Arsenal got back to winning ways with a 2-0 win over a stubborn Newcastle at the Emirates on Saturday to set us all off on a good weekend.
At the break, the scores were level, although that was more thanks to another superb Aaron Ramsdale save and an unbelievable Auba miss.
Aubameyang could try another 100 times and never be able to hit the post from that distance at that angle.
It was an astonishing miss.
The referee, Stuart Atwell, insisted on letting a lot of niggly fouls go while also playing advantage by applying the ‘you’ve kept the ball’ rule, which is not really what advantage is supposed to be about.
How else do you explain Bukayo Saka being fouled, Atwell waving advantage as Saka somehow stumbled on with the ball, trying to keep his feet before succumbing to physics. He fell into three Newcastle players, just a few yards from where he had been fouled, losing possession? What sort of advantage is that?
Other fouls Atwell just seemed oblivious too, perhaps spending too much time these days as VAR to remember he needs to look around him and not just follow the ball.
Arsenal’s opener, when it eventually came, was worth the wait.
Not long after, Saka had to leave the pitch with what appeared to be a left hip problem.
He was replaced by Gabriel Martinelli, who scored an equally impressive goal with his first touch around 90 seconds later:
Arsenal will finish the weekend in fifth place. The only thing that could change that is a Manchester City win over West Ham by 11 goals or more.
If that madness happened, which it won’t, Arsenal would finish the weekend fourth, which seems equally bonkers.
Arsenal player ratings (half-time)
- Aaron Ramsdale 7.6 (6.2)
- Takehiro Tomiyasu 8.5 (7.2)
- Benjamin White 8.1 (7.4)
- Gabriel 7.6 (7.0)
- Tavares 8.3 (6.8)
- Thomas Partey 7.6 (7.1)
- Albert Sambi-Lokonga 8.4 (7.2)
- Bukayo Saka 8.3 (6.5)
- Martin Odegaard 7.8 (6.7)
- Emile Smith Rowe 7.8 (6.7)
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 6.8 (6.4)
Arsenal player ratings – subs
- Gabriel Martinelli 7.5
- Alexandre Lacazette 6.4
- Mohamed Elneny n/a