Arsenal’s dismal away form has come back to haunt them after Newcastle United came from a goal down to win 2-1 at St. James’ Park, this afternoon.
The Gunners, who took the lead within the first quarter-of-an-hour through Alexandre Lacazette, saw their advantage cancelled out before half-time following Ayoze Perez’s equaliser.
Newcastle grew to take all three points in the second period through Matt Ritchie’s strike, as Arsenal’s unbeaten seven-game-run in all competitions came to an end.
With no Mesut Özil, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey in the XI, there was the opportunity for 18-year-old Joe Willock to shine at St. James’ Park, as the midfielder readied up for his Premier League debut.
It was Arsenal’s bubbling forward line that continued to attract all the attention, however, as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, from the left, enabled Lacazette to volley in the opener at the back-post in the 14th minute.
The Gunners remained dominant before Newcastle could level the score, as Ayoze sneaked in ahead of Shkodran Mustafi to attack DeAndre Yedlin’s low cross and beat Petr Čech at his near post in the 29th minute.
Arsenal attempted to regain their advantage from Granit Xhaka’s measured pass over to Mustafi at the far-post, with the German heading the ball back across goal for Calum Chambers to reach, prior to missing the target.
Good pressure in Newcastle’s half allowed Arsenal to conjure up another opportunity in the 42nd minute, but Lacazette’s pass wouldn’t be well-received by Willock before conceding a goal kick.
A far more tame second period limited the chances at both ends, as the Magpies limited themselves to shots from range for much of the early exchanges.
That was until the 68th minute, when Islam Slimani’s lone aerial dispute offered Matt Ritchie the opportunity to take aim inside the box, with the Scotsman making no mistake with a shot across goal to put Newcastle 2-1 up.
Kenedy came close to a third for the hosts in the 74th minute, as the Brazilian’s deflected dink bounced back off the top of the crossbar before being cleared.
The north Londoners were unable to avert the disappointment come full-time, clocking up their 5th consecutive away defeat in the Premier League.
By Patrick Ribeiro
Player Ratings: Petr Čech (5) – Calum Chambers (5), Rob Holding (6), Shkodran Mustafi (5), Nacho Monreal (5) – Mohamed Elneny (5), Granit Xhaka (6) – Alex Iwobi (6), Joe Willock (5), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (7) – Alexandre Lacazette (6)
Subs: Danny Welbeck (5), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (5), Eddie Nketiah (-)