Newcastle continue search for first Premier League win after defeat at Arsenal

Gunners run out 2-0 winners at Emirates Stadium to leave Magpies rooted to foot of Premier League

Bukayo Saka celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal for Arsenal against Newcastle. EPA

Two fine second-half goals from Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli saw Arsenal bounce back from their thrashing by Liverpool with a 2-0 win over Newcastle on Saturday as Eddie Howe's first match in the dugout ended in defeat.

Arsenal have found form following a wretched start to the season, and after losing 4-0 at Anfield last weekend, returned to winning ways against a Newcastle side still seeking their first victory of the Premier League season after 13 games.

Saka opened the scoring in the 56th minute after running onto a deft pass from left-back Nuno Tavares and sending a low shot past goalkeeper Martin Dubravka into the far corner.

The England international appeared to hurt his left leg soon after his goal and, after briefly playing on, was replaced by Martinelli in the 64th minute, and the 20-year-old Brazilian scored with only his second touch.

Sprinting onto a lofted pass from right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu over the Newcastle defence, Martinelli sent a volley past Dubravka.

Recently hired Newcastle manager Howe was on the sidelines for this match — he was absent for his first in charge of the club, the 3-3 draw against Brentford last week, after testing positive for Covid-19 — but his team barely troubled Arsenal.

Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale was only seriously called into action to tip a long-range shot from Jonjo Shelvey onto the bar midway through the first half.

The standout moment of the first half saw Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang somehow fail to score from barely three metres out, with his effort on the rebound - after Dubravka saved Emile Smith Rowe's header - hitting the outside of the post instead.

"I am happy with the points after losing [to Liverpool last weekend]. You have to win straightaway. Overall I’m pleased,"said Gunners manager Mikel Arteta

"The word was we had to be patient. We had to play with urgency and rhythm. That’s what we did in the second half. We found spaces and that’s how we scored the goals.

"When you have chances you have to put them in the net. In the first half we shot from every range without composure."

The result leaves Newcastle bottom of the table, five points shy of safety - and they face crucial home matches against fellow strugglers Norwich City and Burnley in their next two fixtures.

"I thought it was a good performance, especially the start. We were good for the first half an hour," said Howe.

"It was a great save [from Aaron Ramsdale to deny Jonjo Shelvey]. I thought it was in. The pleasing thing today is how we started and finished the game.

"The players have been very responsive. They have given everything in the two games. I can’t ask more than their best.

"We just have to look at the first one [game against Norwich]. Momentum in football is so important. We need to get that win as quickly as we can.

"It is great to be back. You don’t enjoy losing. Managing and being out there in action is what it’s all about."

Updated: November 27th 2021, 3:30 PM