Arsenal 2 Newcastle United 0
- Anthony Taylor
Goals either side of half time from Aaron Ramsey and Alexandre Lacazette handed Arsenal a 2-0 victory over Newcastle United on Monday night.
Ramsey had already had a goal disallowed by the time he opened the scoring at the Emirates Stadium, finding the target with a low drive 30 minutes in.
But the Magpies proved difficult to break down and it took until the final ten minutes for the Gunners to net again, as Lacazette raced onto Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s header to lift their second over Martin Dúbravka.
The result ends United’s hopes of making it three Premier League games without defeat, though attentions now turn to Saturday’s visit of Crystal Palace to St. James’ Park, when Newcastle will go looking for a sixth successive home win.
The Gunners, who were searching for a tenth straight triumph on their own patch, had the ball in the net 12 minutes in. Ramsey arrived at the back post to latch onto a flick-on from a corner, but the Welshman’s strike – a confident first-time finish – was ruled out because of Sokratis’ foul on Florian Lejeune in the centre of the box.
It was a warning for United, who had acquitted themselves well against Unai Emery’s men with the Magpies’ forward triumvirate of Miguel Almirón, Salomón Rondón and Ayoze Pérez keeping the hosts’ backline busy with their movement and urgency.
But on the half hour, Ramsey netted again, and this time it stood. French striker Lacazette got behind the Newcastle defence and though he couldn’t quite adjust his feet to get a right-footed shot away, the ball ran kindly for Arsenal’s number eight, who barely broke stride as he dispatched the opener into the bottom corner via the post.
Rondón forced Bernd Leno into a smart stop at his near post after outmuscling Sokratis shortly after the goal but it proved to be Benítez’s side’s only real sight of goal in the first half, though Arsenal, for all their possession in the final third, mustered little until Lacazette’s thumping shot was nodded off the line by Matt Ritchie.
After the restart, the Gunners went looking for another goal, with Ritchie nodding away Mesut Ozil’s cutback and Dúbravka gathering Sead Kolasinac’s low centre as United retreated. Paul Dummett’s speedy recovery allowed him to slide in and block a Lacazette cross intended for substitute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Sokratis headed the resulting corner over. Ozil then found space to play in Aubameyang with a through ball which bypassed Newcastle’s defence, but Dúbravka did well to beat away the Gabon frontman’s shot.
The Magpies fought for a way back which looked most likely to come from the industrious Rondón, who was once more the visitors’ focal point in attack. But despite the introduction of the lively Yoshinori Muto in the closing stages, and fellow replacement Ki Sung-yueng’s curling effort, it wasn’t to be for Benítez and his team, who conceded again with seven minutes remaining as Lacazette’s deft lob put the result beyond doubt.