St James’ Park – Arsenal came into the game unbeaten in their last nine trips to Newcastle with victories in the last three contests. Arsenal last played this past Monday in a 0-0 draw versus Liverpool. The initial line up that Arsne Wenger sent the Gunners out to face Newcastle, was one that set up for a fast paced game. Theo Walcott was in the starting lineup in the striker position alongside with the speed of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Hector Bellerin and Alexis Sanchez to provide the quick pace. This was the optimal lineup given the defense and style of play Newcastle presented.
The game plan was thwarted when in the 16’ when Aleksandar Mitrovic took out Francis Coquelin with a studs up tackle. What had initially been a quick paced first half with several runs quickly changed with the hosts retreating back and holding Arsenal scoreless in the first half. In all Newcastle racked up 3 yellow cards and 1 red in the first 45’
Wenger didn’t make any personnel changes going into the second half; which led to an anticlimactic second half until when in the 52’ Aaron Ramsey fired a shot off in which Krul was able to get his hands on. Unfortunately for Krul, Oxlade-Chamberlain got a hold of the rebound and placed a shot towards the goal. After reviewing the shot it appeared that it was most likely going wide left when it took a hockey like ricochet off Fabricio Coloccini into the lower left corner of the goal. Coloccini was officially credited with an own goal.
It wasn’t until the 69’ that Giroud came in for Walcott and provided a few chances that didn’t pay off. Arsenal was able to capture the 1-0 victory and take the 3 points into the international break. Much like the college football ranking in that it takes a few weeks to typically work itself out on where teams sit or stand in the table. Manchester City is currently sitting atop the table with a perfect 4-0 record. Arsenal currently sits in 6th with a 2-1-1 record. Chelsea is in 13th at 1-1-2 with an unimpressive -3 in goal differential.
Arsenal’s next match will come on September 12th at the Emirates versus US National player Geoff Cameron and Stoke City.