Defensive errors cost Arsenal again as away-day misery goes on
Lacazette strike gave Gunners the lead, before home side were allowed back into the game and went on to claim all three points - result means Arsene Wenger's men have now lost all five of their top-flight games on the road in 2018
15 April, 2018 — By Steve Barnett
NEWCASTLE UNITED 2 (Perez 29, Ritchie 68)
ARSENAL 1 (Lacazette 14)
ARSENAL remain the only side yet to pick up any Premier League points away from home in 2018 after losing 2-1 at Newcastle this afternoon (Sunday).
Despite taking the lead at St James’ Park, the north Londoners have now lost all five of their top-flight games on the road this calendar year.
After the game, Gunners goalie Petr Cech said the defeat summed up life away from the Emirates Stadium.
“At 1-0 up we were in control and doing really well,” he said. “It was obviously then disappointing to lose our lead.
“In the second half we tried to find an opening to score a winning goal but we just didn’t create enough chances.
“Their second goal sums up our away form this season – we made a number of mistakes which led to the goal.”
Manager Arsene Wenger made a host of changes from the side that successfully engineered a place in the semi-finals of the Europa League on Thursday. The most notable of those changes was handing Joe Willock his Premier League debut.
Arsenal fans have been calling for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette to be paired together in attack at every opportunity, and in the 14th minute the reason why became clear as the pair linked up to open the scoring.
Aubameyang found acres of space on the right and picked out Lacazette, who clinically slotted home his 13th goal of the season.
The home side didn’t panic and continued, with a visible belief, to search for a goal, or goals, of their own.
The first arrived in style in the 29th minute when Ayoze Perez side-footed DeAndre Yedlin’s cross past Cech at his near post.
It was a goal that highlighted Shkodran Mustafi’s growing defensive frailties – first allowing Dwight Gayle to run at him, and then completely losing track of goalscorer Perez.
The Gunners were just as poor at the other end of the pitch as they squandered two good chances to retake the lead before the break.
Calum Chambers somehow managed to stick the ball wide after Mustafi headed Granit Xhaka’s pass across goal following a free-kick.
Willock then had a moment he’ll hope doesn’t make the Match of the Day highlights. Newcastle midfielder Mo Diame slipped and gifted the ball to Lacazette who darted forward before picking out Willock, but the opportunity for a strike on goal sailed by while the teenager was trying to work out which foot to use.
Arsenal continued to look laboured in the second half, and were made to pay for their lethargy shortly after the hour mark when Matt Ritchie fired home from inside the box following good work from Perez.
Newcastle’s winning margin could have been greater, but Kenedy’s audacious effort came back off the woodwork late on.
NEWCASTLE: Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie (Murphy, 83), Diame, Shelvey, Kenedy, Perez (Joselu, 79), Gayle (Slimani, 63).
Substitutes not used: Darrow, Clark, Hayden, Manquillo.
ARSENAL: Cech, Chambers (Maitland-Niles, 78), Mustafi, Holding, Monreal, Elneny, Xhaka, Willock (Welbeck, 68), Iwobi (Nketiah, 86), Lacazette, Aubameyang.
Substitutes not used: Ospina, Mertesacker, Kolasinac, Nelson.