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Arsenal Vs Newcastle – Match Report

by on March 14, 2012

Arsenal defeated Newcastle United 2-1 at the Emirates this evening after a late winning goal from Thomas Vermaelen who secured the Gunners all three points. French midfielder Ben Arfa opened the scoring for Newcastle in the first-half but  Arsenal responded through Robin van Persie shortly after Newcastle took the lead.

Arsène Wenger made one change to the side which defeated AC Milan last week in the Champions League last week, Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta has returned and replaced Gervinho who dropped to the bench for the Gunners. Yossi Benayoun, André Santos, and Aaron Ramsey are all back from injury and the trio were on the bench. Newcastle opted to start Ben Arfa over Papiss Cissé and the French midfielder played behind Newcastle’s alone striker Demba Ba. Former Manchester United winger Gabriel Obertan also started for The Magpies.

Two minutes in to the match Theo Walcott produced a great cross which was perfect to Robin van Persie but the Dutchman could not connect with the cross. The form van Persie’s been in this season you would have expected him to score that chance. Alex Song’s chipped pass was deflected by Cheick Tioté and fell to van Persie which he controlled well but it came off van Persie’s knee and got way from the Arsenal captain.

After a poor pass from Vermaelen which went straight to Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tioté and Demba Ba who played it out wide to French midfielder Ben Arfa who cut in past Gibbs and placed it in to Szczęsny’s bottom corner. It was a great strike from Ben Arfa to give Newcastle the lead. The Gunners responded straight away from the kick-off after Czech midfielder Tomáš Rosický found Walcott and the England international’s cross was perfect for van Persie who got past Mike Williamson. And the Dutchman’s effort went past Tim Krul in the Newcastle goal.

Both sides went in at the break level, Newcastle made their first substitute at half-time taking off former Inter Milan fullback Davide Santon for James Perch. Three minutes in to the second-half England international Theo Walcott put a great cross in to the Newcastle box but Tomáš Rosický’s header was straight at Tim Krul.

Newcastle made their second change taking off  Gabriel Obertan for Shola Ameobi. Nine minutes in to the second-half Mikel Arteta’s cross was met by the Arsenal captain but van Persie’s volley was comfortably saved by Krul. After great work from Rosický who won the ball found Walcott and played it back to Rosický. But the midfielder couldn’t get his effort on and target and it sailed wide.

Arsenal took off highly rated England U-21 international Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for Gervinho midway through the second-half. Shortly after Arsenal made their second change taking off the impressive Tomáš Rosický for Wales captain Aaron Ramsey.

Seven minutes from time Mikel Arteta’s low free-kick went through the whole of Newcastle’s box and fell to Gervinho near the back post but he put his shot wide of the Newcastle goal. Gervinho should have done better but I doubt he was expecting the chance.

In the dying seconds of added time Arsenal had a counter attack, van Persie controlled well on the half-way line and found Alex Song. The midfielder played it out wide to Theo Walcott who had space and crossed it in to the Newcastle box which was going to the Gunners final chance of the game. Ramsey and van Persie both jumped to try to get on the end of Walcott’s cross but both of them missed it and Walcott’s cross fell to Thomas Vermaelen who was free at the back post. Vermaelen finished well to put Arsenal in to the lead in the last seconds of the game.

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