Boy, did we get away with that one.
We were vaguely acceptable in the first half and when we scored two goals through Olivier Giroud in quick succession, I thought this would be one of those matches where we could really rack up our goal difference.
Man, was I wrong.
Credit where it’s due, as much as were disorganised, sloppy and generally terrible, Newcastle were the opposite and gave us a run for our money.
We were lucky to get away with any points at all after that second half, let alone all three.
We really missed Mesut Ozil – who was left out of the team due to sickness – and lacked real conviction all over the pitch.
Goodness knows what happened to the passing football we’re supposedly famous for – we could barely string more than two or three passes together.
David Ospina 6
Although he failed to keep a clean sheet, he wasn’t at fault for the goal and made a couple of decent saves, one of which game right near the end of the match where he somehow managed to save a shot with his foot while on the floor.
Calum Chambers 5
Although he linked up well with Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla in the first half, and later on Danny Welbeck in the second with decent passing play, he allowed Newcastle in behind him too often.
Gabriel Paulista 5
He made some good defensive headers and key interceptions but also seemed a little nervy.
Laurent Koscielny 5
Lacked real conviction with his tackles and interceptions – something we all know is uncharacteristic of the Frenchman.
Nacho Monreal 5
Partially at fault for the goal and got caught out a couple of times down the wing where Newcastle would simply pass the ball ahead of him and get in behind him; needs to try not to get drawn towards the centre too often.
Francis Coquelin 5
Although he was caught out and at fault for their goal, his interceptions in crucial areas probably saved us from conceding more, more than once.
Aaron Ramsey 5
A few times he found himself drifting into an advanced position; as much as I love that he’s attacking minded, it shouldn’t come at a cost to the rest of his game. However, in the first half he was composed and strong on the ball.
Alexis Sanchez 6
Although we’re all aware that Alexis hasn’t been at the races recently, he ran his socks off and really tried to get into those vital spaces. He definitely gave Jack Colback a hard time on that right wing.
His attitude is admirable, I just hope he gets a good rest so his body can catch up.
Santi Cazorla 6
Although this wasn’t his best game, he was still one of our better players on the pitch and grabbed another assist.
Danny Welbeck 5.5
A little wasteful and frustrating; guilty of overthinking at times and wayward shooting at others. He showed how his pace can be deadly near the end of the second half when he sprinted down the left wing, leaving the player marking him in the dust.
He also got the assist for Olivier Giroud’s second goal with a lovely header-on.
Olivier Giroud 7
Two instinctive goals. His finishing is clinical and, in the first half, he looked incredibly dangerous.
Tomas Rosicky 5
He didn’t have a huge amount to do when he came on other than defend but when we did try to build an attack, he was usually the one sparking it.
Mathieu Flamini 4
The first thing he did was give the ball away.
Hector Bellerin N/A
Looked lively in the short time he was on the pitch. He was also part of a couple of the only attacks we had towards the end of the second half.