Football Features

Jorginho pulls the strings as Arsenal make Premier League history in 4-1 win over Newcastle

By Harry Edwards

Published: 22:00, 24 February 2024 | Updated: 14:45, 28 March 2024

Arsenal moved to within two points of top spot in the Premier League thanks to their comprehensive 4-1 victory over Newcastle.

The Gunners took the lead in the 18th minute with yet another goal from a set piece and not long after it was 2-0 thanks to a tap in from Kai Havertz.

In the second half, Newcastle had a couple of opportunities but Bukayo Saka added comfort to Arsenal’s lead just after the hour mark. It was then four thanks to second goal from a corner, with Arsenal the first team in Premier League history to score at least two goals in seven consecutive halves of football.

Joe Willock got a late consolation on his return to the Emirates, but that’s all it was.

Here’s how the players rated at the Emirates Stadium:

Arsenal

David Raya – 6 – In terms of actual goalkeeping, he had very little to do to, picking the ball out of his next once. But he played the sweeper keeper role very well, quick of his box to clear the ball on a few occasions.

Ben White – 8 – In the opening stages he moved into a more central midfield role but as the first half went on, White was essentially playing as a winger. He was tough for Newcastle to deal with.

William Saliba – 7 – Really didn’t have anything to do, but helped the Arsenal defence look solid. It will have been a blow to concede.

Gabriel – 7 – A threat at set pieces, it was his header that created the melee for Arsenal’s opener. Formed a solid partnership with Saliba.

Jakub Kiwior – 8 – Got forward a lot but had nothing to do defensively. Made it 4-0 to Arsenal with a good header from a corner, a feel good moment for the young defender.

Martin Odegaard – 8 – Was booked in the seventh minute for a late tackle on Almiron, but didn’t let that affect his game. Joining in the press, Odegaard linked up well with Saka down Arsenal’s right. Part of a midfield trio that played Newcastle off the park.

Declan Rice – 8 – In a slightly more advanced role, Rice popped up on either side of the midfield, very much involved in the attack. He was great on corners too, setting up Kiwior’s goal with his testing delivery. We doubt there was a blade of grass he didn’t cover in the opposition half. There was one minor low moment as he was beaten in the box for Willock’s goal, not making a good enough challenge.

Jorginho – 9 – Absolutely wonderful. The game was played just as he wanted it, pulling the strings like an veteran puppeteer. He had cute passes, defence-breaking ones, helped recycle play. You name it, he did it. And it was his great pass over the top to Martinelli that helped set up Arsenal’s second.

Bukayo Saka – 8 – Put in a good corner to the near post to help cause the opening goal. He had his moments, including one to wonderfully fashion a shot inside the Newcastle box when he had no right to get one off. Made sure Livramento was never allowed a moment’s rest and he got Arsenal’s third, cutting inside and out before drilling a shot into the bottom left corner. He’s now scored seven goals in 2024, more than any other Premier League player.

Kai Havertz – 8 – Pressed Newcastle’s defenders from the off, this was more like the Havertz Arsenal signed in the summer. He’s still not a killer striker, but he was there to tap the ball in from close range following Martinelli’s cutback. Fluffed a chance to make it 3-0 just after half time having broke through the defence, but that shouldn’t take away from an excellent performance.

Gabriel Martinelli – 8 – Arsenal’s most dangerous attacker when he was on the pitch, it’s hard to think of an attack that Martinelli wasn’t involved in at some stage. He had a few opportunities himself, mostly winning challenges against Trippier or Schar. Had a great off the ball run across the defence, unnoticed, before cutting the ball back to Havertz for Arsenal’s second.

Substitutes:

Leandro Trossard (for Martinelli 64) – 6 – Brought fresh legs to Arsenal’s attack, though he didn’t get too involved.

Emile Smith Rowe (for Odegaard 76) – 6 – Had a couple of attacking moments.

Reiss Nelson (for Saka 76) – 6 – The most involved of the subs.

Eddie Nketiah (for Havertz 76) – 6 – Had just eight touches after coming on.

Mohamed Elneny (for Jorginho 89) – N/A – A late sub.


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Newcastle

Loris Karius – 5 – Produced a good save for Gabriel’s header, but was unlucky that his defence couldn’t help him out. Another good save to deny Saka. In his first Premier League appearance since May 2018, for Liverpool against Brighton, this will have been a bit of a confidence boost, even if he did concede four.

Kieran Trippier – 4 – Had a tough night against Martinelli, struggling defensively. He was caught flat-footed in reacting to Martinelli’s cut back, allowing Havertz to score unchallenged.

Fabian Schar – 4 – Was caught on the ball close to his own goal and was fortunate not to be punished. Part of a Newcastle defence that really struggled with the press.

Sven Botman – 4 – A sloppy game from a usually reliable defender. He was the man to unfortunately knee the ball over the line for Arsenal’s opener, though he didn’t know anything about it. Botman also didn’t know Martinelli was running behind him to set up Arsenal’s second, walking as if he had the ball unchallenged.

Tino Livramento – 3 – Starting over Dan Burn to deal with Bukayo Saka, it was a rough evening for the young full-back. He was the one to kick the ball at Botman’s knee, and once Arsenal grew in confidence, Livramento couldn’t do too much. Taught a lesson by Saka for Arsenal’s third.

Sean Longstaff – 4 – Had a vital touch to stop the ball from getting to Havertz when Arsenal were really in the ascendancy. But was otherwise pretty sloppy in midfield, unable to get any form of control.

Bruno Guimaraes – 3 – The midfielder Newcastle most rely on, Guimaraes was a passenger, losing the battle against Jorginho. He did win more fouls than any other player

Lewis Miley – 4 – Really wasn’t involved in the game, and he was the unfortunate man to deflect Kiwior’s strike past Karius.

Miguel Almiron – 4 – On the periphery, even Almiron’s dogged running couldn’t do anything for Newcastle.

Alexander Isak – 4 – Very isolated up front as Newcastle were pegged back. Had a shot just after the hour mark when finally given an opportunity, but he sent it over. And that was his only contribution of the game before being taken off.

Anthony Gordon – 4 – Had Newcastle’s first shot in the 49th minute, which was also his first real involvement. It was the first time Newcastle had failed to record a shot in the first half of a Premier League game since March 2014 against Southampton. He moved central after Isak was taken off, and he played his part in Newcastle’s goal.

Substitutes:

Jacob Murphy (for Almiron 64) – 5 – Wasn’t really involved after coming on.

Harvey Barnes (for Isak 64) – 5 – Did well in Newcastle’s goal, though he wasn’t involved much.

Joe Willock (for Bruno 73) – 6 – Got a consolation with a good header, becoming the first Newcastle player to score away against Arsenal in the Premier League since Ayoze Perez in December 2014.

Dan Burn (for Livramento 73) – 6 – Good cross to set up Willock’s goal and prevented Arsenal from making it five with a goal-line clearance. It’s a sad indictment of Newcastle’s game that he was arguably their best outfield player.

Jamaal Lascelles (for Botman 73) – 6 – Looked comfortable as Arsenal took their foot of the gas.

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