Nick Ames braved the wind and the rain at the Emirates, and here’s his report. Off you click! Thanks for reading this MBM.
Mikel Arteta’s turn. “In the first half we played how we wanted but without being a real threat. The first half was too slow and we did not occupy certain spaces. In the second we changed a few things and started in a different way, our rhythm was much better. Saka’s goal was great, it’s what you need against a low block.”
Eddie Howe speaks to BT Sport. “It was good for the first 30 to 35 minutes. We were solid but creaked a little before half-time, and probably the same after half-time until the goal. Then obviously you’ve got the penalty incident and the second goal. Ramsdale made a couple of great saves. So we were close and it could have been different. To me it looked like a penalty but I’d need to see it again. It wasn’t, and we needed to defend the second goal better. But you saw a committed team and ended the game strongly. We never dropped our heads. It’s a big task ahead of us, but I saw positive signs.”
Arsenal remain in fifth, but consolidate their position …
… while Newcastle remain in serious bother.
FULL TIME: Arsenal 2-0 Newcastle United
A comfortable bounce-back victory for Arsenal in the end. Newcastle remain the only winless club in the top four divisions, and are rooted to the bottom of the Premier League.
90 min +4: Saint-Maximin spins in the centre circle and dribbles with balletic grace down the middle. But his attempt to free Wilson with a slide-rule pass is intercepted. Lovely run, though.
90 min +3: … so having said that, Murphy makes his way down the right and rolls a cross into the box for Wilson, who can’t connect. Ramsdale gathers.
90 min +2: Newcastle ping it around the back, damage limitation seemingly the aim now.
90 min +1: Actually, there might be more than four added minutes, because Martinelli took a whack on the jaw while being eased off the ball by Lascelles, and is down grimacing quite a lot.
90 min: On BT, co-commentator Steve McManaman gives the man of the match award to Saka. Can’t complain with that decision. There will be four added minutes.
89 min: Tomiyasu sends a long pass down the right for Martinelli, who breaks into the box but hesitates and is forcefully – but legally – barged off the ball by Lascelles. Goal kick.
87 min: Lacazette threatens to break clear in the Newcastle box down the right. But he can’t control. He tries to dribble past Dubravka but the keeper wins that battle easily. Newcastle go up the other end, Saint-Maximin driving a shot goalwards from a tight angle on the left. Ramsdale parries, the ball dropping to Almiron, who should cream a first-time shot goalwards, with the keeper prone, but decides to shift his feet. He doesn’t have the time for such luxury and the chance is lost.
84 min: Smith Rowe executes a perfect slide tackle on Almiron. The crowd enjoyed that one.
82 min: Willock nips in from the left and curls towards the top corner. Ramsdale claims easily. The Arsenal keeper has had very little to do in this second half.
81 min: Martinelli romps down the middle and slips Lacazette into the box down the left. Lacazette slaps a shot into the side netting from a tight angle.
80 min: Tavares barrels down the left and curls a luscious ball to the feet of Martinelli, on the edge of the D. Martinelli can’t control. A better touch, and he’d have been one on one with Dubravka and it’d surely have been 3-0.
79 min: Shelvey steps forward and has a skelp from the best part of 30 yards. Nope. It’s blocked easily by White.
78 min: Saint-Maximin drives down the right, but with Arsenal light at the back, chooses to turn tail. That just about sums up Newcastle’s day.
76 min: Aubameyang is booked for a striker’s challenge on Almiron. It’s his last act of the afternoon; he’s replaced by Lacazette.
74 min: Schar strides down the middle and tries his luck from distance. His low shot takes a huge deflection off Gabriel and sails out for a corner on the right.
72 min: Murphy makes good down the right and sends a low cross straight through the Arsenal box and out for a goal kick. Nobody in black and white took a gamble.
71 min: Aubameyang is found down the inside-left channel and tries to dink over Dubravka. The keeper stands firm.
69 min: Shelvey creams a shot from distance towards the top left. Easy for Ramsdale. Newcastle are far from happy, by the way. They’re sure they should have had a penalty just before Arsenal’s second, Tavares having shoulder-charged Wilson … from behind? From the side? It was a close thing, either way, and you can be sure that differing opinions will be available soon on the internet.
67 min: Newcastle respond by making a double change: Murphy and Almiron come on for Ritchie and Joelinton.
GOAL! Arsenal 2-0 Newcastle United (Martinelli 66)
What an introduction to the game for Martinelli! Tomiyasu, found by White out on the right, loops a cross into the middle. Martinelli meets the ball, dropping over his shoulder, on the right-hand corner of the six-yard box. He opens his body and steers a volley across Dubravka and in. That’s a glorious finish.
65 min: Nothing comes of the corner. Then a long ball down the middle nearly exposes Arsenal. Wilson gets ahead of Gabriel and Tavares, but never looks under control, and falls over inside the box. He wants a penalty, but he’s not getting one.
64 min: Saka, who has been magnificent, limps off, to be replaced by Martinelli. Loud cheers for both players.
63 min: Partey bursts into a pocket of space down the left. His shot is deflected over the bar. Before the corner can be taken, Lascelles is booked for a late clip on Aubameyang, while Saka goes down again. He won’t be able to continue.
61 min: Tomiyasu crosses from the right. Aubameyang, level with the far post, flicks the ball over Krafth’s head, but Dubravka claims it before the striker can shoot goalwards.
59 min: That goal came at the end of a 16-pass move, incidentally. Patience rewarded.
58 min: Saka deserved that. He’s been fantastic since the restart, buzzing and probing down both flanks. But he looks to have tweaked something. He’s down holding his hip, and frowning at the bench.
GOAL! Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle United (Saka 56)
This is a lovely team goal. Some triangles drawn down the left. Smith Rowe suddenly slides infield for Tavares. He rolls a cute first-time pass down the inside-left channel to release Saka, who sends a clinical shot across Dubravka and into the bottom right!
55 min: Saka probes down the right again. This time his cross isn’t quite so good, sailing over the head of Smith Rowe and into the arms of Dubravka.
53 min: Dubravka takes his sweet time over the goal kick. It’s not the first time he’s faffed about, and he’s seriously testing the referee’s resolve. The official might be taking action sooner rather than later.
52 min: Smith Rowe is barged off the ball by Krafth out on the left. From the free kick, the ever-dangerous Saka scampers down the left and whistles an inviting ball across the face of the six-yard box. Tomiyasu lunges in, hoping to poke home at the far stick, but can’t connect. What a cross that was.
50 min: Saka cuts in from the right, jinking his way between Willock and Ritchie with supreme grace. His low drive from a tight angle isn’t so impressive and easily gathered by Dubravka.
48 min: Krafth is booked for an absurd barge on Tavares as the pair chase a ball down the Arsenal left. The resulting free kick leads to a non-event of a corner.
47 min: Ritchie swings a fierce cross in from the left. Wilson sniffs around but Tomiyasu does well to clear, just in time.
Newcastle get the second half underway. Neither side has made a half-time change.
Half-time entertainment. These two clubs have contested the FA Cup final on three occasions: 1998, 1952 and the Over The Line final of 1932, a tale entertainingly told here by two partisan old boys who each have their story down pat and aren’t budging an inch.
HALF TIME: Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle United
Both teams have hit the woodwork: a fine shot from Shelvey pushed onto the bar; an absurd Aubameyang shank onto the post from a couple of yards.
45 min +4: Shelvey looks to meet a ball dropping on the edge of the Arsenal box. He shapes to belt another one goalwards, only for Saint-Maximin to get in his road.
45 min +3: Tavares takes yet another ambitious potshot at goal. Over the bar it flies. He’s testing the crowd’s patience now.
45 min +1: There will be four added minutes, and in the first, Tomiyasu crosses low from the right, Smith Rowe meeting the ball first time and pearling it goalwards. Schar blocks. Tavares blazes the rebound over. Arsenal are finally baring their teeth.
45 min: Saka is slide-tackled in the box by Lascelles. Perfectly timed. It had to be.
44 min: Ritchie is booked for a cynical block on Saka, who was about to scoot down the right. He’ll miss Newcastle’s next match as a result.
43 min: Dubravka needs a bit of attention, and the stoppage allows Aubameyang to stand around ostentatiously shaking his head in a mixture of disbelief and embarrassment.
41 min: … and then they nearly score! They really should have scored. Saka dribbles down the left, eases past Lascelles, and stands one up for Smith Rowe, who powers a header towards goal from close range. Dubravka makes a stunning reaction save, but can only parry towards Aubameyang, who prepares to tap home from a couple of yards … only to sidefoot onto the right-hand post! Newcastle clear. What an astonishing miss!
38 min: After a lengthy stoppage, Krafth is up and about again.
36 min: Saka curls in. Dubravka punches clear. Krafth takes a whack from his keeper, who was taking no prisoners. He’s down and looks groggy. On comes the trainer.
35 min: Saka dribbles down the right and is clipped by Saint-Maximin. A free kick just to the side of the box, and more set-piece danger for Newcastle to deal with.
34 min: A replay of the Newcastle corner on 31 minutes. Odegaard had his hands on Schar, who went to ground. VAR checked for a penalty and decided against it, though you’ve seen them given.