Posted on Wednesday, 14th March 2012 by Akin Nathan
After winning the fight and losing the war in Europe a week ago, the lads must have had their morale boosted beyond redline and they were not going to let their naysayers and detractors get into their heads and make them think otherwise. The momentum clearly was with Arsenal and they were ready to keep firing on all cylinders.
Next up was a Newcastle team who have surprised many all season long and have even had their own good run of form to travel down south. Alan Pardew’s side have definitely found a new gear to drive in this season and they have been no pushovers with commanding performances all throughout and even got a 0-0 draw against Arsenal on their home ground on the opening day of the season.
As with the in-form Arsenal being led by their talismanic and Vantastic Captain, Robin van Persie, the Magpies also had their own hitman in Demba Ba, who has hit 16 Premier League goals this term and is in third place on the goal scoring chart.
Arsene Wenger deployed his team in an all familiar 4-3-3 system as seen all season with Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermalean lining up alongside Kieran Gibbs and Bacary Sagna to complete the rearguard which were protecting Wojciech Szcezny’s goal. They were covered by Alex Song and Mikel Arteta, while the resurgent and ever lively Tomas Rosicky, who was still basking on the euphoria of his recent performances and a two-year extension on his contract, completing the centre trio. Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were either side of Van Persie to complete the Arsenal starting 11.
As any sensible Premier League manager would do, seeing the recent form and results of the Gunners and the way they have treated and dispatched opponents, Pardew was smart enough to line-up his side in 4-5-1 shape having Mike Williamson and the impressive Fabricio Coloccini sitting right in front of Tim Krul, with Davide Santon and Danny Simpson completing the back four. The Magpies midfield comprised of Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye, Gabriel Obertan, Hatem Bern Arfa and Jonas Gutierrez, leaving Ba isolated upfront to do battle with the Arsenal centre-backs of whom he chose Laurent Koscielny to tango with all evening.
Arsenal registered their intent early on in the game as Sagna rose highest to set Theo bursting down the right and whipped in a ball with pace and precision which skidded off the turf just a fraction of a second to early for Van Persie to latch on to it. The Gunners kept on piling forward, kept possession and threatening to carve open the Magpies whose plan to park the team bus with two banks of four in the centre meant they were on the back foot from early on and only had to rely on counter attacks.
Tags: Aaron Ramsey, Alan Pardew, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alex Song, Arsene Wenger, Bacary Sagna, Cheick Tiote, Danny Simpson, Davide Santon, Demba Ba, Fabricio Coloccini, Gabriel Obertan, Gervinho, Hatem Ben Arfa, Howard Webb, Jonas Gutierrez, Kieran Gibbs, Laurent Koscielny, Mike Williamson, Mikel Arteta, Robin Van Persie, Theo Walcott, Thomas Vermaelen, Tim Krul, Tomas Rosicky, Wojciech Szczesny, Yohan Cabaye
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