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The undefeated streak of the Arteta Invincibles has come to an end. Arsenal’s impressive start to the Premier League season was halted by a loss in the rainy match against Newcastle. Mikel Arteta will not match the success of Arsene Wenger this season, which many did not expect him to do, but he will regret not taking advantage of the chance to surpass Tottenham and widen the gap between Newcastle in the race for a top-four finish.
Arsenal has had a difficult week, facing losses in the Carabao Cup against West Ham and a setback in their pursuit for the title. On the other hand, Newcastle has had a successful week, first winning against a weakened team at Old Trafford and then showcasing their strength and determination at home. Anthony Gordon, who embodies their team spirit with his energy and fearlessness, scored the winning goal.
Young fans of Everton can present a challenge for unbeaten Arsenal teams, as a young Wayne Rooney demonstrated to Wenger twenty years ago. More importantly for Newcastle, Gordon had the determination to score the winning goal when United did not have a designated striker on the field due to injuries.
Newcastle have a resourcefulness that has enabled them to cope with the loss of players. Meanwhile, Arsenal missed the sidelined pair of Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard more as they mustered a lone shot on target while, minus Isak and Sandro Tonali, Newcastle found a way to win. Each side should have been depleted further. It may be an exaggeration to brand this the battle of St James’ Park, but it was a fractious affair that probably ought to have featured a pair of red cards.
The preceding events brought attention to the overworked officials when Gordon scored a shot for Newcastle. However, a triple VAR check was conducted to confirm if the ball went out of play before Joe Willock crossed, if Joelinton had committed a foul on Gabriel Magalhaes during a header, and if Gordon was offside. The goal was eventually awarded, but it came shortly after Willock had substituted for Wilson, who is unable to play a full 90 minutes. Additionally, Gordon had been moved to a striker position, indicating that Eddie Howe’s decisions were successful.
If he kept his head, others threatened to lose theirs, referee Stuart Attwell included. Kai Havertz should have been dismissed for a wild, reckless lunge at Sean Longstaff. Instead, he only collected a caution and, after the subsequent melee, Gordon, Fabian Schar and Longstaff all received the same punishment, leading to the impression Attwell was panicking. It may be unfair to suggest that getting three Newcastle players booked is the most Havertz has done in an Arsenal shirt but each lasted the full game.
Surprisingly, Bruno Guimaraes also caught Jorginho with his forearm, appearing to do so on purpose; he should have also been sent off. The halftime break seemed to calm the game down, reducing some of the tension. In the aftermath, Newcastle may be thankful for one of Attwell’s mistakes: if Guimaraes had been ejected, their midfield would have been missing him for three games. Instead, he was only shown a yellow card in the 88th minute, resulting in a one-game suspension.
The standout player for Arsenal was in their midfield. The momentum was driven by Declan Rice’s powerful runs, which have brought a new element to the team. It seems that Arteta’s tactic is to use Rice as a midfielder against stronger opponents, and once again, he proved to be a valuable addition for these types of matches. Rice nearly scored with a bold header from 14 yards.
Unfortunately, his fellow players were not able to pose much of a threat. Just before half-time, Gabriel Martinelli took the only shot on goal, which was saved by Nick Pope. Eddie Nketiah reached 100 Premier League appearances, but it is worth noting that he has not scored a goal in a top-flight match outside of London since 2019. It should be noted that he did not receive much support from his teammates. Additionally, it did not help that Havertz, who has a history of underperforming, continued to do so.
In a highly intense game that was fiercely competitive, Newcastle struggled to generate much creativity, despite being the top scoring team in the division until Manchester City scored six goals against Bournemouth. However, they continued to push forward and their determination was evident when Joelinton fell to his knees in celebration after stopping Rice in the final moments of injury time.
In the end, Arsenal did not pass the test. They lacked strength and experience when they lost in Tyneside two seasons ago, but redeemed themselves with a win in May. However, they have now fallen back into old patterns. St James’ Park seems to challenge a team’s determination. Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool showed their resilience to win here, while Paris Saint-Germain crumbled. Although Arsenal were not as weak, they were still overcome. As a result, they must now concede the title of the Premier League’s unbeaten team to Tottenham, which is not the team they would have chosen to honor as the new North London Invincibles.
The source of this information is the website independent.co.uk.