<
>
2021-22 English Premier League
  • Bukayo Saka (56')
  • Gabriel Martinelli (66')

Arsenal cruise past Newcastle to edge closer to Champions League spots

play
Is Arsenal's patience with Arteta paying off? (1:13)

Janusz Michallik praises Mikel Arteta and Arsenal for turning their season around after a very poor start. (1:13)

Arsenal moved level on points with fourth-placed West Ham United after enjoying a comfortable 2-0 win over Newcastle United on Saturday.

Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli scored in the second half as Mikel Arteta's side bounced back from suffering a 4-0 defeat at Liverpool last week.

There was a concern for Saka as he limped off the pitch with an injury later in the second half.

The result leaves Newcastle winless after 13 league games and rooted to the bottom of the table.

- ESPN's Notebook: The inside stories in football
- Ratings: 8/10 Saka leads Arsenal past Newcastle
- Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (U.S. only)
- Don't have ESPN? Get instant access

"I am happy with the points after losing last weekend. You have to win straightaway. Overall, I'm pleased," Arteta said in his postmatch interview.

"The word was we had to be patient. We had to play with urgency and rhythm. That's what we did in the second half. We found spaces and that's how we scored the goals."

Arsenal controlled possession throughout the first half but needed goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale to make a stunning save from Jonjo Shelvey's long range effort after 30 minutes.

Arsenal were over-deliberate but still carved out chances with Saka just failing to score on the stretch from Nuno Tavares's superb diagonal pass.

Newcastle keeper Martin Dubravka, recalled for his first appearance of the season in place of Karl Darlow after recovering from injury, produced an acrobatic save to keep out Martin Odegaard's free kick.

The hosts should have taken the lead just before the break but Dubravka saved Emile Smith Rowe's header and then Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed a sitter from close range.

When Arsenal finally cracked Newcastle's defence after 55 minutes, it was no surprise Saka and Smith Rowe were involved.

The latter combined well with Tavares who slipped a pass in for Saka to fire left-footed past Dubravka from a narrow angle.

Newcastle claimed a penalty when Callum Wilson chased Shelvey's long pass forward but was knocked off balance by the covering Gabriel and within a minute they were two down.

Martinelli, who had just replaced the injured Saka, was picked out by a flighted pass from Takehiro Tomiyasu and doubled Arsenal's lead after 66 minutes with a smart first-time finish. It was the youngster's second touch after coming on.

The visitors attempted to make a comeback but remain without a win as Eddie Howe watched on for the first time in the dugout after recovering from COVID-19.

"I thought it was a good performance, especially the start. We were good for the first half an hour," he said.

"The pleasing thing today is how we started and finished the game. We created chances."

English Premier League Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 Manchester City 23 +41 57
2 Liverpool 22 +39 48
3 Chelsea 24 +30 47
4 Manchester United 22 +6 38
5 West Ham United 23 +10 37
6 Arsenal 21 +8 36
7 Tottenham Hotspur 20 +2 36
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 21 +3 34
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 22 0 30
10 Leicester City 20 -3 26
11 Aston Villa 21 -4 26
12 Southampton 22 -8 25
13 Crystal Palace 22 -3 24
14 Brentford 23 -12 23
15 Leeds United 21 -16 22
16 Everton 20 -11 19
17 Norwich City 22 -32 16
18 Newcastle United 21 -22 15
19 Watford 20 -17 14
20 Burnley 18 -11 12