Arsenal earned a brave victory at St. James’ Park of Newcastle to continue dreaming about the Premier League title this year. Here are the highlights of this match.
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Aaron Ramsdale shines
Goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale continued to have a brilliant day in Arsenal’s wooden frame. Fabian Schar’s save from close range in the second half is arguably one of the best saves in the Premier League this season.
Not only saving situations, Ramsdale is also good at controlling the penalty area, dealing with high balls and commanding the defense. And Ramsdale’s well-timed brilliance helped keep Arsenal on their toes at St. James’ Park to get all 3 points.
Jorginho steals Partey’s role as “conductor”
Theoretically, the match against Newcastle is for Thomas Partey. However, the Ghanaian player was not included in the main squad. Coach Arteta decided to choose Jorginho for the position of holding midfielder instead of Partey.
Jorginho impressed in the win over Chelsea in the middle of the week. But there are concerns as Jorginho faces Newcastle’s fitness-rich squad. And the worries appeared more dense when Arsenal lost the ball a lot in the early game and let Newcastle control the game.
But when Newcastle could not maintain the pressure, Jorginho shone. The Italian is the midfielder with the best pass accuracy in this match. Jorginho’s ability to keep the ball and regulate his play kept Arsenal running smoothly and caused Newcastle problems. Coach Arteta praised Jorginho as the best player of the match and this assessment is completely correct.
Martin Odegaard proves his class
Odegaard is one of the most important pillars in Arsenal’s championship journey this season. And the Arsenal captain once again shone brightly against Newcastle.
Odegaard was the one to untie Arsenal after a period of pressure early in the game. The Norwegian player’s cannon shot helped Arsenal open the scoring in the 14th minute and turned the game around.
This was Odegaard’s 15th goal this season. The Norwegian star officially equaled Cesc Fabregas’s record for scoring a midfielder for Arsenal in a single Premier League season. At the beginning of the season, there were still many doubts when coach Arteta handed the captaincy to Odegaard. But now all question marks have been erased by the impressive performances of the 24-year-old.
Man City regrets
Pep Guardiola certainly hopes Arsenal will lose points in the match against Newcastle. At that time, Arsenal will be behind Man City with a gap of 1 win while playing 1 more game. However, the championship did not fall into the hands of Man City so easily. The race will still go on and may last until the final matches.
Now, Man City cannot fully focus on the Premier League front when the matches against Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals are approaching. This weekend, Man City will have a difficult trip to Everton, alternating between two matches against Real Madrid in C1.
Pep Guardiola would love to have the opportunity for some stars to rest in the match against Everton to focus on the Champions League. But Arsenal’s victory now makes it impossible for Pep Guardiola to relax into rotation this weekend.
What if Newcastle were sharper?
4 of Newcastle’s 5 defeats this season have come against Liverpool (2), Man City and Arsenal Newcastle. And those are all failures that make the fans of “Chicken” regret. Even in the match against Arsenal, Newcastle were also the team that created good opportunities but could not score. Eddie Howe’s army is lacking the courage at key moments to win the great battles.
What if Jacob Murphy scored instead of hitting Arsenal’s woodwork in the 2nd minute? What if Joe Willock beat Ramsdale in a duel when the score was 1-0? What if Alexander Isak didn’t hit the post at the start of the second half?
With the generous investments of the owners, Newcastle’s next goal is championship titles. And to do that, “Shoots” will need to overcome psychological barriers and win important battles like the past.