Arsenal go the extra mile

Full-time result- (AET)

Arsenal

Smith Rowe E. (109′)
Aubameyang P. (117′)

2

0

Newcastle

MATCH STATS

Ball Possession: 61% – 39%
Goal Attempts: 24 – 12
Shots on Goal: 9 – 2
Shots off Goal: 10 – 4
Blocked Shots: 5 – 6
Free Kicks: 15 – 19
Corner Kicks: 8 – 3
Offsides: 1 – 3
Goalkeeper Saves: 2 – 7
Fouls: 17 – 15
Red Cards: 0 – 0
Yellow Cards: 2 – 4
Total Passes: 734 – 460
Tackles: 20 – 22
Attacks: 148 – 116
Dangerous Attacks: 78 – 42

With two extra-time goals from Emile Smith Rowe and Skipper, Aubameyang sends the Gunners through to the next round of the FA cup as they begin the defense of their title in a similar fashion. Though they were held till extra time to get past a resilient Newcastle defense line.

Arsenal were rocked with sad news just minutes before the kick-off as Gabriel Martinelli had to be withdrawn from the starting Line up after he picked up an ankle injury during the warm-up to the game. The Gunners will find out the extent of the injury later on after conducting a scan on the player.
Newcastle were defending early on in the game, but Reiss Nelson, who replaced the injured Martinelli, tested Newcastle’s goalkeeper, Dubravsca early on, but his shot was saved. Moments later, Aubameyang failed to connect neatly with a well-timed cross from Tierney. Arsenal kept up the pressure for much of the first half but failed to truly break the Newcastle defence line.

The struggle continued in the second half as Arsenal kept pressing for the opening goal, which led Arteta to make some tactical changes, taking off Reiss Nelson, Nicholas Pepe, and Joe Willock and bringing on Granit Xhaka, Bukayo Saka, and Emile Smith Rowe. But it was Newcastle who came closest to scoring as Andy Carroll was guilty of missing the best chance of the game, as he placed a mistimed shot past the post of Leno. Though the flag went up, replays showed that he was onside, had the ball gone in, VAR would have intervened. Again, Carroll missed a last-minute chance from close range, as the brilliant Leno was called into action, and his brilliant save and recovery ensured that Arsenal would still be in the game.

A late drama that saw Smith Rowe receive a straight red card for a harsh tackle on Longstaff, but the referee would overturn it into a yellow card after consulting with VAR.

The breakthrough finally came in extra time when substitute Lacazette headed into the path of Smith Rowe, who controlled the ball well with his chest before sending a low shot into the left-hand side of the post to put the Gunners 1-0 up. There was still time for Aubameyang to score a second goal as he tapped a neat cross from Tierney into the net to secure the Gunners victory and make sure that the result was beyond doubt.

Arsenal vs Newcastle FA Cup Review 2

On Emile Smith Rowe's performances...

“It means that we believe in him, that he’s playing really well, that he’s growing and becoming more and more important in the team. Today he showed that today with the way he came on, the personality he plays with. We asked him to get into the box more and be more of a threat, and today he scored a really important goal for us.”

~ Mikel Arteta

WHAT IS NEXT?

The Gunners will be sweating on the results of the scan to be conducted on Martinelli, with reports stating that the player was in severe pain. This is another setback for a player who has shone brightly since his return from a lengthy injury that kept him out for the most part of this new season. Hopefully, it’s a minor issue.

The Gunners have a mid-week Premier League game against Crystal Palace to contest and hopefully, their winning form will be extended to that game. Skipper, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang was among the goal scorers on Saturday, hopefully, his confidence would be boosted amidst a very sour season for the talismanic forward.

COYG!!!

Match Review by Patrick Alexander