It’s done now; we can all breathe a sigh of relief.
Arsenal certainly don’t like to do things the easy way do they?
If ever there was a chance to win ugly, this was it. Apart from a few minutes at the beginning where we dominated possession and a couple towards the end, Newcastle were by far the better team.
We entered half time lucky to still be in the game thanks to some terrific saves from Petr Cech but fortunately, somehow we managed to not only remain on level terms but eventually score through Koscielny.
Petr Cech – 9
The goalkeeper kept his 171st clean sheet in spectacular fashion. Double saves, saves from point blank range, one-on-ones – he did everything he could have done to keep us in it.
Hector Bellerin – 5
In the opening minutes, Bellerin had a field day against Perez and used his speed to his advantage.
Laurent Koscielny – 6.5
Although the defender let a few balls run astray, he was in the thick of it for the entire game and gave everything. A superb slide tackle in the 66th minute summed up his defensive performance before he went up the other end and scored.
Per Mertesacker – 5
Not the best performance from the German but not the worst.
Nacho Monreal – 5.5
Again, not a bad performance. I particularly enjoyed him having a shot on goal when we were 1-0 up.
Flamini – 4
Almost killed two men today.
Aaron Ramsey – 6
The midfielder didn’t have the best luck against the Magpies. His energy appeared to be lacking and he missed a few shots he really should have buried.
Beard watch: R. I. P.
Theo Walcott – 6
I was sure Theo was going to score at one point. He was getting into the right spaces but his connection with Ozil seemed a little off. The forward did actually make some good defensive interceptions though.
Oxlade Chamberlain – 4
Not his day at all. From being dispossessed and giving away the ball, to scuffing shots, slipping and making silly tackles, it was a poor game for the youngster.
Mesut Ozil – 6.5
Despite having to practically wear Colback as a backpack, the German still managed his moments of brilliance. Although he’ll be disappointed to not have picked up another assist #downwardspiral.
Olivier Giroud – 6
The big man’s hold up play was fantastic as usual. He also made a couple of little chest downs, which were perfect, and got the assist for the goal.
Beard watch: Getting fluffy.
Joel Campbell – 5
Although he came on relatively late, the forward instantly changed the game. Whether it was the mental boost or genuinely him being better than the Ox at the moment I’m not sure, but we scored after he came on.