Arsenal storm to first league win since New Year's Day over Newcastle
Premier League, Emirates Stadium - Arsenal 4 (Aubameyang 54', Pepe 57', Ozil 90', Lacazette 90+5') Newcastle United 0
Arsenal secured Mikel Arteta just his second league win since taking over at the Emirates with a 4-0 thrashing of Newcastle on Sunday.
The hosts were laboured in the first half, but looked like a different side after the break, with top goalscorer Pierre-Emerick Aubmeyang heading Arsenal into the lead in the 54th minute.
Nicolas Pepe added a second just three minutes later to give Arteta's team a cushion before the hour mark, and Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette rounded off the win with goals in stoppage time.
The win moves Arsenal up to 10th, one point behind Manchester United, while Newcastle drop to 13th after a first loss since January 1.
Arsenal players celebrate their opening goalGetty Images
The first half was a dull affair with Arsenal really struggling to find any rhythm. Newcastle in fact went closest to scoring, with Bernd Leno making a fine save from a deflected Sean Longstaff strike.
Arteta clearly had some harsh words for his side at the interval, with a fired up Arsenal taking the lead early in the second half as Aubameyang was afforded all the time in the world to head home his 15th league goal of the season.
156 seconds later and it was two, with Pepe sweeping home after great work from the impressive Bukayo Saka to set up the chance.
Newcastle had chances to get back into it, with Allan Saint-Maximin hitting the post and Ciaran Clark missing a gilt-edged opening, but Ozil's first goal for 10 months from close range and Lacazette's first of Arteta's reign right at the death completed a fine afternoon for the Gunners.
Turning point for Arsenal? The Mikel Arteta revolution has stuttered in the early stages of his tenure, and Arsenal fans looked set for further frustration as their team looked limp in the extreme in the opening 45 minutes. Whatever Arteta said during the break had an incredible rejuvenating effect, as Arsenal stepped it up a few gears to earn the Spaniard just his second Gunners league win. The task now is to build on this, and not return to their drawing ways, but with Arsenal's attacking players starting to find their form again, and Dani Ceballos back in the team pulling the strings, a late push for the top four is not out of the question.
Arsenal's English striker Bukayo Saka (C) vies with Newcastle United's Paraguayan midfielder Miguel Almiron (R) during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Newcastle United at the Emirates StadiumGetty Images
MAN OF THE MATCH
Bukayo Saka. After showing tremendous skill to set up Nicolas Pepe for Arsenal’s second, Saka has now assisted eight goals in all competitions this season, two more than any team-mate; he also has the most assists of any Premier League teenager this season. With Arsenal labouring, they needed someone to step up in the second half to spark them into life, and it was down to the talented teenager to do so. Arteta's faith in Saka is paying off, handsomely.
Arsenal: Leno 7, Bellerin 6, Mustafi 6, Luiz 6, Saka 9, Xhaka 7, Ceballos 8, Ozil 8, Pepe 9, Nketiah 7, Aubameyang 8... Subs: Torreira 6, Willock N/A, Lacazette 7.
Newcastle: Dubravka 6, Lazaro 5, Clark 5, Lascelles 6, Fernandez 6, Rose 5, Almiron 5, S. Longstaff 6, Bentaleb 7, Saint-Maximin 7, Joelinton 5. Subs: Schar N/A, Hayden 6, Ritchie 6.
14’ - SAVE! Well-worked corner sets up the volley for Sean Longstaff, he doesn't catch it right, the scuffed strike is then deflected, but Bernd Leno does well to adjust to make a smart save.
49’ - CROSSBAR! Arsenal best move almost results in the opening goal. Pepe does really well to get to the byline, pulls it back for Nketiah, who hits the crossbar from eight yards with a first-time strike.
54’ - GOOOOOOAAALLLLLL!!! Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle. Great header from Aubameyang breaks the deadlock. Arsenal's top goalscorer comes up with the goods. Poor defending from Newcastle, as Lazaro effectively allowed Aubameyang to have a free header, which he dispatched, on the end of a Pepe cross, with aplomb, into the bottom corner.
58’ - GGGGOOOOAAALLLLLLL!!! Arsenal 2-0 Newcastle. Where was this Arsenal in the first half as Pepe makes it two! Great play from Saka to nutmeg Lazaro, he then lifts his head, picks out Pepe, who slots home his fourth Arsenal goal. Game over?
63’ - WHAT A MISS! Somehow Newcastle do not get themselves back into this thanks to a howler of a miss from Ciaran Clark, who fired wide from eight yards, with the goal at his mercy.
76’ - POST! Saint-Maximin has been the real shining light for Newcastle. He twists and turns, fires for goal, but sees his strike thunder back off the post.
90’ - GOOOOOOAAAALLLLL!!!! Arsenal 3-0 Newcastle. Ozil completes the job and secures Arsenal the three points. Pepe fed Lacazette in the box, he tried to get the shot away, before hooking the ball back for Ozil, who bundled home his first goal in 10 months.
90+5’ - GGGOOOOAAALLLLL!!!! Arsenal 4-0 Newcastle. Lacazette's drought is over as he completes the rout. Pepe with the ball across, and Lacazette lashes home his first goal of Arteta's reign.
Xhaka and Arsenal celebrateGetty Images
Arsenal have failed to score in the first half in eight of their last 12 Premier League games (five goals in total).
Aubameyang has scored 47 goals in the Premier League - since his debut in the competition in February 2018, only Mohamed Salah (49) has netted more in the competition.
Dani Ceballos made his first Premier League appearance since November 2019 - Arsenal are unbeaten at home in the competition when Ceballos has played this season (P6 W3 D3).