked to be lacking in strength through depth.
They had won 18 of their previous 19 games against Newcastle, but it soon became apparent that history was of no help. Arsenal were parked unable to enter the final third and looking like underdogs as Eddie Howewere dominant. Newcastle had two-thirds possession in a dominating display in the first half. Ramsdale got off to a nervous start, almost giving Miguel Almiron a goal and foul when White had to clear an effort from Wilson off the line, but he excelled to parry a shot from Allan Saint-Maximum, after a run in single barn.
Yet other opportunities presented themselves after the break, with Arsenal showing a belated acknowledgment of their need to win in the opener. They ended up looking ragged and dilapidated, with the shorthanded White the only member of the four starting backs left on the pitch as Nuno Tavares and then Gabriel Magalhaes were sacrificed to bring forwards.
The inevitable consequence was a second Newcastle goal, with Ramsdale parrying the ball away from Wilson only for Guimaraes to place the ball into the empty net. He was the classiest performer in the game, stroking the ball in midfield. A player Arsenal had shown interest in gave them reason to regret not buying him.
Newcastle should have sealed victory sooner. Wilson, who looked like a threat in his first start of 2022, skied a shot then came in excruciatingly close with a daring effort from 35 yards. Substitutes Ryan Fraser and Jacob Murphy combined when isolated against White, with Ramsdale needed to deny the Englishman.
Meanwhile, Arsenal are barely mounting a worthy attack. Mikel Arteta brought Emile Smith Rowe back into the squad but he was anonymous and withdrawn 40 minutes from time. Martin Odegaard was not much better and Eddie Nketiah lacked service. Only Bukayo Saka has hinted he can turn things around, but a theme of Arsenal’s season has been a failure to pick up points after falling behind. Newcastle was a two-part campaign: horrible at the start, great at the end. It was the eleventh win in 16 games and the biggest scalp to date for Howe. Newcastle can approach next season with optimism. Arsenal can start with a fixture list full of Thursday night matches wondering what might have been.
Newcastle vs Arsenal result: Premier League final score, goals and report
Source link Newcastle vs Arsenal result: Premier League final score, goals and report