MATCH REPORT: Newcastle United 1 Arsenal 2, St James’ Park, 21/Mar/15, KO: 3pm, Premier League. Att: 50,544

by • March 22, 2015 • Match reportsComments (7)1483

The scoreline will show another defeat but for the second 45 minutes at least we saw a CabellaArsenal1dramatic improvement in performance and effort against a decent Arsenal side that we had wobbling at times.  Despite the talk of us only having thirteen fit players, in all honesty the starting line-up wasn’t too unfamiliar, albeit the positions were.  Perez thankfully came back for the insipid Riviere, Cabella and Anita were back in the midfield and Colback slotted back into left back and everyone I spoke to before the match felt clear that we were on for a humping.

The opening quarter didn’t really follow that fear though and we looked lively early on, with Sammy in particular showing a will to try and get past Chambers every time he got the ball, with Ayoze looking his usual dangerous self.  We fashioned a couple of half chances but Arsenal too looked dangerous as they worked around our defence on a number of occasions with some intricate passing with Wellbeck spurning their best chance before they went ahead just after the 20 minute point.  It was a shite goal to concede as well with some poor defending from a Carzola free kick ending up with Giroud kneeing the ball past Krul.  If we’d been slightly undeserving of being behind at that point, when Arsenal doubled their lead just a few minutes later, the game was in threat of running away from us badly.

Their second was no better, again Giroud was the benificiary of some powder puff FILA-GIFdefending as he simply held off Williamson to head home virtually unchallenged from a Carzola corner.  The Frenchman looked too much for us in the first half and Williamson especially looked shit scared of him and the second goal led to a ten minute spell where they could easily have notched another three as they played round us as if we weren’t there.  We managed to weather the storm to ‘only’ go in two down but it was difficult to see anything other than a chastening defeat at the break, so the second half was a welcome surprise.

Driven on in the early part of the half by Sissoko, we got back into the game just four minutes after the break with a lovely goal.  Ryan Taylor fed the excellent Cabella, who pulled back into the path of the onrushing captain who steered a lovely half volley past Ospina.  Suddenly we had a bit of hope and there’s always an opportunity to test out the brittleness of Arsenal when you get a blow in against them but we just couldn’t get the leveller when we were on top.  Perez attempted a marvellous curling shot which just went wide of the far post – he’s had a few of the identical efforts this season and any one of them would have been a goal of the season effort (well an NUFC one anyway) had it sneaked in.

Janmaat lashed a long range effort which just flashed wide and Sissoko connected to a phoenix_taxis_adWilliamson header only to flick his effort into Ospina’s hands.  For me, our best chance to equalise fell to the perpetually awful Gouffran who managed to sidefoot a meek effort straight at Ospina from no more than eight yards out when under no challenge in the aftermath of a penalty appeal.  On another day, we could have scored from any of those chances and our ability to convert any of them cost us what would have been a deserved point.

The introduction of Jonas for Anita (shite) brought us another spark and I’ve been impressed by him since his return – he certainly gave more than the nugget he replaced and a jinking run in the box and fizzed pullback almost fashioned an equaliser for us.  We had another decent chance when Perez flashed a shot in which took two deflections before landing fortuitously at the trailing leg of Ospina who was diving the wrong way – fine margins and all that.  In the end though, we started to run out of steam and despite a valiant effort, we again finished pointless.

It’s strange, I think a lot of people walked away almost happy with what they’d seen.  Now, CAMPO_NUFC_300x250for me, you should never be pleased with getting beat but given some of the dross we’ve churned out of late, the team deserved a lot of credit for making a real fist of it in the second half when we could/should have been dead and buried.  There was major encouragement for me in the performance of Cabella and Janmaat looked the class act that he undoubtedly is, even at centre half.  No-one needs telling what our next game is and we’ve got a real chance for some proper revenge this time, when we could give them a major shove towards the Championship.

If we play like we did in the second half, I believe we’ll beat them, if we play like we did in the first half we’ll get beat.  For me, our fate will rest in the ability of Sissoko to get a hold of the middle of the park but I’ll not predict owt after the last four outings.   They fucking owe us one though…..

Keep the Faith

Newcastle United – Krul 6, R Taylor 7, Williamson 6, JANMAAT 8, Colback 7, Anita 4, Sissoko 7, Sammy 7, Gouffran 3, Cabella 8, Perez 7

Ref – Jones – 8 – Thought he reffed it very sensibly, no yellow cards and kept a dialogue with the players

Our Fans – 7 – Recognised the effort

Their Fans – 7 – Always had a good travelling support

GARETH HARRISON – Follow Gareth on @truefaith1892


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7 Responses to MATCH REPORT: Newcastle United 1 Arsenal 2, St James’ Park, 21/Mar/15, KO: 3pm, Premier League. Att: 50,544

  1. Bob says:

    Good reflection of the game. Jonas looks a better player than he did before, and quicker. Should be played from the start instead of Anita. Can’t understand why they persist with long balls to the centre of the opposition defence, when none of our strikers have a chance, particularly when we usually just have the one up there anyway. Perez will run all day and is always a danger. Typical of Match of the Day to ignore our two decent penalty shouts and a likely hand ball leading up to the corner when they scored.

  2. John Milton says:

    I hate being the cynic, but Sissoko raising his game v Arsenal doesn’t surprise me – maybe his agent gave him half time talk instead of Carver?

  3. mike says:

    1st half dross. if Arsenal had bothered we could have been 4/5 down before 2nd half. how Guffo anita williamson get games is unbelievable. If jonas can play 45 PLAY him from the start! hey ho its 3 points lost and another defeat………….where is the next win comin from

  4. Jarra mick says:

    It just shows how far we have fallen when we see a half decent 45 minutes against a team who were knackered as some sort of victory. Regarding Sissoko v 5under1and, he usually hides, let’s hope there are some Arsenal scouts at the stadium of shite.

  5. Stephen says:

    I remain convinced Wenger popped his head in our dressing room at half time and did our team talk. Look lads if you wanna play for me……………………………..

  6. Stephen says:

    Roll on the ‘El Donkey Derbio’

  7. Fred Quimby says:

    I bought a new “smart TV” a couple of weeks back and when I feel sad about the present state of the club/team I have supported since the 1950’s, I go to Youtube and watch the Keegan team of the mid-1990’s scoring goals left, right and centre.
    Will we ever see a team like it again? I doubt it very, very much.