Gunners Gunned-down Newcastle by 2-nil – Tottenham thrash Sheffield United by an embarrassing 4-0
It was a super Sunday for football fans in London and no more for me, as agent of many 'local businesses near me' in London, as their favourite side Arsenal competed against New Castle United, that too in an away fixture. It was Match Day # 34 as the two sides took on each other, at the historic Saint James Park, which is also the home venue for New Castle United FC.
Arsenal were coming of a 2-1 loss against Villarreal in the first leg of the semi-final of the Europa League on Friday. With multiple games scheduled, with a gap of only one day, it was expected that Arsenal will make multiple changes to their side from their Friday’s game. Nobody could predict how many changes they would make, but everyone could guarantee some changes.
As it happened, Mikel Arteta made full use of the rotation policy as he made 8 changes to the starting XI from the previous game. While all the changes cannot be named, it would only be appropriate to mention that Xakha, Odegaard and Ceballos had retained their place.
Aubameyang was back at the front in a timely return while Martinelli also featured in the attack. David Luiz also made a return from injury in an anticipated move.
Arsenal XI: Ryan, Bellerin, Luiz, Gabriel, Xhaka, Elneny, Ceballos, Willian, Odegaard, Martinelli, Aubameyang.
Substitutes: Leno, Mari, Chambers, Cedric, Partey, Smith Rowe, Saka, Pepe, Nketiah.
On the other hand, the home side looked comfortable and at ease as they made only one change to their side from their previous game. Wilson had replaced Joelinton.
New Castle XI: Dubravka; Murphy, Fernandez, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie; Shelvey, Longstaff; Almiron, Saint-Maximin; Wilson.
Arsenal were off the blocks very early as they scored in the starting moments of the game to gain a hold of the game, which they retained till the end of the match. Despite Aubameyang missing his hot, it was a goal to remember as everyone did their part with brilliance to make it a convincing goal.
In the sixth minute, Bellerin had covered good ground down the right wing, where David Luiz had spotted him perfectly. Bellerin delivered a great ball to Aubameyang who was not at the edge of the box, but near the edge of goal line perhaps. It was as easy an opportunity as one could dream of. Yet Aubameyang somehow found a way to miss the ball. The insufficient connection meant that the ball deflected back from Aubameyang’s boot towards the edge of the box. As it seemed like a chance had gone begging, the Egyptian mid-fielder Mohamed ELNENY, rushed in to deliver a volley into the bottom left corner. Such was the precision of his placement that the diving goalkeeper had absolutely no chance.
Elneny’s brilliance had made the score line 1-nil, in favour of Arsenal.
New Castle showed some resistance and eventually created some confusion for Arsenal as Saint Maximin carried the attack in the 18th minute of play, before the ball looped up awkwardly. Eventually, the danger was safely averted by Ryan, who tipped the ball over the bar.
Both the sides continued to fetch goals to add to their baskets for the rest of the first half but didn’t have any success as the first half finished with the score line of 1-0. Arsenal were on top of their game and seemed ready to wrap up the game.
The second half also had a similar story. The only cause of worry for Arsenal fans was that David Luiz was forced to leave the pitch after it seemed like he had some hamstring issue. In the 51st minute, he was replaced by Callum Chambers.
While Aubameyang had missed a scoring opportunity earlier, he made absolutely no mistake in the 66th minute as he scored one of his more memorable goals. Odegaard delivered the ball to Martinelli, down the left wing, who whipped in a wonderful cross, that was brilliantly converted into a goal by Aubameyang. With the whole body of the striker air-borne while making the touch from close range, his magical moment of brilliance had every Arsenal fan jumping out of his seat.
The game continued with the same level of intensity, as the final whistle rang with the score line of 2-0 in favour of Arsenal. The dominance of the visitors was evident by the statistical analysis as well.
Arsenal took a total of 19 shots with five being on target. On the other hand, New Castle could manage only one on-target shot out of their five. Arsenal also retained 62% of the possession during the game while completing as many as 640 passes.
The win brought them to number nine on the league table with 49 points. New Castle sit at 17th spot with only 36 points.
In the other match of the day, Tottenham, another of London's ' local businesses near me', were up against the last ranked Sheffield United at Hotspur Stadium.
Tottenham: Hugo Lloris, Toby, Aurier, Sergio Reguilon, Pierre Emile, Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Lo Celso, Gareth Bale, Son, Harry Kane
Sheffield United FC: Ramsdale, Basham, Enda Stevens, George Badlock, John Egan, Jayden Bogle, John Fleck, Norwood, Ben Obsorn, McGoldrick, Rhian Brewster.
As the difference between the league positions of the two sides suggested, it was a one-sided affair for the Spurs. The dominance started right from the very first minute. Bale lead the way with a wonderfully scored goal in the 36th minute. He followed it up with two more goals in the 61st and 69th minute to achieve a well-deserved Hattrick. Heung Min Son also came to the party as he scored in the 77th minute to make the score line 4-0 in favour of the spurs. It remained that way till the very send as Tottenham moved to the fifth spot on the league table.
Let’s see if they can make it to the Top four! That's all from me, owner of window cleaning Sydney!
That’s all from our coverage of the matchday.