Arsenal thrash struggling Newcastle to keep up pace in title race

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Arsenal thrash struggling Newcastle to keep up pace in title race
Arsenal's German midfielder #29 Kai Havertz (L) celebrates after scoring their second goal
Arsenal's German midfielder #29 Kai Havertz (L) celebrates after scoring their second goal
AFP
Arsenal continued their surge in the Premier League with a dominant 4-0 victory over Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium – making it six straight victories in the Premier League for the Gunners, who are now unbeaten in 12 H2H home league fixtures (W11, D1).

The intensity was as high as expected early on, following on from the controversy in the reverse fixture, and it was Arsenal on the front foot – pressing the Newcastle backline in their own half.

The Gunners continued the strong start as Bukayo Saka and Declan Rice both had shots saved from similar positions, with Loris Karius standing firm at his near post. The domination from the North London outfit was relentless and it paid off just after the quarter-hour mark.

Saka’s corner kick was headed goalwards by Gabriel Magalhaes and brilliantly saved by Karius, but just as Tino Livramento attempted to clear, it was diverted over the line by Sven Botman.

Loris Karius (R) saves this header from Arsenal's Brazilian defender #06 Gabriel Magalhaes (3L) in the build-up to an own-goal
AFP

Arsenal’s relentless one-way traffic was not stopping anytime soon as they doubled their lead just over five minutes later.

Jorginho, in an almost quarter-back style pass, picked out the run of Gabriel Martinelli, who ran across the Toon defence from left to right and pulled the ball back into the danger area where Kai Havertz was on hand to tap in. 

Eddie Howe was visibly irked by his side’s alarmingly poor performance, emphasised by the fact that the visitors had failed to register a shot in the opening 45 minutes.

To their credit, the Toon Army remained firmly behind their team as the Magpies made a much better start to the second half than the first. Nonetheless, their first effort on goal within four minutes of the restart was a tame one, with David Raya comfortably gathering Anthony Gordon’s effort.

Arsenal's English midfielder #07 Bukayo Saka celebrates after scoring their third goal
AFP

However, for all of their good work early on, Howe’s men were undone by a moment of individual brilliance by Saka, who twisted Livramento in and out before firing into the far corner.

And just like the first period, another Arsenal goal quickly followed – this time their 19th set-piece goal of the season – as Declan Rice’s corner kick was nodded in at the near post by Jakub Kiwior.

Arsenal's Polish defender #15 Jakub Kiwior (L) celebrates with Arsenal's English midfielder #41 Declan Rice (R) after scoring their fourth goal
AFP

Former Gunner Joe Willock netted a late consolation goal but a first defeat in six games was all but confirmed, prompting Howe to perhaps turn one eye toward the FA Cup tie against Blackburn Rovers coming up in midweek, with that their last chance of silverware.

Arsenal, on the other hand, strolled to victory through the final quarter-hour, leaving Mikel Arteta’s side sitting in third place, two points off league leaders Liverpool in an enthralling title race.

Match stats
Opta by Stats Perform

Flashscore Man of the Match: Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)

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