Premier League: Arsenal rediscovers scoring touch

Arsenal rediscovers scoring touch to rout Newcastle in Premier League

/ 04:10 PM February 25, 2024

Newcastle Loris Karius

Newcastle’s goalkeeper Loris Karius, left, misses the opening own goal by Newcastle’s Sven Botman after Arsenal’s Gabriel, top right, shoots on goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Newcastle United at the Emirates stadium in London, England, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

LONDON  — Arsenal took its Premier League winning streak to six games by easing past Newcastle 4-1 on Saturday evening to stay in touch with its title rivals.

Arsenal quickly rediscovered its attacking threat after a lackluster 1-0 loss at Porto in the Champions League in midweek as the hosts totally dominated a Newcastle side which suddenly looks a shadow of the team that finished fourth last season.

The Gunners have now scored 25 goals in their six league games in 2024 — and 15 in their last three — although they needed some help from Newcastle defender Sven Botman to open the scoring from a corner in the 18th minute.

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Newcastle goalkeeper Loris Karius – making his first Premier League start since 2018 – did well to save Gabriel Magalhaes’ header but Botman then botched his attempt at a clearance and ended up pushing the ball over the line with his knee as he lay sprawled on the ground.

The second came quickly as Jorginho’s ball over the top picked out Gabriel Martinelli on the right side of the area and the Brazilian squared the ball back for Kai Havertz to slot home from close range in the 24th.

Arsenal remained parked in the Newcastle half and Martinelli missed a great chance for a third after a well-worked move in the 31st when Bukayo Saka played a neat exchange with Martin Odegaard and crossed the ball for the Brazilian, whose leaping header went over the bar.

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Newcastle handed Arsenal its first league loss of the season by beating Mikel Arteta’s team 1-0 at home in November, but didn’t manage a single shot until the 49th at the Emirates. Anthony Gordon broke into the area but his low effort didn’t trouble David Raya.

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The visitors offered a bit more of a threat after that and Alexander Isak had another chance on a counter in the 62nd but sent his shot well high.

Instead, Saka made it 3-0 with his trademark move of breaking in from the right and curling in a low-left footed shot that went past the outstretched legs of two Newcastle defenders.

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Defender Jakub Kiwior added the fourth from another corner in the 69th before former Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock headed home a consolation goal in the 84th.

That ended a run of 17 unanswered league goals for Arsenal since last conceding in a 3-1 win over Liverpool on Feb. 4, its best such stretch in Premier League history.

“We have been working hard and there is a lot of quality going forward and it is starting to click now,” Saka said about the team’s scoring form. “We just need to continue with this.”

The win kept Arsenal two points behind leader Liverpool and one behind Manchester City in what is shaping up to be a tight three-way race for the title.

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Eddie Howe’s team fell to its 11th league defeat of the season and has conceded 12 goals in its last four games, with just one win in that stretch. Newcastle is in eighth place, 15 points behind fourth-place Aston Villa.

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