Premier League: Second-string Arsenal good enough to overcome Newcastle United

Arsenal kept their top 4 hopes alive when they beat Newcastle United 2-0 in a Premier League encounter at St. James Park on Sunday (May 2).

Pierre-Emerick Aubemayang in a file photo. (Image: Twitter)

Arsenal beat Newcastle United 2-0 in a Premier League encounter at St. James Park on Sunday (May 2). Mohamed Elneny scored the opener in the fifth minute. Skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang then doubled the lead in the 66th minute. The win keeps them in the race for the Premier League top 4, at least mathematically. Arsenal are currently 12 points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with four matches to be played. However, they will require their London rivals – and every other side above them at present – to drop all points in specatular fashion. For Newcastle, this loss keeps alive the slim prospect of relegation into the Championship.

Arsenal’s best chances of making the Champions League comes from the Europa League. They currently trail Villareal 2-1 going into the second leg, but mnager Mikel Arteta clearly had an eye on that encounter.

He named a much-changed side for this encounter, with Newcastle naming a full-strength team. But this game carried more importance for Steve Bruce than it did for Arteta.

Newcastle were unbeaten in their last four games, but mathematically, are not assured of avoiding the drop. But now this loss means they must do more to ensure their safety.

got what we wanted: Arteta

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said he was delighted with the result. “We got what we wanted, to win the game and keep a clean sheet. We had strong performances individually and collectively we were the better side,” Arteta told BBC after the match.

“I wanted to be fresh for today and Thursday so that was to give an opportunity to everybody. That will give us a headache.

“Winning and playing the way we have done today gives the team comfort and confidence. It’s exactly what we need. We believed we can beat them and we did.”

Indeed, Arsenal looked the only side likely to win this game. Newcastle were listless going forward and their three-man defence didn’t offer any protection.

“We’re disappointed because we haven’t got near the performances of late. Arsenal played well. It’s a poor goal after four minutes,” Bruce said after the match.

When you’re chasing against these lads it’s always going to be difficult. Arsenal were the better side today it was as simple as that.

Sportslumo Desk

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