English Premier League Report: Newcastle United v Arsenal 15 April 2018


Matt Ritchie scored the victor as the Magpies went past the 40-point mark, 13 clear of the relegation zone.

The loan positive for Arsenal was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette combining well in their first start together.

The loss left Arsenal in danger of dropping below seventh-place Burnley with a month left of the season.

Premier League clubs voted on Friday that the much-debated video assistant referee system will not be used in the competition next season as testing continues in cup games.

In a vignette that seems to be repeating game after game, Newcastle forced an equaliser when a striker once again cut across a seemingly oblivious Shkodran Mustafi at the near post before sweeping a point-blank finish past Petr Cech before he could react. Lacazette should have equalised in the closing stages, but he shot into the side-netting. The former Borussia Dortmund hitman did well to tee up his team-mate for the opening goal.

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With little to play for in the league, Arsenal were unable to find enough momentum to maintain their recent revival, even though Lacazette opened the scoring in the 14th minute. If Wenger can get the duo firing alongside each other on a regular basis, both halves of the £113 million partnership can thrive.

Shelvey's long-range passing was the tale of the match at times, with Perez and Gayle often on the receiving end of the Englishman's well-timed distribution, as they caused Arsenal's defence a number of problems all game.

The Emirates outfit will play Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi finals for a chance to play Champions League football next season if they emerge champions. Let that sink in.

The north east side entered 2018 facing a fight for survival at the bottom of the Premier League table but a resurgence in form, with just two defeats in the new year, pushing the club up to 10th, just behind Everton and ahead of Bournemouth.

It's understandable that Wenger has chosen to put all his eggs in the Europa League basket but carrying on the way they have in the league can not bode well for their confidence.

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