Another one bites the dust

By Lee Ryder on Sep 25, 07 09:55 PM

There was more pain in cup competitions in London tonight as Arsenal's shadow squad dumped Newcastle United out of the Carling Cup with the Magpies' interest in a competition many believed was their best chance of silverware ended before September is over.

United battled hard but sadly the Gunners kids were just too good for Big Sam's side who went down to two late goals.

Hopes of winning anything this season now lie with the FA Cup but at the moment a kind draw all the way to Wembley will be needed if that is to happen!

At the moment Wembley seems miles away though.

United couldn't convert the decent chances they had and rode their luck throughout until it finally ran out right at the end.

United made the trip to Arsenal's impressive Emirates Stadium with Sam Allardyce making several changes to the team that started against West Ham.

With no Michael Owen - who will fly to Germany on Friday for a hernia operation - United fielded a three man attack including Shola Ameobi, Alan Smith and Oba Martins.

Shay Given started between the posts while Abdoulaye Faye started for the first time in midfield.

Meanwhile it was England international Smith who donned the captain's armband with Geremi starting the game on the bench alongside the fit again Turkish ace Emre.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger named a young side but United knew the young Gunners had made it all the way to the final last term before going down to Chelsea.

But it was Newcastle who had the first real glimpse of goal with nine minutes played when Spaniard Jose Enrique crossed from the left and Martins forced a save out of Lukasz Fabianski following his goal bound header from six yards out.

Arsenal's shadow squad didn't panic though and eventually worked an opening eight minutes later.

Habib Beye couldn't stop Armand Traore skipping down the left and Nicklas Bendtner really should have scored from close range but his header went high over Given's bar.

Arsenal were presented with another chance on the 25 minute mark when another attack culminated in in Manu Eboue crossing from the right hand side but Eduardo could only fire into the side netting in a nervous moment for the Magpies.

Yet it was Arsenal who were on the back foot 15 minutes before the break when James Milner clipped in a good ball over the top of the Gunners back four for Martins who held off Philippe Senderos but fired way over the top of Fabianski's goal.

Given was called into action again with eight minutes of the first period to go when Eboue's long range effort was squirted wide of the target by Given and just seconds later United were let off the hook again when Bendtner picked out Theo Walcott before the England Under-21 star flashed a shot just inches over the bar.

Both sides started the second half with caution yet with five minutes played Eboue forced Given into a save low down before Walcott saw the Irishman stand up to another decent chance as Arsenal streamed forward once more.

Indeed Newcastle's goal was living a charmed life as Eboue's shot two minutes later was blocked by Steven Taylor for a corner before the resultant flag kick was attacked by Eduardo with Charles N'Zogbia heading off the line to aid his keeper Given with United somehow weathering the storm.

And despite the fact that Big Sam had opted to pack his midfield, the Mags still lacked creativity.

With an hour on the clock the lack of imagination saw Turkish star Emre make his way on to the field for Ameobi who had worked hard on the left hand side without any reward.

With a quarter of the game to go it was actually Emre who could have broken the deadlock but after latching on to a Senderos attempted clearance the Turkey international fired wide of the target with Toon nerves jangling in North London.

With 10 minutes remaining Smith won a free-kick deep on the right but Arsenal easily cleared Emre's free-kick in a wasted chance.

And with seven minutes left on the clock how United were made to pay when Traore's cross from the left was headed powerfully past Given to open the scores.

United's response came straight away when Martins was sent racing clear into the penalty area to round Fabianski but his shot was cleared off the line by Senderos with the Nigerian a whisker away from levelling the tie.

But as the game neared the end Arsenal killed it off as Denilson as Traore rolled the ball into the path of Denilson who sent a thunderbolt beyond Given to send Arsenal through to round four and finish off the cup dreams of Big Sam and Newcastle.




Jamie London said:

I can't believe we went out.
Arsenal bossed the game but we should have scored at least twice through Obafemi Martins.
You can't expect to get through without scoring though.

r ooi said:

I am loosing faith in the team and Big Sam; but I hope they prove me wrong this Saturday. An away win over Man. City will be nice. Oh well life goes on.

Peter Harper said:

If Sam Allardyce was in a war situation he would never win the V.C.He,d be more likely to be shot at dawn as a deserter.You may think that statement is rash, even cruel -I do not.Last night's tie had to be decided at the Emirates.We knew Wenger would field a weakened team.So what did we do-we left Martins totally isolated upfront-Ameobi then Smith on the wing.
The defining moment came in the 70th minute when Milner was substituted for Butt.A possible 50 minutes left (including extra time) and we went even more defensive.I hope I am made to eat my words but I believe we will win nothing under Allardyce.However early it may be in his reign the signs are bad.Every top manager has many qualities one of which is bravery.Unfortunately in all the games this season Big Sam has not displayed this quality once.
I am sure that the manager has introduced many good things to Newcastle ie sports science,fitness regimes,diet ,nutrition etc. I feel he will be unable to introduce the end product-success.Those who talk the best fight do not necessarily fight the best fight.Last night was his first big chance to make his mark but he deserted the field of battle!!!

Peter Harper said:

The Geordie Prayer.

Our manager Sam Allardyce
who sits in the heavenly seat
Hallowed be thy name
your chance did come but you got done at the Emirates last night by kids
Give us today hope
as we forgive your missed opportunity.
We forgive those who score against us.
Lead us to glory and deliver us from false hope for yours is the Kingdom.....until

PM said:

It's only a handful of games played, and already I'm getting fed up with the poor excuses BS comes out with for defeats. The real excuse should be the way he sets the team out to play, BS will soon stand for something else if he's not careful.

Arsenal B team Strategy - Attack Attack Attack

Newcastle team Strategy - Defend Defend Defend

It seems only KK knew the old saying attack is the best form of defence, as well as this it's also entertaining. It's one thing to play defensive and win but something else to lose and against a 2nd string team as well! Just shows how far behind we really are.

I'm not sure how much more disappointment we can take, only the FA cup left, once that's gone the season will be over again, another year without silverware, and yes they will be crying, he needs time, what a load of B@!!@ks

Like most supporters I was quite happy when BS was in the frame for the job, however when I heard Houllier was also in the frame, BS became 2nd best, and if you ask most fans, I bet they felt the same way, reason being with GH, you knew you would get adventurous attacking football, with BS, well the doubters are being proved right to his playing methods with every game. 1-9-1 formation.

With regards last night, whose to say that if Martins had been playing regulary he would not have bagged those chances, like BS says players play on confidence, and when you score pre season, and start the season with goals, then get dropped because the blue eyed boy's temporarily fit again, what confidence do you have then.

Any way had enough whinging, and should really know better, don't get your expectations too high, the reality is we are a mid table team making up the numbers now.

Trav said:

in all honesty a bit dissapionting to lose to a bunch of kids, albeit a good bunch, but in my opinion we now need to try our hand at the FA cup but our real focus and determination has to lie in cementing our position in a european place in the premiership with a good, winning performance at man city which we all no is not gonna be easy against a revitalised club with similar aspirations, anway the loss to arsenal is a learning curve for the club, we need to aspire to having a youth system similar to there's in this club re-building phase we are undertaking

Howay the lads...

Matt the Mag said:

In the end, I'll put it down to having to play 2 games in 3 days, which never seems to happen to the 'established' top clubs. Having said that, I am worried by Big Sams percieved respect for Shola's 'talents'. A concern I have also had with the last 3 managers. He must be absolutely blinding in training.

Al, Rotherham said:

We desperately need Joey Barton back, the midfield is just devoid of ideas through the middle. Get Smith either up-front or out of the team as well.

Kevin Clemitson said:

im sorry i have to disagree with the ameobi worked hard statement. I was at the game and he was totally rubbish. he barely touched the ball in the whole game and was the worst player on the pitch

David Pickering said:

New owner, new chairman, new manager, new players, new season, same old story. Season over before the end of September. After 2 successive away defeats, one against an appalling team and the other against a junior side I must ask, is Big Sam just the latest in a huge list of Newcastle managers long on talk and short on trophies? Still he is innovative. His assertion that the Metropolitan Police were to blame even outshines the king of excuses... Souness.


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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