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Gunners progress in FA Cup after grinding out win over Newcastle

Emile Smith Rowe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang score in extra-time to earn holders Arsenal a 2-0 victory over Magpies

09 January, 2021 — By Steve Barnett

FA Cup Third Round

ARSENAL 2 (Smith Rowe 109, Aubameyang 117)
NEWCASTLE UNITED 0

EMILE Smith Rowe went from red card disaster to goalscoring hero as holders Arsenal eventually saw off Newcastle in extra-time at the Emirates Stadium this evening (Saturday) in the third round of the FA Cup.

The midfielder, who emerged from the substitutes’ bench just before the hour mark, was given his marching orders at the end of normal time for a challenge on Sean Longstaff, only to see it downgraded to a yellow by referee Chris Kavanagh after a quick check of the pitchside monitor.

An eventful cameo then saw Smith Rowe open the scoring in the 109th-minute when he chested the ball down before firing into the bottom corner via the far post after being played in by Alexandre Lacazette.

“The goal was a bit of a relief for me with the incident before it [the overturned red card],” Smith Rowe told the BBC after the match. “I’m happy to get the goal and get through to the next round.

“We knew how tough it was going to be, they’re a tough opponent. It was about breaking them down. The win shows how together we are, we have been working off the pitch to get closer as a group and it shows.”

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang wrapped-up the win with a much-needed goal in the final minutes of the additional 30, tapping home Kieran Tierney’s cross to seal Arsenal’s place in Monday’s fourth, and because of the pandemic fifth-round, draw.

Quickly putting the win behind him, Mikel Arteta set his sights on Thursday’s return to Premier League action. “We have five days to prepare for the game against Crystal Palace, so we want to keep going and win more games,” said the Arsenal boss.

It wasn’t all good news for the Gunners, however. They were forced into making a change to their starting line-up just before kick off after Gabriel Martinelli picked up an injury in the warm up, and now faces another lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Reflecting on the injury, Arteta commented: “I am gutted. I was in my office before the game and one of the coaches came in and said that Gabi hurt himself, that he twisted his ankle.

“I went to the medical room and he was in tears. It didn’t look good. He was in a lot of pain and we’re gonna have to see how he is. He was in pain so I imagine we’re not gonna have good news with him.”

Arsenal: Leno, Cedric, Luiz, Mari, Tierney, Elneny, Willock (Xhaka, 66), Pepe (Lacazette, 105), Willian (Saka, 66), Nelson (Smith Rowe, 56), Aubameyang
Substitutes not used: Runarsson, Chambers, Maitland-Niles, Nketiah

Newcastle: Dubravka, Krafth (Murphy, 68), Lascelles (Ritchie, 45), Clark, Dummett. Hayden, S Longstaff, Hendrick, Almiron (Yedlin, 81), Joelinton (Anderson, 81), Carroll (Gayle, 105)
Substitutes not used: Gillespie, M Longstaff

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