Newcastle 1-3 Arsenal
Another win and we extend our lead over Aston Villa, whilst also reducing Chelsea’s lead to six points.
We have not had a good record at St James’ Park, usually drawing games we should win. Today we started well, looking composed at the back and appearing to be able to create chances at will. It was a shock then that gave a needless penalty away. Almunia came for a cross, dropped it and tangled with a Newcastle player. The referee pointed to the spot and up stepped Martins. Almunia the villain turned hero as he saved the penalty.
The game then started to open up, Newcastle had plenty of possession, but as befits a team at the bottom, their chances we half chances. The best chances fell to Arsenal. A great through ball by Bendtner found van Persie one on one but he was too close to Harper and the keeper saved the shot. Arshavin was put through but a desperate lunge from Taylor blocked his shot. Minutes later Bendtner was through, he squared for van Persie, but once more Taylor blocked the shot.
The second half saw Arsenal dominate the game. Arsenal took the lead when Arshavin floated a free kick which was met by Bendtner to give Arsenal the lead. We did not have a minute to sit back and relax as Martins took advantage of an indifferent Gallas and shot into the bottom corner to equalise.
Arsenal did not buckle, and a thrusting run from Diaby and a one-two with van Persie saw the Frenchman through on goal and the finish was unstoppable. Within minutes it was 3-1 as again van Persie played Nasri through, Nasri had the confidence to shoot and score.
Arsenal could have extended their lead with Denilson, van Persie and Bendtner all coming close. In the last minutes Diaby had a shot that thundered against the post.
Arsenal came, conquered and took all three points. Arsenal have not played flowing football like this for weeks or rather months. We scored three goals and it could have been six or seven. We have overturned a six point deficit against Aston Villa, turning it into a three point lead; this puts pressure on Villa to beat Liverpool on Sunday. We are certainly setting ourselves up for a grandstand finish to our season, which is the complete reverse of last season.