Arsenal continued their recent revival with a convincing 3-0 win over a sorry Newcastle side at the Emirates.
Gunners captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has come in for some heavy criticism this season with the star striker’s form having fallen off a cliff since he signed a bumper new contract back in September. The Arsenal skipper must have thought his run of back luck in front of goal was about to continue when he missed the best chance of the opening period, the Gabonese attacker somehow managing to hit the post when presented with an open goal from just a few yards out.
However, five minutes into the second-half and the former Borussia Dortmund man finally found his groove to put the Gunners 1-0 up. Aubameyang latched onto a Thomas Partey pass 50 yards out from goal before driving at the Newcastle defence and firing a powerful left-footed shot into the roof of the net.
Just three minutes later and any hope under-fire Newcastle boss Steve Bruce had of leaving north London with a result was over, impressive teenager Bukayo Saka scoring the all-important second goal for the home side. The 19-year-old England international fired home from 12 yards out after an excellent run and cut-back from fellow academy graduate, Emile Smith-Rowe.
In the 77th-minute, Aubameyang bagged his second of the evening with a confident finish from a drilled Cedric cross to seal Arsenal’s fourth win in five Premier League games.
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Speaking afterwards Arsenal boss Arteta admitted Aubameyang’s brace will help boost the confidence of the talismanic forward.
”In the first half, it took us a while to break a structure like this. We had big chances that we didn’t score,” Arteta told Sky Sports.
”We were in total control of the game so it was about keeping that right, keeping it simple and attacking the box. Then we produced the moments of the goals.
“I thought [Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang] had two or three really big chances in the first half which he didn’t score. But those goals today will give him good confidence so that’s good for the team.”
One of the main factors in Arsenal’s upturn in form has been the performances of teenage duo Smith-Rowe and Saka, and Arteta waxed lyrical about the impact the talented youngsters are having on his side.
“I know what they are capable of doing. They put a smile on my face,” Arteta continued.
”That is merit to them and their team-mates. Their performances were extraordinary. The expectation will be high with them so we have to take them through the right path.
”It’s a mixture of energy, passion and a little bit of immaturity at times which is good as you don’t play as tense. They did really well.”
Tonight’s win sees the Gunners move up to tenth in the table, with a tough away trip to face Southampton next up for Arteta’s men.