NEWCASTLE v ARSENAL
Newcastle: Harper, Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Barton, Tiote, Nolan, Gutierrez, Best, Lovenkrands. Subs: Krul, Campbell, Guthrie, Perch, Ranger, Ferguson, Richardson.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Djourou, Clichy, Walcott, Wilshere, Diaby, Fabregas, Arshavin, van Persie. Subs: Almunia, Rosicky, Squillaci, Eboue, Gibbs, Chamakh, Bendtner.
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger:
“It was a good game with a lot of incidents and turning points, [but] the sending off was detrimental to us and some of the decisions went against us today. We were under pressure and we had problems to finish in the second half. It’s unpredictable sometimes, and it became difficult. At 4-1 we panicked a bit.
But we were a little bit unlucky too. You have to take it on the chin and look at the positives. I didn’t see the sending off very well. But Barton should have been sent off too. We dropped two points, for sure.”
1′ [0 : 1] Theo Walcott
2′ [0 : 2] Johan Djourou
10′ [0 : 3] Robin Van Persie
26′ [0 : 4] Robin Van Persie
68′ [1 : 4] Joey Barton (pen.)
75′ [2 : 4] Leon Best
83′ [3 : 4] Joey Barton (pen.)
87′ [4 : 4] Cheik Ismael Tiote
50′ Abou Diaby red
69′ Kevin Nolan
69′ Wojciech Szczesny
82′ Emmanuel Eboue
90′ Jose Enrique
GOAL Newcastle 0-1 Arsenal (Walcott)
Arsenal goal: Less than a minute on the clock and Arsenal lead, Andrey Arshavin’s flick from Abou Diaby’s pass releasing Theo Walcott in behind the Newcastle defence and the winger tucks away his finish with aplomb.
GOAL Newcastle 0-2 Arsenal (Djourou)
Arsenal goal: It’s his first ever goal for Arsenal and it’s a nightmare start for Newcastle, Johan Djourou nodding in Andrey Arshavin’s free-kick from deep into the top corner.
GOAL Newcastle 0-3 Arsenal (Van Persie)
Arsenal goal: Nine minutes, three goals, and Newcastle are falling apart. Theo Walcott is given the freedom of St James’ Park as he dances into the area and his pull-back is slammed into the corner by Robin van Persie.
GOAL Newcastle 0-4 Arsenal (Van Persie)
Arsenal goal: The Gunners are rampant, Newcastle are worse than awful. Bacary Sagna sends over a delicious cross from the right and Robin van Persie – without a Magpies defender within a yard radius of him, heads home six yards out, centre of goal. Toon fans are leaving already.
SENT OFF, Abou Diaby, ARSENAL
Red Card, Diaby: He had to go, really, and the glimmerest of a glimmer of hope for Newcastle. Abou Diaby reacts to a Joey Barton challenge by pushing the Toon midfielder to the floor, and then facing off against Kevin Nolan as well. Referee Phil Dowd has no hesitation in brandishing the red card.
GOAL Newcastle 1-4 Arsenal (Barton pen)
Newcastle goal: Comeback on? Maybe not, but pride restored at least a touch for Newcastle. Leon Best is felled by Laurent Koscielny in the box and up steps Joey Barton to reduce the hosts’ arrears with a fine spot-kick into the corner
GOAL Newcastle 2-4 Arsenal (Best)
Newcastle goal: Another goal for Newcastle and 10-man Arsenal are wobbling. Leon Best beats Gael Clichy to a cross from Jose Enrique before slotting home. Substitute Nile Ranger comes close to a third for the Magpies seconds later with a shot that is saved.
GOAL Newcastle 3-4 Arsenal (Barton pen)
Newcastle goal: They couldn’t… could they? I’m running out of superlatives for this afternoon, but we’re set for a grandstand finish at St James’ Park after Laurent Koscielny is – harshly, for my money – adjudged to have fouled Mike Williamson in the box and Joey Barton scores from the spot. Eight minutes left.
GOAL Newcastle 4-4 Arsenal (Tiote)
Newcastle goal: The comeback to end all comebacks, surely. Cheik Tiote has possibly written his name into Newcastle folklore as an Arsenal clearance from Joey Barton’s free-kick falls to him 20 yards out and – on the volley – he sends it left-footed into the Arsenal corner. Staggering.