Four things we learnt from Newcastle’s loss against Arsenal

Four things we learnt from Newcastle’s loss against Arsenal

Newcastle United lost for only the second time at St James Park this season in what was a very frustrating afternoon for Eddie Howe and his side.

Meanwhile, Arsenal showed their fighting spirit to continue a dramatic Premier League title race.

Coming into it Newcastle had won eight of their last nine games in the league and only suffered defeat just twice in their last 24 Premier League home games.

Newcastle United served up an honest effort, but two poor moments from Eddie Howe‘s team cost them dear.

The Magpies saw an early penalty decision in their favour overturned by the on-field referee Chris Kavanagh after he was told to go and have a look for himself. Newcastle fans made their feelings known towards Chris Kavanagh both during the match and at full-time.

This leaves Mikel Arteta‘s side just a point behind Pep Guardiola‘s Manchester City, who still have a game in hand.

  • Eddie Howe’s subs not having the desired impact

Eddie Howe made several changes in the second half, giving Miguel Almiron, Allan Saint-Maximin, Anthony Gordon, Elliot Anderson, and Matt Targett all minutes.

Some fans questioned the timing of the changes as well with Eddie Howe‘s substitutions usually timed to perfection and having a great impact both tactically and personally, but not yesterday.

It was an all-round frustrating afternoon for Newcastle.

Newcastle, England - May 7th (photo by Robbie Jay Barratt/AMA/Getty Images
Newcastle, England – May 7th (photo by Robbie Jay Barratt/AMA/Getty Images
  • The title race still is still alive 

As for Arsenal, it was a statement win to keep the title race alive and keep the pressure on Manchester City.

Only Liverpool had come to St James Park this season and come away with all three points, so Arsenal really showed their mettle and tested their bottle and character.

This leaves Mikel Arteta‘s Arsenal just a point behind Pep Guardiola‘s Manchester City, who still have a game in hand. 

Arsenal have got to play Brighton at home next, before going to the City Ground to face Nottingham Forest, and then finishing the season off at home to already safe Wolves.

Manchester City, who play in 2 other competitions, have to face Everton at Goodison Park, Chelsea at home, Brighton away, and Brentford away. It leaves the Citizens facing a couple of potential banana skins in the run-in.

  • Wilson and Isak starting together just doesn’t work

Eddie Howe’s Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson experiment starting together from the start failed, with neither impacting the game enough.

Before this, Alexander Isak had scored seven goals and also got one assist in just nine Premier League appearances in what has been a difficult first season for the Newcastle striker with injuries. Yet, the Swedish International has rewarded the faith shown by his manager on several occasions.

Callum Wilson, meanwhile, had scored eight goals in just seven games – a run that included just two starts.

Here in this big game for Newcastle’s top 4 hopes, Eddie Howe unleashed them together for the first time, something Newcastle fans have been crying out for. Wilson led the line while Isak played from the left wing. 

They both had chances in the game but they both, Wilson in particular, had a quiet afternoon for their standards.

Isak threatened in flashes before being moved to number ten and then number nine for the final twelve minutes after Wilson came off and the experiment was over.

  • Starting Jorginho was the right decision 

Jorginho was preferred to Thomas Partey in midfield by Mikel Arteta, which was a big call considering Partey has been a regular starter for Arsenal this season with 30 Premier League appearances.

It made sense though with Jorginho having the experience and cool head in such an important and tricky game, whereas Partey has shown in recent games that he can struggle and make poor decisions under pressure,

The decision was clearly the right one with Jorginho frustrating the home team in the early stages by controlling that midfield and slowing things down, which ultimately stopped Newcastle from getting a goal early on.

The main difference between the two teams was the midfield with Arsenal controlling it, and Jorginho was a key part of that dominance and control.

There should be no panic yet for Newcastle with their top-four battle still very much in their own hands with only a few games to go. 

They go to Leeds next weekend and Eddie Howe will be looking to tweak a few things, especially defensively, after one of the poorest days for their back four, which conceded two goals, both from mistakes that could have been avoided.

Video 5 Things We LEARNED From Newcastle 0-2 Arsenal! | Arteta’s Midfield Glue!

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