Newcastle 1-0 Arsenal: Mighty Mags beat Gunners as Gordon seals perfect week

AND BREATHE! Another huge win for Eddie Howe’s Mags, as Newcastle United showed fight, spirit and bags of defensive resilience to beat Arsenal 1-0 at St James’ Park.

An absolutely massive win against a Gunners side, who hadn’t lost a league game all season up to now. We weren’t at our best on the ball, but we won the battle against a physical Arsenal side who had no answer to our intensity, determination and organisation at the back.

It was a team performance full of guts, grit and togetherness and Gordon was the match winner after yet another all-action display, but I thought Jamaal Lascelles was the best player on the pitch. He was a man mountain at the back and won every duel he contested, dealing with everything Arsenal threw at us with some vital headers and clearances.

The result sends us back above Man Utd – who won at the death in the early kick-off – two points behind Aston VIilla (5th) and three behind Liverpool (4th) to cap off an incredible week for the club. Given the injuries and fatigue, our response to flat displays against Dortmund and Wolves has been sensational.

Howe made eight changes to the side that beat Man Utd in midweek, seeing Pope, Trippier, Lascelles, Schar, Burn, Bruno, Almiron and Wilson all return from the start. Murphy recovered from a shoulder injury to take a place on the bench, handing us a surprise boost ahead of kick-off.

It was a fiery and fully committed first half. Both sides were defending superbly, tackles were flying in and there were so many fouls. One came from Havertz, who smashed into Longstaff after the ball was gone. A horrible tackle where VAR checked for a possible red card, yet Stuart Attwell ended up giving more yellows to those in black and white as Longstaff, Schar and Gordon all went into the book for their angry reaction to the German’s challenge.

Although we came out on the wrong side of that particular melee, it lifted the crowd and galvanised the team. Arsenal had been trying to keep the ball, play beyond our press and keep a lid on the atmosphere at St James’ Park, but Havertz’ lunge and the scrap that followed gave us a lift.

Longstaff made a big tackle in the first half to deny Martinelli and Lascelles showed his strength to sweep up a few dangerous attacks. At the other end, Saliba was a man mountain at the back, winning a few huge headers as Trippier swung a few inviting balls into the box.

Howe was forced into a half-time change, as Burn failed to recover from a heavy fall that injured his back. Tino Livramento came on, seeing Trippier move to left-back up against Saka. After two man of the match displays in his only two starts for the club, it felt like we were in save hands with Tino; who fully deserved his chance after another superb display in midweek.

We were sitting deeper in the second half and relying on counter attacks against an Arsenal side having more of the ball, without ever really troubling Nick Pope. Wilson was losing his physical battle with Gabriel and Howe reacted, taking off our number nine and Almiron for Willock and Murphy, seeing Gordon move into a central role as he did at Man Utd in a move that would work a treat.

After Joelinton’s burst in-between the two centre-backs and Murphy’s low cross that threatened to run out of play, Willock did superbly to keep it in play and deliver a cross to the back post. Gabriel failed to deal with it after pressure from Joelinton and Gordon tapped in! A ridiculous number of VAR checks followed – THREE separate checks were announced inside the stadium – but the goal was given. 1-0!

A lead to protect and St James’ Park was rocking, although we were dealt another injury blow as Murphy’s shoulder back out as he tried to take on Zinchenko. Ritchie came on and Schar made a key intervention seconds later, clearing a Havertz cross after the German capitalised on a rare Livramento lapse.

More crucial defending followed. A huge header from Lascelles to clear a dangerous corner and Livramento getting the better of Martinelli once again, shepherding the ball out of play after tracking the Brazilian’s run. He did it again minutes later, smashing the winger in to touch to chants of ‘TINO, TINO, TINO!’

We needed to show more composure on the ball. Arsenal were having wave after wave of attack, leaving us living dangerously as we entered eight minutes of stoppage time. Bruno went into the book – ensuring he’d miss Bournemouth away after five yellow for the season – and Livramento joined him after wiping out Martinelli.

A flurry of corners came Arsenal’s way in added time, but it was a black and white shirt that met every single one of them. Joelinton cut out what would’ve been one last attack for the Gunners and the full-time whistle went. A roar of relief and scenes of joy followed and the lap of the pitch was full of smiles, fist pumps and a team truly United.

A gutsy performance and more proof that we’re finding different ways to win, no matter the opponent, the injuries we suffer or the conditions. Next up, a massive trip to Dortmund in the Champions League next Tuesday. HWTL!

STARTING XI: Pope – Trippier, Schar, Lascelles, Burn – Longstaff, Bruno, Joelinton – Almiron, Wilson, Gordon.

SUBS: Dubravka, Dummett, Ritchie, Krafth, Hall, Livramento, Murphy, Willock, L.Miley.


About Olly Hawkins

As a Junior Magpie since birth and season ticket holder, I eat, sleep and breathe all things NUFC! Here at the blog, I aim to bring you news, views, match reports and transfer exclusives as and when I get them.

20 thoughts on “Newcastle 1-0 Arsenal: Mighty Mags beat Gunners as Gordon seals perfect week

  1. Brilliant win and a great battling display from us. Resilient defending from us , especially near the end.
    Good job.


  2. They tried every way they could to try and take away the goal, but in the end they had to give it. Good goal. Scrappy game but defensively we were immense


  3. Well that replay was a bit more taxing than I thought it would be. Kinda pleased I couldn’t watch it live????
    My conclusions; havertz should’ve walked( how many times does he get to assault burn without consequence?)
    Guimaraes should’ve walked.
    Joelinton and rice are a pair of beasts in mf and so much fun to watch.
    joelinton fouled the defender during the goal ( that said the defender and gk were so poor during the incident they deserved and got nothing )
    Arteta is the only embarrassment today .. he is toe-curlingly cringeworthy
    Lascelles was immense today

    On we go


  4. I watched the match & Sky focused largely on Arteta – I kind of understand that as it was happening pretty much real time & it was a high profile manager having a proper good rant about VAR.

    I stuck MOTD on and saw Keown and thought here we go again – but in fairness I thought the match analysis was very good.

    Footy first & I thought Danny Murphy analysed us really well. He showed how well we nullified their wide players & how well our midfielders doubled up with the full backs. We made them play through the middle & without Odegaard they didn’t have the creativity to unlock us.
    We did pretty well with the ball, but were outstanding without it.

    Now to Artetas rant. I think it’s important to note that NONE of it was aimed at NUFC – it was all directed towards VAR and the officials.

    I have to agree with him to be fair – and here’s why.

    Was the ball over the line?, was it foul?, was it offside?.

    I think the whole of the ball hadn’t crossed the line. I think it was a foul by big Joe (I’d want it given if that was Rice on Schar) and I don’t know about the offside – I’m sure each will have their own opinion & it can be debated – why, because despite 30 cameras around the ground, none could offer a conclusive decision on any 3 incidents.

    So the reason I agree with Arteta about VAR is that despite the technology and despite a 4 or 5 minute review they were able to come to no clearer conclusion than the on field refs instinct – who wasn’t even invited to take a look at the replays himself.

    That, in my opinion is not good enough.

    I understand the kick off about Havertz tackle as well & it wasn’t great. Joelinton has those in him as well – would I want him sent off for that?! – I could understand if he was, but would probably think it was a bit harsh.

    The one that concerned me most was Bruno’s elbow. That to me should have been reviewed & probably should have been a red.
    It’s also the second time he’s done it this week – I’m sure he done similar against either Wolves or Man Utd.

    With all our injuries we don’t need needless suspensions.

    All that said. It was an outstanding performance for different reasons yesterday & a big 3 points.


  5. Just to be clear though, my opinion on VAR isn’t solely off the back of yesterdays game.

    It was brought in to avoid situations exactly like yesterday & there have been countless incidents where VAR has been more the talking point than the incident themselves.

    Howard Webb was brought it to improve it & I think it’s made it worse!!.

    VAR was meant to stop or reduce mistakes made in a game – all it has achieved is it’s a different group of people making the mistakes now.


  6. Sharpy,
    guimaraes’ forearm (it wasn’t an elbow) smack was VAR reviewed and they determined it was maximum of yellow as not forceful enough so they can’t intervene.
    I do think he should’ve walked tho.
    Your wider point on guimaraes behaviour is spot on he was out of control for a lot of that game, it’s becoming a theme and at some point it’ll bite nufc in the ar5e again


  7. Gotta disagree with you about Havertz who is just plain nasty and tgat challenge was far beyond ‘not great’. It was uncontrolled, off the ground and dangerous to an opponent so the definition of a straight red with automatic 3 game ban


  8. Sorry to dissect your post but you raise some interesting points each worth their own focus

    On var, why is it not good enough that every point they looked at for the goal was inconclusive. That it took so long demonstrates nothing was conclusive so backs up the decision to go along with onfield decision as per the rules .

    tgat said, I too thought joelinton fouled the defender but the ref didn’t and var could not point to anything that they felt he missed.


  9. GoWest – not at all mate.

    Like I said, if it was Joelinton that made the Havertz ‘tackle’ then I could understand if it was a red – but I would feel it was a little harsh – if I felt that for one of our players then I have to be honest and say that about an Arsenal player too ????????‍♂️ – but I couldn’t argue the red if that makes sense. It was that borderline for me.

    Bruno has to play with passion, but keep his wits about him.

    On VAR – I think it’s used entirely the wrong way. Many other sports use the technology & it improves the quality.

    In the likes of cricket & tennis it’s left to the players to decide when it’s used.

    In Rugby it’s is very much down to the on field referee to decide when it’s used & to clarify exactly what they want checking – was a player offside or the grounding of the ball for example.

    In football VAR is god. It reviews & it tells the ref when a game can restart – and that’s what creates all the problems in my opinion.

    Have it there but put the control in the hands of the on field referee to tell VAR what he wants reviewing.

    The ref gave the goal yesterday – why wait 5 minutes for VAR to find a reason not to give it?!

    But if the ref said ‘I want to check if the ball was out of play’ – the technology should have been there yesterday to give him a decisive conclusion in my opinion.

    The foul will always be a matter of opinion I reckon – but if the ref was questioning that bit then HE should be saying ‘can you put that on the monitor please and I’ll take a look’ – not waiting to be invited.

    You could go one further and allow each side a challenge per half if they think the ref should look at an incident again – I personally wouldn’t favour it I don’t think, but it would put some control back into the hands of the teams involved – which may in turn stop as much hostility towards the officials and allow the focus to be on football rather than the officiating of it.

    But of a lengthy reply mate, sorry ????


  10. I’ve just realised – all the question marks in my last post is in place of emojis I used in the post.

    Don’t know it that may help in figuring out the problems.

    They aren’t my question marks though GoWest hahaha


  11. Bruno is suspended for next game anyway,wasn’t that his 5th yellow? Eddie will have a word with him I’m sure.


  12. Yes Bruno is suspended for Bournemouth. Not sure what’s got into him. He was a walking red card against Arsenal. He really needs to sort himself out.


  13. That’s the same Havertz who elbowed Dan Burn last season against Chelsea. That’s what got the players so upset after the LONgstaff lunge.

    Aren’t this bother with adress mix ups a matter of Data Protection breaches?


  14. Aah I get your point sharply on var. it’ll fascinating to see how it’s use evolves as it aint going away

    I wonder if it’s used in a controlling rather than collaborative mode in football because clubs do not have enough control / maturity to use it as you suggest.


  15. GoWest – I’m just shy of 45 and have been a sports nut my whole life. I grew up watching Wimbledon when players were still using wooden tennis rackets – long before hawk-eye technology was introduced.

    I watched rugby Union when it was still a semi professional sport, long before they introduced their version of VAR.

    I even enjoyed a bit of cricket when Beefy was king – again long before the technology was introduced to cricket.

    I know some say that the money involved in football makes the consequences greater – but I would argue if you are a professional in your chosen sport then the consequences are the same.

    I’ve watched technology be applied to those other sports with far less issue & improve them no end.

    The use of the technology is different in each sport – rugby being the officials to use, tennis being the players to use & cricket used by both players & umpires.

    But one thing links all of those sports – it’s rare (if ever) that the use of that technology is ever spoken about in post match interviews.

    Having been an avid spectator of these sports for as long as I have, I can say that the introduction of the technology has without doubt improved not just the outcome of results but also the viewing experience – fans know what is going on & are involved in the process of the review.

    I’m not against VAR in football, but they HAVE to improve how it’s used – drop the ego & follow the examples of good use in other sports rather than trying re-invent the wheel.


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