Arsenal 3 - 0 Newcastle
With Everton slipping up in the League, Arsenal needed all three points to stretch their lead to four clear points in the race for fourth.
The first twenty-five minutes were dire.
Newcastle were sitting back, and Arsenal weren’t really doing much to open them up. However, a brilliantly delivered Cazorla free kick found Koscielny in the box, allowing the Frenchman to tap the ball home from close range.
The goal woke the players up a little bit, and brought the game to life.
Santi Cazorla was looking lively, and so was Mesut Ozil. Olivier Giroud was making all the right runs, but wasn’t finishing any chances off.
Santi Cazorla was looking lively, and so was Mesut Ozil…
This was particularly the case for the second goal, just before half time. Giroud made a delightful run behind the back four, and found himself through on goal.
The big Frenchman’s first shot was right at Krul, who saved. The ball came back, and Giroud’s shot was once again not good enough, allowing Krul to get in the way. Thankfully though, the ball landed for Ozil at the back post, who finished with ease.
During the second half, The Gunners got even more into their groove.
Newcastle were threatening very rarely, and without much conviction. In all honesty, Arsenal’s back four were having a picnic.
The Turkish trickster was turning The Toon topsy-turvy at times.
Cazorla continued to impress with some excellent passing, whilst Mesut Ozil had really turned on the style with some clever turns and runs. The Turkish trickster was turning The Toon topsy-turvy at times.
In the sixty-sixth minute, Arsenal got their third.
Mesut Ozil whipped in a powerful, accurate cross to the front post, which was met by Giroud’s thumping header. The Frenchman was due a goal, and Ozil now had a goal and assist to his name. Not too shabby.
The rest of the game was played out without much to note. Newcastle had resigned to defeat, and Arsenal were happy with a three-nill domination win.
The final whistle brought relief though. Four points clear of Everton, Arsenal’s season finally looked to be back on track.
Arsenal Player Ratings
Made two good stops, but had very little to do overall.
Put in a couple of very good crosses today, but Giroud couldn’t take advantage of them. Defensively sound. Needlessly got himself booked by punching the ball away.
Quiet day at the office, although Sissokho got round him far too easily during an attack in the first half.
Solid performance, and did very well to get on the end of Cazorla’s free kick to score the opener.
Defended well and got forward at every opportunity. Linked up well with the midfield, and closed down high up the pitch.
Didn’t have to do much today. He was surprisingly left to just pass the ball out in a calm fashion, without fearing a tackle. Comfortable match for Mikel.
Bossed the game in the first half. His passing was excellent, he closed down well and his free kick for the opener was perfect. Linked up well a few times with Mesut Ozil.
After a short run of good form, Podolski’s laziness returned today. He made some good runs, but not enough. He had a few half chances, but nothing to write home about. Good passing throughout though.
Aaron didn’t have a great game. He lost possession a few times, wasn’t making many forward runs, and looked happy to sit back and let Ozil and Cazorla do their stuff.
Ozil: [8.5/10] - MOTM
Mesut was looking sharp today. His touched were brilliant, and his silky skills were classy. Movement off the ball was good, which is why he got his first goal. The assist for Giroud’s header though was possibly his best moment. A perfectly drilled cross at head height.
Lost the ball a number of times, missed chances and shot when he should have passed leading up to Ozil’s goal. Still though, his movement was positive, and he managed to bag a good goal.
Flamini, Rosicky, Sanogo: [N/A]
Öh So Cool
Cazorla and Ozil really shined today - Mesut in particular.
He was turning players with ease, picking out passes and looking sharp as ever. Next season will be a big one for him. For now though, Arsenal are four points clear of Everton, and fourth spot should now be in the bag.
In contrast, Newcastle weren’t looking very bold today. They made it easy for us, and for that, I’m thankful. We needed a confidence booster going into a month which holds the FA Cup final.
Next up, West Brom at home.