Report: Newcastle 0-1 Arsenal


Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Flamini, Rosicky, Wilshere, Walcott, Cazorla, Giroud

Subs: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Arteta, Ryo, Bendtner, Gnabry, Podolski

Olivier Giroud was Arsenal’s hero as the Gunners secured a second win in three days on the road with a hard-fought 1-0 result at Newcastle United. The Frenchman headed home a Theo Walcott free-kick to break the deadlock just past the hour mark and Arsene Wenger’s side soaked up sustained pressure late on to cling on to a vital victory.

Arsenal began the game knocking the ball about confidently. On three occasions inside the first six minutes Kieran Gibbs nipped behind the Newcastle defence on the left but on each occasion his pass failed to pick out a player in red.

Off the ball Wilshere, Rosicky and Flamini were quick to close down in midfield forcing Newcastle to rush their passing although the home side did nearly find a direct route through our back four with a long ball which caught Kieran Gibbs napping. Only Mathieu Debuchy’s failure to control the pass meant we escaped a dangerous situation.

As the momentum ebbed and flowed Newcastle had the first effort on target, a header by Sissoko on 16 minutes, before Wilshere fired over six minutes later with Arsenal’s first shot in anger. From similar positions just outside the box both Rosicky and Cazorla hit left foot efforts straight at Krul. Giroud then tried to repeat the trick with a curler of his own but his effort went wide just after the half hour mark.

The Frenchman had previously required treatment on his ankle following a nasty challenge from Williamson who’d slid into the back of our striker as we looked to break. Referee Lee Probert deemed it a fair tackle although replays showed it definitely deserved a yellow card.

Giroud was in the wars again four minutes later when he appeared to turn his right ankle challenging Tiote. More treatment was needed and to add insult to the injury he also got a booking for the foul. Unbelievably, Tiote continued to escape the referee’s book despite taking out Flamini and catching Walcott with his arm in quick succession.

Szczesny was called into action in injury-time of the first period as Sissoko crashed a rocket from 25-yards which required the Pole to tip over and from the resulting corner Debuchy’s looped header clipped the bar. The two efforts were the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock in a tight and fraught opening 45 minutes.

The home side picked up where they left off at the start of the second period, snapping into challenges and denying us anytime to settle on the ball. We were left shooting from range, Flamini had one particularly wild effort, or attempting ambitious balls into the box which were met by nothing but thin air or Tim Krul.

On 64 minutes we finally broke the deadlock. Tiote fouled Cazorla about 40-yards from goal and from the resulting freekick Theo Walcott whipped in a curling effort to the penalty spot which Giroud glanced past Krul. The French striker looked relieved to have broken his drought, it was his first goal in seven games and he was mobbed by his teammates.

Giroud had a golden chance to double the lead within four minutes. Cazorla fed Wilshere who quickly slipped in Walcott. Bearing down on goal, the England man’s initial effort was blocked by the grounded Krul but when the ball came back to him he looped an effort goalwards which required Debuchy (?) to clear off the line. With the goal gaping and the rebound dropping at his feet just yards out Giroud snatched at his effort and the chance was gone.

Mikel Arteta was sent on for Kieran Gibbs, who presumably had a problem, and Flamini went to left-back. In response Ameobi came on for Anita, the home side having already sent Ben Arfa on for Gouffran, as Alan Pardew looked to rescue the game with 16 minutes remaining.

Flamini picked up his sixth booking of the campaign for a foul on Ben Arfa, Rosicky joined him in the book for a challenge on Cabaye. Massadio Haidara came on for Sissoko, before Wenger settled on a 3-5-2 formation removing Walcott and sending on Jenkinson. Sagna moved into the middle alongside Mertesacker and Koscielny who were both having terrific games.

With nine minutes remaining Szczesny got let off the hook big time. Dilly-dallying over a back pass from Flamini the Pole hammered his clearance straight at Loic Remy and watched helplessly as the rebound rolled inches wide of his goal. After his mistake at West Ham it was another rocky moment for the club’s number one.

Giroud was replaced by Bendtner with five minutes left as attack after attack was mounted by the home side. It was real backs to the wall stuff as we just hoofed the ball clear whenever possible and tried to wind down the clock.

Despite an absolute barrage in the closing moments the Gunners managed to cling on to victory returning themselves to top spot in the Premier League. It wasn’t a pretty game, but it is a massive three points. The type of game which makes potential champions.

Happy New Year everybody.


  1. Wow, those last 15 minutes were scary – great resiliance – you shall not pass. Pleased to see Giroud get his goal, but he does need a rest. I thought we might have seen Monreal?

    Thumb up 39 Thumb down 4

  2. Thankfully it didn’t hurt us. But man Jenkinson needs to have some fucking awareness, how was he not aware that Krul was scrambling back and Bendtner was alone?

    Thumb up 140 Thumb down 3

    • So frustrating….quick throw in to bendtner and he could have scored the second goal with Krul being so far away from his own goal.

      Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

      • Not a dig at him by the way! Light-hearted harmless humour is a good way of reducing stress for survivors of heart attacks, of whom there are many here…

        Thumb up 33 Thumb down 1

    • The miss by giroud was worse as for Bendtner when the sun is up, calm weather and bendtner is infront of the goal alone with the keeper….thats still not a clear goal scoring opportunity

      Thumb up 7 Thumb down 16

  3. Massive win. The stuff of champions.

    Ollie’s goal very reminiscent of Smudger at Anfield ’89.

    And if Sagna decides to call it day we could do a lot worse than Debuchey.

    Thumb up 75 Thumb down 1

        • I dunno, good going forwards no doubt but he’s not great defensively from what I’ve seen (mostly going by his run a year ago than his current play, admittedly) so I’d rather get someone with a little more top level experience to mentor Jenks further; teaching him that a striker can’t be offside from a throw in, for example.

          If he were a little younger and Jenks a little older, I’d see him as a good young backup but not sure as it is.

          Thumb up 2 Thumb down 12

    • I hope to god Sagna stays, but if it comes to it I would take Coleman over Debuchy because Debuchy is already 28 and we would have the same problem in a couple of years…plus Coleman can score some cracking goals1

      Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

    • Overall I think that Debuchy was man of the match, but from Arsenal it was Rosicky. At 94 minutes he was scampering and pressing near the Newcastle box to slow down Newcastle advancing up the field. Special mentions to Flamini, Mertesacker and Sagna.

      Thumb up 38 Thumb down 3

      • Mertercielny axis was a rock today dealt well with all those arial balls. Massive massive shift by them. Arsenal 2013/2014 EPL champions.

        Thumb up 28 Thumb down 1

  4. I am happppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp0pppppppppppppppppppppyyyyyyyyyyyyyyytyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy! yay! top of da league…where them bitching haters at now?

    Thumb up 25 Thumb down 2

    • Not sure if I agree, although I thumbed up your sentiment … I was particularly pleased with the 1-0 over the Scum, particularly since they’d outspent 110 million to zero at that point. Loved the chant at the end of that match – “We spent fuck all and it’s still one nil!”

      Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  5. Love seeing Rocky running around with 100% intensity right up til the last minute. Didn’t let up an ounce of energy for the entire game.

    Thumb up 64 Thumb down 1

  6. Who would have thought on August 18th that we would be TOP OF THE LEAGUE by years end!
    In a game that lacked any real goal mouth action to come away with the 3 points is sensational. Credit to Giroud, while he can be frustrating at times he just keeps on given 100%. The back four again rock solid and in those final 15 minuets the team really showed unity and fight. Onwards and Upwards!

    Thumb up 66 Thumb down 0

  7. So lemme get this straight this was the last game of the season eh? have we won the league? and are newcastle relegated?

    what a football match!

    Thumb up 8 Thumb down 7

  8. Great win.

    I think the whole debate about Arsenal’s title credentials this season stem from the fact that both sides have a good case. Those who say we will win the league, have a good case. Those who say we won’t, have a good case. Personally, at this precise moment of the season and despite two great away wins, I am tempted to fall down on the side of “we won’t win the league” simply because I think there is one better squad than us that seems to have clicked and is getting the results to match aka man city.

    However… What nudges me closer to the other side of the debate is the fact that they have pretty much all of the big teams to play AWAY in the second half of the season. So if we can trump the likes of boring Chelsea, one-man Liverpool, and a resurgent United, which I think we will, then I’d say we have pretty much a 50% chance of pipping city and winning the league.

    Of course, the bookies, pundits and neutrals won’t agree with those odds, but they don’t know Arsenal like we do. They don’t watch, analyse, discuss and deliberate over every minute of Arsenal football like we do. And they don’t see the differences in our side this season to the same extent we do.

    So my point is, those who convince themselves that arsenal will win the league are wrong to do so, as are those who take the opposite position. What I have convinced myself about is that we can expect at least a 2nd placed finish, which we can’t really complain about. In fact we should praise it hugely.

    So either way, gooners, be happy and excited about our season. But in terms of the title race, sit firmly on the fence and let it all unfold

    Thumb up 26 Thumb down 4

    • Of course Wenger could drop 32 mill plus on Costa, and a combined 30 million on a good defender and midfielder and your statement could be almost guaranteed…otherwise the team needs to stay healthy all season long. Either way, if your point is we are punching higher than last season I agree with you. I’d just rather we fucking go for it. It meaning titles and trophies.

      Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

    • I think what’s impressed me most about the last month is that quite clearly, Arsenal have not quite clicked, far from their fluent best (and all the pundits agree on that, for once), yet we’ve ground out some good results (draws against Everton and Chelsea could well look like good results by the end of the season), should have had more goals (eg at Man City), and finished the year still on top of the League and in the knockout stage of the ECL.

      And with two of last season’s top three strikers (Walcott and Podolski) just coming back to fitness after missing most of the last few months’ games, the future looks bright.

      Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  9. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated Thumb up 4 Thumb down 129

  10. Sagna, Rosicky and Flamini played really well today in my opinion. Great match, and those 3 points feel extra good because of that insane last leg of the match as well as the fact that we are on top of the league through 2013!

    Thumb up 24 Thumb down 1

    • Well we’re not putting him on when we’re not attacking at all, the reason for bendtner is because he’s the same build/height as giroud so we can rest the jaded giroud and replace him with someone who can replicate his defending at set pieces.

      Would have liked to see pod on today but in all honesty, it just wouldn’t have made any sense

      Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  11. Great team win. The team was focused on winning and getting the three points. We are inching closer and closer to the title. Im almost tempted to camp out somewhere along the route where Arsenal are gonna parade the Trophies, just so that im sure my spot is reserved.


    Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2


    Evidently my extensive letter writing campaign to Arsene to get him to reinstate Parky back into the starting line up has failed. I am dismayed. Forsooth, I do declare that we will not win the league unless we play Park. Did anyone see the incredible goal he scored for the U9s in midweek? Fucking incredible, scored a belter from the halfway line a whole 10 yards out! If he can do it at that level, then he should be starting for the first team, week in week out.

    Finally, I’ve heard El Hadjj Diouf might be available in January. What a signing that would be, as back up to Park up front. Come on Wenger, he could be our Hernandez, nick a goal or two to win us the league. Peace out fellow Arsebloggians

    Thumb up 32 Thumb down 31

  13. I loved it when Newcastle were committing fouls and the ref was letting it go; Flamini kicked the Fuck out off Ben Arfa when they didn’t give the ball back and Rosicky went in hard on Cabaye and told Tiote to Fuck off.
    Great to see the players standing up for each other.

    Thumb up 52 Thumb down 2

  14. Arsene should had played santi in the middle, with jack & flamini behind him, walcot and Rosický on the wings. we was seriously lucky today. thank god for the double act in CM . brilliant performance kos and mert.

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 12

  15. Anybody who says we’re not title contenders after today is a twat, I’m talking about you Alan Hansen. Guess he won’t be motd tonight,never seems to be on when we win. Great resilience today when we were not at our best against a very organized Newcastle

    Thumb up 32 Thumb down 1

  16. Missing our Captain and two of our best players.. We won at The Toon to go top of the league in the last round of games for the year.
    Ladies and Gentlemen, we could do amazing things this season

    Thumb up 27 Thumb down 1

  17. The season is only half over but Arsenal were top of the league for most of it and it’s giving mr a feeling that im just not used to. A good feeling, but, man, what is this…

    Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

    • like 1 mistake, and we still won, he came on to help us hang on, we did hang on, he allowed less space between defenders, allowing us to win more headers, and when we can get in shape we have a ‘winger’ able to track and tackle. he did what was asked for me.

      Thumb up 18 Thumb down 2

  18. I’m utterly confused by what went on over that last 15 or so minutes. It was as if we were playing with the mindset we only has 10 men. Playing to maintain the one nil lead is one thing, but to completely give up on our football was foolish. This could have easily ended in disaster, and on other occasions it likely will. These types of formations are best used with a few mins left in the match. We play possession football and this proves we are very shaky at the other game. I’m just relieved for the win, but really disappointed how we approached that finale.

    Thumb up 13 Thumb down 11

    • And Wenger would have put in Verm and Monreal too if that was possible. It is a tactic we have seen quite often since late last season and I don’t think it has backfired in all that time. It’s not good on the heart but it works on the scoresheet.

      Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  19. When Szczesny hit remy in the face with ‘that’ clearance…my ass…super clench…you know what I mean?

    Taking off Walcott instead of Rosicky was a bit suspect but I guess the reasoning is that Theo loses possession or scores while TR7 keeps it a bit better and can draw fouls. A risky move from the boss but we were doing the rope-a-dope in the last few with absolutely no forward thinking outball. Jenkinson in particular, his first thought is to stay the fuck back and rightly so.

    This is the mark of champions guys and gals. Grind it out and LOCK DOWN!!! when we have to, Newcastle have lost how many at home this season? this one? They are no mugs as we all know to well from last seasons close, we don’t need naivety around the place saying we can smash em by 5 or 6 goals. We need to get the result first and we did, there are plenty of opportunities to rack up our goal difference next year.

    Thumb up 24 Thumb down 2

  20. Average performance but great win..Giroud shows his best and worse, scoring a good goal but then missing a sitter…back four brilliant, especially Kos and Mert.. Szcz nearly blew it with a fucking stupid goal kick…boring, negative newcastle got exactly what they deserved: Pardew must have watched the Chelsea game and decided he could do the same as maureen…Wilshere dreadful again, looks to have completely lost his way…Arteta poor when he came on…Walcott should have stayed on, would probably have got a goal on the break…top of the league at the end of the front nine but lots of hard work ahead.

    Thumb up 18 Thumb down 32

    • Actually it’s games like this one that are making me believe in this team this year. This is precisely the kind of game we would have squander in the dying minutes in previous seasons.

      COYGs we can actually do this!

      Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  21. Great performance. Rosicky my MOTM, sweated blood for the cause. Good to see Giroud score, Wenger should now give him some rest. Solid performance by Mertesacker as well, how many aerial battles did he win? I thought Debuchy gave our left side a hard time. I think a Gibs/Poldi left is a better option. COYG, TOP OF THE LEAGUE. Who would have thought

    Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  22. Really poor performance. Let’s hope we keep squeezing out three points because we’ve not played well for a month or two now. This form will never win us anything. Thought Jack manned up a bit today. God, he’s been awful in recent weeks. Not at all convinced.

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 27

  23. How we manage to get 3 yellow cards while Newcastle didn’t get one single card is absurd. Anyway, shit referee but we won so fuck him.

    Thumb up 31 Thumb down 1

  24. Fatgooner comments. Agree bar Wilshere. He was better than before his ban. Theo was perfect to hurt them at 1-0. We are very sound defensively though. And yes Pardew must have watched the Chelsea game. Just shows how we could easily have nicked that one too. Giroud had a very poor game but a precious goal…,

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

    • I think people are forgetting something rather vital. We played well for the most part of the game but in the latter half of the second half, after being kicked all over the sodding park, the lads started to wain. It’s also difficult regardless of who you are to keep pushing to the extreme when it appears that the referee is doing everything he can to help the opposition.

      I reckon a fairly alreight performance barring the odd moment of stupidity from a goalkeeper or a missed sitter here and there. Don’t really understand not bringing Poldi on though unless it was to protect him from being kicked to shit.

      Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  25. I was very unhappy with the draw against Everton, felt title chasers would win that. However today I am equally delighted in the opposite direction. Only a genuine title contender would have won three points today. Everyone else lose or draw, especially given how food Newcastle have been off late. Brilliant.

    Now just keep the fot on the pedal when facing Cardiff, and keep building a lead. City have had it too easy, all their rivals they have faced at home, except Chelsea, so they are going to draw lots of points and generally away from the ettihad they have been shit.

    Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  26. Cannot believe the crap on here about poor performances. That was ok apart from perhaps an overly defensive last 10. Newcastle are no mugs, this is a tight league and we are not fucking Barcelona of a few years ago….

    Thumb up 32 Thumb down 1

  27. I saw the shape of the team when they were moving back to defend, looked like a 5-1-3-1. It’s always interesting to see Wenger put on a different hat every once in awhile.

    But, clean sheet and TOP OF THE LEAGUEEEEE

    Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  28. this was a champions-performance. away, during a period of a lot of games, against an in-form team around the 5-8 area in the table. if you can fight through injuries, fatigue and ilness to win those games, you’ve come a long way towards the title.

    who cares about the performance? idiots. three points is EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING in these kinds of games. and nothing else matters *drums kick in*

    Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

  29. Its good that we are winning these gritty matches, but we need to show more superiority and attacking threat if we want to win the title..we have our defense to thank for this win, we didn’t really threaten them too much in the final third…may be we depend too much on Ramsey for creativity…..but yayy! We’re top of the league!

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  30. Great win, not an easy place to get three points but we do look more capable now of closing out games (with a bit of good fortune thrown in). Good to see Giroud back on the score sheet again, but let’s get Pod in the game against Cardiff – that’s one where we can hopefully turn on the style and score a few to improve our GD.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  31. For the first time, in so many years, I watched the game calmly and found that Arsenal were the better team on the pitch, they too kept their cool and got the result. I think, staying calm and doing what they are there to do, that is play football, Wenger’s way, who is a genius, by the way, should take us a long way into the title race.

    No fear


    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  32. I’m be more troubled by the refs now more than our opponents. Quite how Tiote, Santon and Debuchy didn’t picked up bookings is seriously beyond me. Tasty and lovely three point with a commanding performance bar the last ten minutes. Chelshit lost there and they tear manure a new one at Old Toilet. Onwards, upwards gunners. COYGs!

    Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

    • Your arithmetic is exactly correct. 82 points from 32 matches, top of the league for 2013. Not sure if its actually all your arithmetic though, as BBC pointed out before the match that we had 79 points from 37 matches and couldn’t be caught even if we lost …

      Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

      • While I don’t imagine I am the first to add together the two half season’s – I can attest that the BBC is not widely available here in Saskatchewan.

        Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  33. Quite a thriller of a game. Still think we need a good finisher up front. Giroud and podolski ain’t enuf is not enuf. Gr8 spirit n resilience…go get d trophy guys!

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  34. Pellegrini, post Palace, said Citeh are mixing it up like champions. The Arsenal are, for the first time in a long time, also getting these results.

    I would love to see these pundits eating their words come the end of the season.

    Up the Arse!

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  35. Does anyone know why TVM does not even make the bench? I am sure he is a lot more useful than say Miyachi, given that we already have Gnarby on it.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  36. Cross bar incident apart, thought we bossed it for most parts before the final 10 minutes. We were not at our most fluid and they pressed us high but we got around them on a number of occasions by bypassing their first line only to not complete a final pass quickly enough.

    Then Gibbs had to come off (most worrying) and Wenger oddly opted for Flamini to shackle ben Afra on the left. not sure what that says about Monreal.

    Instead of leaving Walcott on who could have provided us an outlet on the break thereby relieving us of any pressure they may have felt compelled to attempt to pile on, we invited them IMO too deeply into our half in an approach somewhat reminescent of Napoli.

    I would have rather taken off Giroud for Arteta than Theo.

    Or we could have at very least added Podolski for Santi and had him add extra cover for Flamini (or Monreal) on the left, whilst affording us a counter threat.

    Again I thought we lived dangerously in the last 10 minutes where perhaps it could have been better managed.

    Even when they threw up Ameobe and then haidara, I thought we would have coped comfortably maybe with Arteta and Flamini in the middle offering a bit of help to either fullback.

    Sitting deep does not suit us and against a better team (Napoli) we would have been punished.

    We need to keep a creditable offensive threat even when defending a slender lead. Speed on the apex at the break is a keen thing.

    + We must also learn that every time we have to defend a set piece, it is an opportunity for us to launch an attack and take them on the counter.

    Where we had a quicker threat with henry in past times, Giroud is a different beast. But Walcott is an equally fast pace asset we should exploit in these situations along possiblyin tandem with podolski.

    The crux of the issue was brought into focus when jenkinson (correctly) pursued the ball with krull scrambling back to his goal. But instead of being aware of Betnder’s position, he opted to slow the game down (incorrect).

    This is the exact sort of situation that henry and Pires would have been quick to exploit.

    simply put, we (Wenger) did us no service trying to play too conservative in the final 10.

    We need to keep that speed up top as an outlet to relieve pressure of the back line. If we continue to invite teams in sitting deeper in our lines, sooner than later, we will get punished.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

    • Boy why bother with Steve and Wenger when we have you.

      If you are right there on the training pitch all the players will master all the “should(s)” you call out week after week.

      If we have you mind controlling Wenger, tactical ineptness will be cured over night. We will win every match and grind our opponents into dust.

      Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  37. In contrast to others, I think we played very bad.
    Arsenal doesnt play that attractive football anymore. We pass the ball in our 1/3 and dont risk to pass the ball further than that. And we end up loosing the ball in our third and concede goal.. We were lucky today. Wilshere was the only player who had that forward mentality but now he lost it compeletly. Wenger is a great manager but like Jürgen Klopp said he plays like a orchestra in contrast to him. He likes to make it ‘boom’ and thats how I and ai think every fan want their football club see playing.
    I just wanted to get it out of my chest and also sorry for my english. Im from germany.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    • “We end up losing the ball in our this and concede goal”. We kept a clean sheet mate 🙂

      Got every respect for Klopp, but, as of today Dortmund are 4th in the Bundesliga, we’re 1st in the Prem.

      We can’t “boom” all the time. Especially not over a hectic Christmas period.

      As for attractive football.. Go and have a look at the goals we’ve scored this season. Some absolute crackers!

      Happy new year!

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here