Not unsurprisingly, Newcastle United couldn’t make it a London double and crashed to a
convincing 1-4 defeat in North London. Without Sissoko due to suspension, we lacked that solid base in midfield and the counter-attacking drive we had in previous games was pretty much non-existent. We have had a bit of a wake up call before Wednesdays League cup match.
Unlike a number of London aways, the area around Arsenal offers an exhaustive choice of drinking venues, though any hint of a Northern accent and you’ll be barred from bars, despite 50% of the clientele being female. Our Spanish-based TF correspondent, Tony Higgins, knew of a Bolivian run bar not far from the ground. A living shrine to Che Guevara and Colombian bar girls. The El Comandante it’s called and indisputably the Best bar in North London!
After a good session on San Miguel and in brilliant winter sunshine, Arsenal threatened to take complete control of the match early on. Per Mertersackers header off the cross bar easily could’ve set Arsenal on their way after 8 mins before Giroud put Arsenal 1 up with a powerful header form a Sanchez cross. The defence caught flat footed and Giroud had plenty of time to plant his header in. Welbeck then had a goal disallowed after he had been judged to have fouled Janmaat as we were hanging on. How on earth Tiote didn’t get sent off for a full on stamp on Sanchez’s chest is another matter.
United then started to pick themselves up with a Colback free kick that caused momentary panic in the Arsenal box with Szczesny making a double save and Colback earlier putting through Cisse only for out Number 9 failing to connect with the through ball.
Half time saw the second consecutive London away end dry of any alcohol. I’m never actually that arsed about a half time pint of fizzy piss but is this a pattern of us being singled out here?
We actually started the second half quite brightly but any hope of us getting back into this match were pretty much snuffed out when the underrated Carzola neatly skipped past Coloccini and finish smartly past Alnwick to make it 2-0. Minutes later, Giroud made it 3-0 with a fantastic finish with the outside of his foot form the left hand side though with a suggestion of offside about it
After 63 minutes though. Perez gave us some sort of hope by heading in Colback’s (easily United’s brightest player today) and again for a short period we attacked Arsenal with a bit of energy. This once again fizzled out when Dummett felled Welbeck and Carzola coolly slotted away Arsenal’s 4th.
To be fair I wasn’t expecting much more from today’s game though perhaps a bit more of a contest. United were easily outclassed today and should be expected against a side who are Champions League last 16 qualifiers. Just look at that squad they have. If they are in a “slump”, they won’t stay that way for long.
For us, well, hardly a surprise. Tottenham away now looms large for us. I still think it’s a winnable match IF Pardew takes the lessons from the Man City and indeed the Spurs league match with him. On the break and hit with precise attacks. Be brave United!
Newcastle United: Alnwick 5; Dummett 5, Coloccini 5, Williamson 6, Janmaat 5; Gouffran 4, COLBACK 7, Tiote 4, Ameobi 5 (Cabella 5); Perez 6 (Armstrong n/a), Cisse 5 (Riviere 5).
Subs not Used: Woodman, Anita, Armstrong, Riviere
Ours: 6 Tried to raise it when we went further behind in the second half. Otherwise flat.
Theirs: 5 Apparently there were chants in support of Arsene Wenger. I never heard them. In some ways the opposite of Chelsea, they are just too reasonable!
GUY HANNAY-WILSON – Follow Guy on @tfGHW1892
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