LONDON — Newcastle United goalkeeper Nick Pope made an important 87th-minute save from Arsenal ahead Eddie Nketiah to make sure a 0-0 draw between the perimeters on Tuesday and finish the Premier League leaders’ 100% profitable run on the Emirates this season whereas conserving Eddie Howe’s facet on the right track for Champions League qualification.
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In an evenly contested recreation, Arsenal created the higher possibilities to win, however Newcastle displayed toughness and perception to come back away with some extent and keep a file that has seen them lose simply as soon as within the league all season. And Pope’s save from Nketiah — the England keeper denied the Arsenal ahead by saving together with his outstretched left leg — was the important thing second within the recreation.
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1. Arsenal run out of solutions in first true take a look at of title bid
Arsenal dropped factors on the Emirates for the primary time this season as Newcastle underlined their very own credentials with a hard-fought 0-0 draw in opposition to the Premier League leaders. And whereas the end result was a serious constructive for Newcastle that can enhance perception that they will end within the prime 4 this season, it was a efficiency that left us with extra questions than solutions about Arsenal’s hopes of profitable the title for the primary time in 19 years.
Mikel Arteta’s facet stay on the prime of the desk — Manchester Metropolis can scale back their result in 5 factors with a win at Chelsea on Thursday — however on an evening after they loved 67% of possession and created 17 possibilities, Arsenal have been unable to make the breakthrough in opposition to Newcastle. They’d loads of aptitude on the pitch, however Arsenal did not know how you can use it, and their inexperience shone via on this recreation.
And that shall be a fear for Arteta, who is aware of that powerful challenges lie forward for his crew. They may face groups who attempt to frustrate them and pack their defence with eight or 9 males behind the ball, so they should provide you with extra options than merely anticipating wingers Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli to make the distinction on a regular basis.
With two video games to play in opposition to champions Metropolis and in-form Manchester United due on the Emirates on Jan. 22, Arsenal are going to must discover a Plan B to win video games if they’re to clinch the title. They’re nonetheless within the driver’s seat, however it is going to be a protracted 5 months between now and the tip of the season.
2. Arteta’s agitation is not serving to his gamers
Arteta has carried out a outstanding job in his three years as Arsenal supervisor and will ship their first Premier League title since 2004 this season, however he must relax on the touchline to assist make that occur. The Gunners boss is just too fiery in his technical space, and through this recreation, his agitation transmitted to his gamers, who misplaced their heads for a interval of the sport and picked up three bookings in fast succession throughout the first half.
It’s a delicate balancing act for each coach throughout a recreation. Arteta has to information his gamers via the 90 minutes and encourage too, however he allowed himself to develop into too offended at instances, with each the officers and Newcastle’s strategy to the sport.
At instances, Arteta resembled each Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho along side the pitch. There have been parts of Manchester Metropolis boss Guardiola’s fixed histrionics, but in addition the extra malevolent, snarling components of Mourinho’s touchline behaviour.
By performing as he did, Arteta not solely transmits a adverse picture to his gamers, however he additionally does little to assist win favour with the officers when he’s of their faces, as he was with the fourth official within the first half and once more in second-half stoppage time when his facet have been pleading for a penalty. Arteta has introduced some much-needed ardour again to Arsenal, on and off the pitch, however he now must tone it down and study to stability it out with calmness.
3. Newcastle are real top-four contenders
This time final 12 months, Newcastle have been second-bottom of the Premier League and going through the actual prospect of being the richest membership within the Championship till Howe dramatically reworked their fortunes and steered the crew away from relegation hazard. The Magpies shall be in one other battle within the second half of this season, however this time, the problem is to complete within the prime 4 and qualify for the Champions League.
And the truth is that they genuinely are within the shake-up to return to the Champions League for the primary time since 2003-04, after they have been eradicated within the third qualifying spherical by Partizan Belgrade.
Newcastle’s type this season isn’t any fluke. Howe has made the crew extremely stable and organised, and he has turned Miguel Almiron and Joelinton into key first-team gamers when many doubted they have been even ok for the Premier League.
In opposition to Arsenal, Newcastle have been dogged and decided, however they have been additionally unfazed by the problem of taking over the league leaders, who had received seven out of seven house video games within the Premier League previous to this conflict. Howe has made some extremely astute signings throughout his time at St James’ Park, together with Kieran Trippier and Bruno Guimaraes, and there may very well be extra throughout the January window.
Newcastle most likely lack the depth and high quality to win the title this season, however the prime 4 is definitely inside their capabilities, particularly with Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea all struggling to mount a problem.
Arsenal: Aaron Ramsdale 6; Ben White 7, Gabriel 6, William Saliba 5, Oleksandr Zinchenko 7; Thomas Partey 6, Granit Xhaka 6, Martin Odegaard 7; Bukayo Saka 7, Eddie Nketiah 6, Gabriel Martinelli 6
Subs: Takehiro Tomiyasu 6
Newcastle: Nick Pope 8; Kieran Trippier 8, Sven Botman 9, Fabian Schar 7, Dan Burn 7; Sean Longstaff 6, Bruno Guimaraes 7, Joelinton 6; Joe Willock 6, Callum Wilson 6, Miguel Almiron 8
Subs: Chris Wooden 6, Jacob Murphy 6, Allan Saint-Maximin 6
Finest and worst performers
Finest performer: Sven Botman, Newcastle. The Newcastle centre-half was immense on the again for Howe’s crew, and it is unimaginable to assume that Louis van Gaal did not assume he was ok to take to the World Cup with the Netherlands.
Worst performer: William Saliba, Arsenal. The Arsenal defender has been praised for his performances this season, however he got here out worst in his duel with Wilson and too typically went to floor too simply.
After the match: What the gamers/managers mentioned
Howe on Arsenal’s stoppage-time penalty attraction: “Clearly, at that stage of the sport you are considering, ‘God no, the lads have given a lot,’ and that will have been a travesty for us. I did not assume it was a penalty however you simply by no means know. I am delighted, and me and Mikel are positive.”
Arteta on Arsenal’s penalty appeals: “There have been two penalties. It is quite simple. I am speaking about what I’ve seen. It is two scandalous penalties.”
Key stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Info analysis)
– Tuesday marked the primary time this season that Arsenal have been shut out in Premier League play, and solely the second time in all competitions.
– The final time that Newcastle conceded a objective in a aggressive match was Nov. 6 in opposition to Southampton, a span that is stretched 541 minutes.
Arsenal: The Gunners return to motion on Monday within the third spherical of the FA Cup, after they go to Oxford United (3 p.m. ET, stream reside on ESPN+).
Newcastle: Newcastle, too, play subsequent within the FA Cup, however their third-round tie takes place on Saturday in opposition to Sheffield on Wednesday (1 p.m. ET, stream reside on ESPN+).