Arsenal 3 Newcastle United 0

By Lee Ryder on Aug 30, 08 07:44 PM

NEWCASTLE United were easily beaten tonight at the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal ran riot in the capital.

Goals from Robin van Persie (2) and Denilson won it for the Gunners on a night when Newcastle just weren't at the races.

To cap off a miserable day for Newcastle Joey Barton was roundly booed by the home fans on his return to the game after a stretch in prison.

Keegan paired Michael Owen in attack with Shola Ameobi with the Academy product back from a hamstring problem sustained in pre-season.

Owen was starting his first match of the campaign and donned the skipper's armband in front of the watching Fabio Capello.

Jose Enrique kept his place after the Carling Cup win at Coventry with Charles N'Zogbia staying on the left wing.

Jonas Gutierrez started wide right after his stint as a striker at the Ricoh Arena.

And on the bench Keegan named Joey Barton with the controversial midfielder yet to taste any action this season following his stretch in prison.

Newcastle - cheered on by Mike Ashley in the away section - escaped penalty appeals from the home side with just two minutes played when Fabricio Coloccini sent Robin Van Persie tumbling but Rob Styles waved away protests.

Arsenal then missed a golden chance after the Dutchman's corner was flicked on by Bacary Sagna and found William Gallas at the back stick but the French defender somehow sent it high over the bar right in front of goal.

On six minutes Given was on red alert again when Kolo Toure's forward run and shot was diverted wide of the post by the Irish keeper.

In the 17 th minute Van Persie's right footed effort near the edge of the area flashed wide of the post as Newcastle survived.

But Arsenal were handed a penalty moments later.

Emmanuel Adebayor's left wing cross struck the hand of N'Zogbia and Van Persie blasted it to Given's left to open the scores even though the Irishman had guessed the right way.

Adebayor was then tripped by Coloccini near the D and after the South American was booked by Styles on 29 minutes Cesc Fabregas could only hit the Toon wall.

Arsenal won another set-piece following Van Persie twisting run on the half hour mark following Beye's slight challenge on the Dutchman and this time United had to rely on Given to push the ball over the bar.

Nine minutes before the break came Newcastle's first glimpse of goal after Gutierrez's right wing cross but even though Owen had time and space at the back post he could only steer it off the heels of strike partner Ameobi with ball squirting wide.

United were made to pay four minutes before the interval as Adebayor slid the ball across to Emmanuel Eboue who had time to backheel the ball into the path of Van Persie who pounced to make it 2-0.

Newcastle made a change before the break with Sebastien Bassong replacing Enrique at left-back after enduring a torrid time first half against Adebayor in and around the left right channel.

United went in for the interval looking for a miracle in the second half with Arsenal in full control at the break.

Five minutes into the second half a Denilson foul on Guthrie handed United a free-kick deep on the right but N'Zogbia's woeful effort sailed harmlessly into the crowd.

Nevertheless Newcastle enjoyed the best of the possession at the start of the first half and after the Mags had won a corner N'Zogbia's flag kick found the head of Nicky Butt who crashed an effort off the bar with Arsenal failing to clear their lines on 55 minutes.

Seconds later and N'Zogbia rolled a ball across the final third and Guthrie's low effort had to be gobbled up by Manuel Almunia for Newcastle's first shot on target.

But it was 3-0 and game over before the hour mark as Arsenal bagged number three.

Bassong's half clearance on 59 minutes was intercepted by Nasri who picked out Adebayor before Denilson ghosted in to fire past Given who was rooted to the spot.

On their next attack two minutes later Van Persie's powerful effort crashed off the frame of the goal with Arsenal quickly getting back on top of the game.

Van Persie then hobbled off with a knock and while Newcastle were glad to see the back of him the damage was done.

Adebayor took over from that point onwards for the Gunners and after waltzing through again Steven Taylor's bodycheck earned Arsenal a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area.

Nasri curled it towards the top corner but Given bailed United out again with a top class save.

UNITED: Given, Beye (Edgar 89), Coloccini, Taylor, Enrique (Bassong 44), Jonas (Barton 89), Guthrie, Butt, N'Zogbia, Ameobi, Owen.

ARSENAL: Alumunia, Sagna, Fabregas, Toure, Nasri, Gallas, Van Persie (Vela 63), Clichy, Adebayor, Eboue (Walcott 72), Denilson (Song 69)

Ref: Rob Styles

Crowd: 60,067


Peter Harper said:

I know we had injuries tonight but where was the passion and pride.Unfortunately it was non existent and we were a complete and utter shambles. I would like to make the following points:-

1.It was obvious from early in the game that the midfield could not cope and needed help.Why was Barton unused until the 89th minute.Nile Ranger was on the bench but we needed The Lone Ranger.I refuse to discuss Ameobi
2.The Newcastle Chronicle and Journal are Newcastle's major newspapers.Could I please be told why the reporters never ask the most relevant and searching questions to Mike Ashley and "Mr Ashley-what are you doing-what are your plans -have you any intention of making money available to Kevin Keegan for transfers-does Dennis Wise have the final say in transfer dealings? etc,etc etc
The supporters are your newsreaders.We are completely in the dark and it is your duty to ask these questions.Would someone please tell me why they are not being asked? Is it an editors decision or maybe an executive decision?I and thousands of other readers would like to know!!nbjxyt

Jonnie said:

Well it seems it was business as usual for a Newcastle United match in London. I was optimistic of a positive result today but it has to be said Arsenal but our goal under siege.

However we always knew this was going to be a very tough opening 3 games. Now that they're over we just need to regroup and start again.

I don't think we can accuse the players of playing without any passion. We were simply outplayed and outclassed.

John said:

Peter is spot on, why is the chronicle, not asking these questions, leaving the fans in the dark, who sold milner really, complete joke, we have known since the end of last season we needed players, but we are told we will be surprised in the next 48 hours, don't bet on it, the worst site of the day, has to be seeing fat ashley downing a beer in the stand, the guy is a joke, false mixing with the fans, is laughable

He and wise, are undermining KK, and he should tell them where to stick it, making newcastle worse than before

kroll said:

Its funny how Keegan never has a plan B in place. As admirable as it is to try and match Arsenal at Emirates, why couldn't he have had a five man midfield instead of the woeful Amoebi? The moment Barton came on he had already messed Nasri up. And in all fairness his challenge was decent whereas Nasri's retaliation amateurish. I think Keegan should seriously consider having a backup plan away from home. If he had started with a 4-2-3-1 with Barton and Butt playing defensively, it could have made all the difference in the world. Keegan had some comment before the match about how they had done their homework, but obviously he hadn't. For all of Arsenal's brilliance, they are one of the teams who get mugged inspite of being superior. There's a lesson there innit?

Bill Gaddess said:

I would like to make a few points about Newcastle United. Having watched the poor showing at the Arsenal on TV and seeing the same old players who have let us down in the past, in Shola Ameobi's performance, the hurt continues.

1. People are starting to look upon us as a joke once again, the southern based press, are a class example, looking for every opportunity to have a dig at the club. They love to hate us.

2. If our new owner who likes to pull on a black and white shirt and stand with the fans at away matches wishes to make Newcastle United a force in the Premiership, Is it not high time he put his money on the table and let king Kevin bring in the players to improve the team? In the world that is full of big names and ego's you cant ask people like Michel Owen to take pay cuts, after they come to the club having been persuaded to come here in the first place.

3. How embarrassing is it that a great talent like James Milner wanted to leave, thinking he is not going to develop as a player at Newcastle?

4. Like lots of other Geordies I have followed the toon through thin and thinner. This is a much differing world now to when I used to queue at the Lezes turn styles from about midday so I could get a good view before the place filled up. We could afford to go to the match in them days. Now people will not put up with the old attitudes of putting 11 black and white shirts on the park and the masses will come to watch. When you pay vast amounts for tickets in this day and age, you expect to see a good product. Please take note Mr Chairman, we are not very impressed with you, even if you did bring King Kevin back, that will not alone make us like you. Put your money on the table. After all you bought the club.


Big mistake playing Ameobi. Now nobody will buy him!


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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