While Arsenal were rotten, Mikel Arteta couldn’t help but praise Newcastle after last night’s game.
The Magpies beat Arsenal 2-0 at St James’ Park, leaving their Champions League dream in tatters. They now need already relegated Norwich to do them a favour on Sunday.
For Newcastle, it was a perfect night and the best of Eddie Howe’s tenure so far.
The buzz before the game was palpable, with Wor Flags creating an incredible atmosphere inside St James’ Park. Every fan was involved in the display, and it certainly got a reaction from the players in black and white.
Every Toon player delivered last night, on one of those nights where everything went our way. Newcastle dominated the game in every department and absolutely deserved the three points.
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In contrast, Arsenal were desperate at the worst time possible.
Mikel Arteta admits Newcastle were ‘100 times better’ than Arsenal
He was probably more focussed on his team’s abject showing, but Arteta had to praise the Newcastle performance.
“Newcastle were 100 times better than us in every department from the beginning to the end,” he told the Evening Standard.
“It’s hard to accept but that’s the reality of what happened today on that pitch.
“We knew [what was at stake] but we didn’t cope with it, we didn’t compete, we never got into the game.
“We were putting ourselves in trouble time after time, we lost every duel, every aspect of the game we were second best and Newcastle deserved to win the match, probably by a bigger margin as well.”
Arteta’s right, Newcastle should’ve won by more
Every Toon fan would’ve taken a 2-0 win at the start of the night, but we arguably should have scored more. Arteta is right.
We went closest in the first half, then continued to carve Arsenal open in the second 45. The more time went by, the more desperate they got, leaving more and more space in behind. However, we didn’t exploit it as much as we could.
Both Ryan Fraser and Jacob Murphy had big chances to find the net, while Callum Wilson came close with a couple of efforts.
It was a perfect night for Newcastle, but they could easily have embarrassed Arsenal further. But nothing will take the shine off what was a magical night inside St James’ Park.