Newcastle 1-3 Arsenal: Bendtner finally gets his goal

Nasri was back among the goals against NewcastleThis is my first post since Thursday last week and since that time, quite a lot has happened. We’ve drawn Villarreal in the quarter-finals in the Champions League, lost Theo Walcott for at least three weeks due to a freak knee injury and now sit in fourth place outright in the Premier League thanks to a hard-fought 3-1 win at Newcastle and Liverpool’s 5-0 demolition of Aston Villa.

I’ll speak a bit about Friday’s Champions League draw and the injury to Theo Walcott over the coming days. With the players on international duty for the next week-and-a-half it will be a good opportunity to catch up. But today it’s all about the win over Newcastle.

Nicklas Bendtner, Abou Diaby and Samir Nasri got the goals for us in what turned out to be a comfortable win over Newcastle. But up until Nasri fired home to make it 3-1, the truth was that Newcastle gave us a real run for our money, winning and then missing a first-half penalty as well as scoring an equaliser through Obafemi Martins after Bendtner had opened the score.

As with our first half performance against Hull, we were slow to get out of the blocks. Arsene Wenger played arguably our strongest available team at the moment with Andrey Arshavin and Nasri on the wings, Denilson and Diaby in the middle and Bendtner and Robin van Persie up front. But despite the strength of our attack, we failed to take the early initiative and only created a half-chance through Bendtner before Newcastle won their penalty.

Manuel Almunia was at fault as he dropped a fairly simple cross and then pulled down Ryan Harper as he tried to make up for the error. It was pretty clumsy goalkeeping all round, but he made amends a la the Stadio Olimpico with an excellent low save from Martins’ decent kick. 0-0 it remained but our boys had got the kick up the backside they required to raise their game.

Arsenal two good chances to score through Arshavin, the first blocked superbly by Steven Taylor and the second clipping the top of the bar after a glorious 40-yard run. The second chance showed again what the Russian is capable of and apart from maybe Walcott and Diaby, I don’t think there is anyone else in the squad who is capable of that sort of blistering run. It’s another example of just why Arshavin was brought to the club and he had another excellent game on Saturday.

Meanwhile van Persie had an effort saved by Steve Harper after a lovely lofted cross from Bendtner while Gael Clichy denied Peter Lovenkrands at the other end and substitute Habib Baye headed straight at Almunia. Van Persie had another effort blocked by the cannon-chester Steven Taylor in a helter-skelter final 20 minutes of the half and all things considered, going in at 0-0 was not the worst outcome for our boys.

We looked immediately sharper after the break and it took just over ten minutes before we took the lead, Bendtner firing in a superb header from Arshavin’s perfectly-weighted free kick. It was a goal that the Dane has deserved given his recent performances but the lead that it provided last less than a minute, as penalty-misser Martins took full advantage of a miscued clearance by William Gallas to flick the ball home. 1-1, and Newcastle were right back in it.

But seven minutes later Diaby scored a goal of real quality to make it 2-1. Collecting the ball in midfield after a tenacious tackle by Arshavin on the flank, Diaby played a delightful give-and-go with van Persie before slinking forward and placing an excellent shot high into the net. He seems to have a real knack of finishing in that sort of manner and given it was only his second of the season in the Premier League, a few more wouldn’t go astray.

I thought our second goal effectively knocked the stuffing out of Newcastle after their equaliser and it was no surprise when we added a third just moments later. Once again van Persie was the provider as his neat lateral pass sent Nasri through and the Frenchman powerful strike snuck in at the near post.

At 3-1 there was only going to be one winner and we played some pretty impressive football in the closing half-hour. Van Persie should have scored when put in one-on-one with Harper, but his shot was well blocked. Meanwhile Denilson also had a shot saved by the Newcastle keeper and Diaby hit the post in injury time. Down the other end Newcastle were hardly a threat as the back four of Sagna, Toure, Gallas and Clichy cruised through the final half-hour. 3-1 it ended as the unbeaten run goes on.

It was nice to see Nasri and Bendtner get among the goals again today and I thought both players had strong overall performances. Arshavin was brilliant again as was van Persie, providing two assists that would have made Dennis Bergkamp proud. At the other end, Almunia saved his second penalty of the season (not including the one against Roma) while Gael Clichy put in a performance which suggests he is getting back to his best.

All in all, another strong performance and Liverpool’s win over Villa means that our destiny is well and truly back in our own hands. Well done boys.

Have your say on Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Newcastle by leaving a comment.



  1. Arshavin will go down as one of the biggest steals ever. I said before hand people were underestimating just how good he is. Along with Cesc we will be DEADLY.

  2. @ MoMONEY – Hello again, feels good to be back here. Agreed about Arshavin, he is looking like the buy of the season. If only we’d got him at the start…

  3. When I read the reports of arsharvins missus saying she hated england all I thought was here goes reyes all over again but this guy has done more for us than reyes did in his 1st season. But bendtner did really well as ade wouldn’t of bothered making most of the chances he has and to finally get a goal is well deserved and hope everyone stays off his back. Also the international break put a spanner in the works if people come back injured but that won’t hinder us as much as others though. Can you imagine luckypool without gerrard and toures, chelscum without lampard and terry or manure without rio or ronaldo (rooneys gone for his sharne warne bowl and he’s just as ugly)
    We should be able to keep 4th and maybe edge past chelscum if all goes well and have the fa cup and cl in the cabinet come may.

  4. What do you mean “Bendtner finally gets his goal?” In the last 3 league games he has 3 goals. Why do you make it seem he has not scored for ages?

  5. i think a mention should be made of taylors elbow on arshavin particularly nasty, obviously nothin will be done about it, but all in all a good display from the lads. lets hope they all come back free from injury. off to work now catch ya’s later.

  6. @ LB – Bendtner didn’t score against Blackburn. I said ‘finally’ because of all the chances he’s been making and the fact that he has really needed a goal.

  7. Liverpool looks unstopable, im looking forward to facing them next month. Hopefully Cesc, Rosicky and the rest of the boys will be firing on all cylinders by then.

  8. Disgusted with the elbow on Arshavin by Taylor. In 2002 Sol Campbell elbowed, unintentionally, a United player (dang, forgot how to spell his name) and got a straight red card. He was suspended for 3 games,and United was able to nick the Title from Arsenal in the last few games, mainly due to his absence. The refereeing has been a joke, and continues to be.

  9. Asharvins case is a strong proof that youth need experienced and
    brillant Stars to nurture them during their development stage. I hope Wenger will add another outstanding CH in the defence department next season.

  10. The elbow was really bad. Didnt believe it when the ref did nothing about it, and the penalty given against us was harsh.

  11. Arshavin is a true leader. Gallas, Kolo and RvP are not the leaders i thought they were. Arshavin sets a good example to the lads. I loved what he did against Hull last week after RvP scored the first goal, he was quick to remind them that the job was not done yet and urged them to go back to their positions, it was something i havent seen from an Arsenal player in a long time. Thats what i call true leadership.

  12. And can someone please tell RvP to stop wacking everything that comes his way. Sometimes you have to choose a spot and neatly put the ball at the back of the net, doesnt he know that.

  13. What taylor did to Arshavin isn’t even allowed in rugby,i mean its just despicable!This guys are just out there to stop arsenal do what they do best…that’s to play beautiful football,period!Arshavin has just changed the way we play,i mean he goes for shots,he passes so well,is strong and of course he scores goals!am asking myself where was he all this time.Now if diaby can put up performances like that,release the ball more often,time his tackles..then we might just just have another viera.RVP for me is just too selfish,i mean unless you are sure of scoring,you are best placed to giving the ball to someone who has a chance.Bendtner was superb.

  14. Arshavin is a great revelation and great buy indeed. Look at the guys movements and how he evaded several tackles??? He is a real leader and mature player that we have been missing for a long time. Keep it up Arshavin.

  15. Gibbs I thoroughly agree with you regarding Arshavin’s leadership qualities. I didn’t spot that until someone pointed it out. He’s definately a candidate for the captaincy.

  16. @ Gibbs – Good spot with regards to Arshavin’s leadership. It shows what impact bringing in an experienced player can have on the side. He’s certainly a leader by nature and I’ve just been so impressed with him so far.

  17. We couldn’t have asked for more from Arshavin. He said he was surprised at the pace of the Premiership, but he certainly doesn’t look as though he’s struggling. The elbow in the face was disgraceful. There should be a rule that a club can ask the FA to review video evidence retrospectively in a case like this. It is quite wrong that an offence like this will again go unpunished. A word about RvP: am I the only one who’s frustrated about his conversion rate? I agree with you, SF, that his assists were impressive, and his overall contribution good, but he had 4 really good chances to score and he didn’t convert one of them. This is not untypical of him. Gibbs is spot on when he says the boy’s got no finesse and tries to break the net every time. We’ve got a good scoring record this term (48 in the Premiership), but pretty much all of our strikers except Eduardo seem to need 4 or 5 chances to tuck one away. Ade was guilty for most of this term, RvP has been the same all season and Bendtner’s recent misses have been well documented. At least Nik can point to his age and inexperience, but RvP is a seasoned international. I think a bit more focus on finishing at London Colney wouldn’t go amiss.

  18. if ade,rvp and nik can put away halve of the chances that they get,we can win the cl,fa cup and anybody in doubt?

  19. its amazing how one player can change a teams season for better or worse. we saw last season with the departure of eduardo how that effected us badly and this season with the arrival of arshavin.

  20. Great result.. I wonder though what the final score would have been had Taylor been sent of for his premeditated forearm to Arshavins head. I can remember quite a few occasions where we had a player ejected for a similar action. He looked at Arshavin, then threw a forearm. Simple. Red Card.

    Not to let it detract from what was an exciting match, if not a bit nervy for the first 20 mins. Season is looking brighter by the day..

  21. great to see arsenal back to there old from again. A few weeks ago while wee had that bad goal drought and villa were fourth I had to admit i was worried that we couldnt pull it back I no theres still a few games yet but im confident wee can do it ! since arshavin came one the scene it has givin arsenal a real boost. I think it also proves that arsenal have a first class team but the depth isnt there just yet but if you look a the team they have now all they need is time to gel and develop if arsen can keep them together they will be unstopable

  22. Spanish- sorry to be off topic but my email updates aren’t working. Do I need to sign up again? Thanks.

  23. A couple of points: The fact that we scored the second goal by Diaby while Taylor was watching it from the sidelines recovering from his knock was gratifying. Second, RVP needs a goal to get his confidence back. He has been trying too hard and put a lot of pressure on himself. I’m glad he had the assists as that may calm his nerves.

  24. Theo won’t be out for that long. I was very sad when I first heard the news, but Wenger talked to Setanta about his injury in a in interview before the Newcastle game:

    Most of that time will fall during the international break, so it looks like he will only miss a couple of games, which is great news after the initial scare.

    Also, a very good performance against Newcastle in the second half especially. Arshavin did look really excellent, and I think he will prove to be one of the Proffesor’s best signings.

    RVPs chance conversion is decent compard with a lot of strikers in the Premiership, and he does score crucial goals quite a lot.

    Although he doesn’t pass it into the back of the net like Eduardo, his consistent power in shooting makes him dangerous from all around the box. We shouldn’t really be knocking him after the great season he’s had, and I believe he will get even better.

  25. i am just glad that rvp has stayed fit and lets not forget he’s our top score.

  26. It’s probably about time Wenger made Arshavin captain, we haven’t had a new one in a while! Don’t forget that we’ve still to play Liverpool, Man Utd and Chelsea (right at the end of the season those last two) before the season closes. They’re pretty tough games. Villa are getting them out of the way now and hopefully wont build up any momentum again before the final whistle blows. It could be a tricky run-in for the Gunners!

    I’d rather we got into the Champions League next season by winning it! If only Arshavin was legible for those games.

  27. arsenal back in form.

    arsenal will be champions of CL-09

    arsenal will finish top four

  28. Gunnerblog post by RH. Very true

    On RVP I think we should keep him and although I think the Bayor has his uses I think we Have to cash in on him this summer. Musky is right: we cannot compete with the best if they all have better players.

    In Torres, Gerrard and Mascherano (arguably Alonso) Liverpool have superior players to Arsenal.

    United have superior players in Tevez, Ronaldo and that central defensive pairing.

    Chelski have a better players in an interested Drogba, Essien and Carvalho.

    I tire of saying it but Arsenal need to revolutionize their front attacking line. No team ever won the Premiership without a striker that can stretch defences. The problem for us is that not one Arsenal striker is capable of doing what Wright and Henry did: getting in behind a defence with timed runs.
    The problem is multiplied in this team however when once also considers the fact that virtually none of our midfielders times late runs into the box a la Fat Frankie.

    Hence you get the scneario of so often this season when the ball is passed about laboriously one hundred times outside the opposition penalty area. Arshavin’s purchase has been immense in improving this aspect because Arshavin is a beast and a winner.

    He doesn’t give a fuck about ‘reputations’ and if he sees a shot on then he is going to have a crack like that 3o-yarder at Newcastle. None of this ‘he was too intimidated by Henry’ as some of the excuses for our fragile petals once went. Arshavin stretches defences but he needs an associate and he simply doesn’t have one in this Arsenal team at the moment.

    Theo seems best equipped to fit that role but at the moment he is young and susceptible to injury and it’s too much to ask a kid to change your attacking ethos. If Liverpool rely on the world-class European champion Torres, United rely on European footballer of the Year Ronaldo and Chelski rely on back to back league winner Didier Drogba.

    Arshavin needs an accomplice and decent though he may be that man simply is not the Bayor. His name is David Villa (who we’ll never sign) or Samuel Eto’o (who we could sign as he is leaving Barca).

    Nicklas Bendtner on the other hand has demonstrated over the past month that despite the bleating of several media-led sheep, he has the talent, the work-rate and the intelligence to perform for Arsenal. Thought he was superb at St James park. I can’t think of another Arsenal player that would have scored that header in such emphatic fashion.

    He has been and continues to create space for others, brings others into play and works tirelessly (as seen in his tracking back for Clichy’s error in Rome).

    The other question I kept asking myself when watching the Newcastle game is just when Wenger is going to realize that Arsenal won things because they had first:
    -An aerially dominant Adams and Bould
    – Then an aerially dominant Campbell who compensated for the shorter Toure
    – And Martin Keown.

    Again. Liverpool have Carragher and Skrtel. Chelski have Terry and Carvalho. United have the best in the business in Rio and Vidic.
    You will never win a Prem title with Gallas and Toure as your first-choice pairing, it is insanity in a league where at least fifteen teams play the ball in the air the whole time.

    In short if Wenger shows ambition this summer and gets an Eto’o, signs a Zapata and goes for a proven box to box midfielder like a Cana at Marseille or a De Guzman at Deportivo; then I can definitely see Arsenal challenging.

    As an aside Rafa’s team won 5-0 and he still was not entirely happy with aspects of the performance. That is the kind of standards this club needs. Not the idle brags of some (not all) about ‘third’. Even second.

  29. this blog is quite stupid. one post in many days.

    comments are nice and arsenal-loving which i agree. might visit again

  30. @ Anonymous 4 comments in 13 mins is quite stupid as this is 1 of the best blogs I’ve seen as sf always reads everybodys comments and doesn’t go trying to convince everybody that he is always right. We all have our opinion and some are stupid (sack arsne) but that is what they are our own idea’s are not just stealing other peoples posts and printing them as you obviously haven’t been watching any games as arsharvin has played really well linking up with vela in the cup they were awesome and also we haven’t seen him play with cesc so agreeing with somebody else’s post when it has it’s flaws and having nothing to add is really stupid.
    Also adding rafa’s rant that he’s not happy is only trying to cover the fact they should be top of the table as any manager at luckypool knows stick gerrard in and they have a good chance of winning as he’s pool through and through…..

  31. @ butterfingers / MoMONEY – Cheers guys.

    @ Anon – I should add that I don’t post on weekends and I was unable to post on Friday, that’s the only reason it’s been such a long delay. Virtually every week I post Monday to Friday so before you start criticising maybe you should read the blog for a little while.

  32. Bendtner starting to come good. One more season and he’ll be ahead of Adebayor in the pecking order (presuming Ade stays at Arsenal)

  33. @ Darragh – Big prediction. I actually think Ade is going to surprise a few people when he comes back. If he can make it into the team, that is.

  34. Ade has been super lazy this year, but don’t forget he scored as many as Torres did last year. Granted, I’d prefer Torres in my team every day of the week, but he’s proven he can score a few goals if he’s given the right opportunities. Not scoring is a constant criticism of Arsenal, so it’s probably not surprising that when we had a scorer like Ade we challenged for the title last year.

    Based on this season’s display, we’re not going to be able to cash in on him nearly as much as we would’ve at the end of last season. If Bendtner does come good, I’d end up eating my words big time, so I kind of want him to succeed in that regard!

  35. some anonymous blogger says thus:ManU have superior players like Tevez…Tevez who? Get me right i don’t mean he ain’t good,only that in Man U he is yet to convince me. I mean how many goals has he scored or even been on the starting line up,kinda think he’s a bit overrated!May b its the club he’s playing for,another team and he might just be the Tevez of second half season at west ham,no wonder maradona asked him to live Man U!Mascherano,don’t even get me started…we all know without stevie G there’s no midfield for liverpool.Mascherano only relishes bad tackles and feigning when he goes down,he just doesn’t cut it for me,actually i liked sisshoko better.

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