| 1.8°C Dublin

Arsenal continue improvement under Mikel Arteta as second-half blitz guns down Newcastle

Arsenal 4 Newcastle 0


David Luiz of Arsenal celebrates his side's third goal scored by Alexandre Lacazette and team mates

David Luiz of Arsenal celebrates his side's third goal scored by Alexandre Lacazette and team mates

Getty Images

David Luiz of Arsenal celebrates his side's third goal scored by Alexandre Lacazette and team mates

Arsenal continued to show improvement under Mikel Arteta as a second-half blitzing of Newcastle gave them a 4-0 win at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners overcame a lifeless first half to turn it into a rout as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe, Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette all found the net, ending the Gunners' run of four successive Premier League draws.

It was their second win of 2020 and Arteta will be confident his side are now on an upward trend as he tries and implements his ideas.

It turned into an almost perfect afternoon for Pepe, who bagged two assists, produced the sort of contribution that justifies his £72million price tag in the summer, while Ozil scored his first goal since last April and Lacazette ended a nine-game drought.

Newcastle, who set up with five at the back, probably needed to score first, but they had chances to get back into the game, notably through Allan Saint-Maximin's shot which hit a post.

Having deemed their winter-break trip to Dubai a success, Arteta was hoping the work done will have transferred on to the pitch, but it was Newcastle who enjoyed the early opportunities.

They were nearly the beneficiaries of an own goal when Dani Ceballos diverted Sean Longstaff's shot, but Bernd Leno was on hand to make a smart save.

Then Joelinton was presented with a golden chance in the 15th minute as Valentino Lazaro's cross found him in space at the near post, but the Brazilian produced the finish of a man who had not scored in the league since August as he scooped wide when trying an audacious flick.

The Gunners came to life and began to take control of the game, working Martin Dubravka regularly as the goalkeeper saved from Eddie Nketiah, making his first league start for the club, Aubameyang and Pepe.

Joelinton did prove his worth at the other end as he produced an important goalline block to deny Shkodran Mustafi as the Gunners searched for an opener.

With Newcastle playing with a flat back five, the onus was on the Gunners to break them down.

They were going to need more life and urgency if they were going to manage that and the start to the second half was encouraging.

Pepe twisted and turned in the area and pulled back to Nketiah, but the young striker's 10-yard shot glanced off the top of the crossbar and went over.

The Gunners did not have long to wait before they did go ahead as Aubameyang did the business in the 54th minute.

The 30-year-old was in the perfect place to find the corner with a cushioned header from Pepe's pinpoint cross.

Pepe enjoyed a golden few minutes as three minutes later he got on the scoresheet to make it 2-0.

This was down to the skill and enterprise of Bukayo Saka, who nutmegged Lazaro and teed up the Ivory Coast international to coolly sweep into the bottom corner.

That seemed like that would be the end of the contest, but on another day Newcastle might have made a comeback.

Only a brilliant block by David Luiz denied Ciaran Clark as the defender somehow missed from close range while Saint-Maximin, whose pace and energy was a threat throughout, struck a post with a curling shot.

The Gunners made sure of it in the 90th minute as Ozil scored his first goal since last April, slotting home from Lacazette's assist.

The Frenchman also ended a long wait for a goal as he struck for the first time in over two months as he scuffed home another Pepe cross at the death.

PA Media

Related Content

Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min celebrates

Premier League

Son shines on Tottenham as Mourinho's men grab dramatic last-minute winner against Villa

Son Heung-min struck a last-gasp winner as Tottenham clinched a dramatic 3-2 victory at Aston Villa to boost their Champions League hopes. The South Korea forward cashed in on Bjorn Engels' stoppage-time error to snatch the three points for Jose Mourinho's side after Engels' 53rd-minute header had looked like earning Villa a priceless point in their fight against relegation. Son's first goal, following up after Pepe Reina saved his penalty, had given Spurs the lead at the break after Toby Alderweireld's equaliser cancelled out his early own goal. Fifth place in the Premier League is now likely to offer a Champions League spot following Manchester City's two-year European ban, although it is yet to officially be confirmed and City are appealing. The result moved Spurs - who face fellow European hopefuls Chelsea and Wolves in their next two top-flight games - above surprise package Sheffield United into fifth, while Villa remained a point above the drop zone in 17th. It all started so well for Dean Smith's side, who were gifted the lead after just nine minutes. Anwar El Ghazi's deflected cross completely flummoxed Alderweireld and, under little pressure from Mbwana Samatta, the Belgium defender stabbed into his own net from five yards. The visitors appeared unnerved and Villa looked for an instant second, swarming all over Tottenham with Jack Grealish curling wide from the edge of the box. Spurs were floundering but still found an opening when Lucas Moura seized on El Ghazi's loose pass and Dele Alli's shot was blocked by Kortney Hause. Yet they desperately needed to regain their composure as they struggled to handle a marauding Grealish, who continued to create clear openings for Villa. The midfielder was on top form and, after 18 minutes, he breezed past Alderweireld to cut back for Douglas Luiz only for his goal-bound shot to hit a covering Ben Davies and fly over. Villa were the dominant force and Spurs had struggled to create yet levelled out of the blue after 27 minutes when Alderweireld made amends. The hosts failed to clear Son's corner and switched off when the ball dropped to Alderweireld who swivelled to fire a neat finish high past Reina on the half-volley. Villa had paid the price for missing their chances and almost fell behind 10 minutes before the break but Alli horribly miscued his attempt to curl in from an angle. The game opened up and Hugo Lloris kept out El Ghazi's drive from distance before Alli's shot was blocked and Steven Bergwijn's follow-up hit Engels. Spurs had fought their way back after a nightmare start but completed their first-half recovery in injury time. Bergwijn raced down the right only for his run to be halted by the sliding Engels. Referee Martin Atkinson initially refused to give a penalty but a VAR review correctly awarded the spot-kick and, while Reina went to his right to save Son's penalty, the forward prodded in the rebound. The scoreline was harsh on Villa but they regrouped at the interval and swiftly fired a warning when El Ghazi's snapshot flew straight at Lloris. It was a warning which Spurs ignored, though, and Villa levelled after 53 minutes as Engels earned his own redemption when he rose above Alderweireld to head in Grealish's corner. Yet the hosts failed to build on the equaliser and needed Reina to be at his best until he was beaten at the death. First, Bergwijn shot at the goalkeeper and the veteran made a smart save after Son found space in the box just after the hour. Marvelous Nakamba blocked Bergwijn's effort 10 minutes later and Alli should have done better than to shoot tamely at Reina when Ezri Konsa's mistake allow him through. The former Liverpool goalkeeper also twice denied Son with five minutes left, expertly turning his angled drive wide and, from the resulting corner, making a low stop. But Son stole the points in the fourth minute of stoppage time when Engels missed a routine clearance and the striker ran through to roll under Reina.