Man City Fight Back To Salvage Draw Against Newcastle

Newcastle United’s Swiss defender Fabian Schar (L) fights for the ball with Manchester City’s Norwegian striker Erling Haaland (C) during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St James’ Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England, on August 21, 2022. (Photo by Lindsey Parnaby / AFP)

 

Erling Haaland helped Manchester City fight back from 3-1 down to salvage a 3-3 draw from an enthralling encounter at Newcastle on Sunday.

Despite Ilkay Gundogan’s early opener for City, Newcastle had the champions on the ropes as goals from Miguel Almiron, Callum Wilson and Kieran Trippier had St. James’ Park rocking.

But Haaland sparked the revival when he fired home his third goal since joining from Borussia Dortmund before Bernardo Silva’s equaliser extended City’s unbeaten start to the season.

Pep Guardiola’s men move up to second, two points adrift of Arsenal, but missed the chance to open up a seven-point advantage on Liverpool ahead of their trip to Manchester United on Monday.

Newcastle have not splashed the cash of the Saudi sovereign wealth fund to the extent expected in the transfer window with Nick Pope, Matt Targett, and Sven Botman the only signings made by the Magpies.

But they showed they are now a force to be reckoned with, even for the Premier League’s elite, by pushing City to the limit.

READ ALSOMendy Howler Sends Chelsea Crashing To Leeds Defeat

Manchester City’s Spanish manager Pep Guardiola reacts during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St James’ Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, northeast England, on August 21, 2022. (Photo by Lindsey Parnaby / AFP)

 

Newcastle had taken four points from their opening two games without conceding a goal.

That record was wiped out within five minutes as City quickly took control.

Silva was recalled to Pep Guardiola’s starting line-up for the first time in the Premier League this season with the midfielder linked with a move to Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.

The Portuguese international made an immediate impact as his cross was controlled and finished by Gundogan.

Pope then had to make good stops with his feet from Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden to keep his side in the game.

But Newcastle’s intensity and energy soon swarmed over City with the pace of Allan Saint-Maximin causing havoc.

Almiron blasted over a glorious chance from Saint-Maximin’s cross before Wilson should have done better than a tame shot into the arms of Ederson when a corner broke his way.

Newcastle’s pressure finally got its reward on 28 minutes and it was a sweet moment for Almiron, who was mocked by Jack Grealish during City’s title celebrations at the end of last season.

The Paraguayan’s finish was unorthodox as Saint-Maximin’s cross came off his thigh to leave Ederson with no chance.

Saint-Maximin was the creator again as Newcastle turned the game around before half-time as Wilson latched onto his pass and prodded beyond Ederson.

Haaland had been kept quiet before the break but exploded into life with the smallest glimpse of an opportunity in the second half and came within inches of an equaliser as his fierce low shot was turned onto the post by Pope.

Moments later, City looked destined for a first Premier League defeat since February when Trippier curled a brilliant free-kick into the top corner after John Stones resorted to hauling down Saint-Maximin on the edge of the box.

Haaland’s predatory instincts were on full show as he started the comeback by firing into the roof of the net when Rodri knocked a set-piece back across goal.

The Norwegian then showed the other side to his game as his electric pace burst onto De Bruyne’s through ball and forced Pope to come flying off this line to block.

De Bruyne’s next defence-splitting pass did lead to the equaliser as Silva produced a composed finish to level at 3-3.

The drama did not end there, even if the scoring did, as Trippier had a straight red card for a late lunge on De Bruyne reduced to a yellow after a VAR review.

But City failed to turn their momentum into a winner in the closing stages as they blinked for the first time in their title defence.

AFP

Everton Seal Premier League Survival After Epic Escape


Crystal Palace’s French-born Ghanaian striker Jordan Ayew scores his team second goal during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Crystal Palace at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on May 19, 2022. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Everton staged a dramatic fightback from two goals down to preserve their Premier League status with a 3-2 win against Crystal Palace, while Burnley climbed out of the relegation zone after a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa on Thursday.

Frank Lampard’s side recovered from conceding twice in the first half as Michael Keane and Richarlison netted after the break before Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s late winner sparked wild celebrations at Goodison Park.

After a nerve-jangling battle to avoid playing outside the top-flight for the first time since 1954, Everton can finally relax with one game to play.

Their thrilling comeback was a microcosm of Lampard’s reign since he took over in January, with Everton staring disaster in the face before pulling back from the brink.

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Everton are four points above the relegation zone, leaving fourth-bottom Burnley and third-bottom Leeds scrapping for survival.

Burnley, who host Newcastle in Sunday’s final round of fixtures, climbed above Leeds on goal difference thanks to their point at Villa.

They will be safe if they match Leeds’ result at Brentford on the last day.

Whatever happens at the weekend is unlikely to surpass the emotion at Goodison, where fans wept tears of joy during a frenzied post-match pitch invasion.

Once again, Everton supporters had swarmed the streets ahead of kick-off, waving blue flares and cheering the team bus when it arrived.

Palace silenced the boisterous crowed with their 21st minute opener.

Vitalii Mykolenko allowed Jean-Philippe Mateta to get in front of him and the Palace forward headed in Eberechi Eze’s free-kick.

Several bottles were thrown towards Mateta and the atmosphere turned even more toxic in the 36th minute when Jordan Ayew poked home after Abdoulaye Doucoure failed to clear.

But Lampard had labelled the game “all or nothing” and Michael Keane gave Everton a vital 54th minute lifeline, the defender applying the finishing touch from Mason Holgate’s header.

Revitalised, Everton laid seige to the Palace goal and Richarlison hooked the equaliser past Jack Butland in the 75th minute.

With Goodison at fever pitch, Dominic Calvert-Lewin completed the comeback in the 85th minute with a clinical header that sparked a jubilant pitch invasion.

 Burnley out of relegation zone

At Villa Park, Burnley’s Maxwel Cornet won a penalty on the stroke of half-time when he was bundled over by Emiliano Buendia.

Cornet had missed Burnley’s only previous penalty this season and Ashley Barnes stepped up this time, sending Emiliano Martinez the wrong way with a cool strike for his first goal since February 2021.

In the 48th minute, Buendia volleyed Villa’s equaliser from John McGinn’s cross, with Burnley protesting that a foul throw should have been given in the build-up.

Burnley finished with 10 men after Matt Lowton was sent off for a high tackle on Calum Chambers in stoppage-time.

Chelsea effectively guaranteed a third place finish with a 1-1 draw against Leicester at Stamford Bridge.

Given their vastly superior goal difference advantage over fourth placed Tottenham, who sit three points behind them, the Blues will not be caught.

After Chelsea’s painful penalty shoot-out defeat in the FA Cup final against Liverpool on Saturday, Arsenal’s defeat at Newcastle on Monday had secured a top four finish for the Blues.

James Maddison gave Leicester a sixth minute lead from the edge of the area before Marcos Alonso bagged Chelsea’s equaliser, volleying home in the 35th minute.

Thursday’s drama was only an appetiser for what will be a thrilling final day of the season.

Manchester City will be crowned champions for a fourth time in five seasons if they beat Villa at the Etihad Stadium.

But second placed Liverpool, one point behind Pep Guardiola’s team, would steal the title if City drop points and they defeat Wolves at Anfield.

In the battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League, Tottenham need to a win at Norwich to be certain of pipping Arsenal, who host Everton and are two points behind their north London rivals.

Manchester United can qualify for the Europa League with a win at Palace, although they would drop into the Europa Conference League with a defeat and a West Ham victory at Brighton.

AFP

Lampard Breaks Hand While Celebrating Iwobi’s Winner Against Newcastle

Lampard was a former Chelsea coach. [email protected]

 

Everton coach Frank Lampard said he broke his hand while celebrating Alex Iwobi’s late winner for his side against Newcastle United. 

The Nigerian netted a 99th-minute goal as the Toffees sealed a 1-0 victory to lift Everton three points off the Premier League drop zone.

“I’ve broken my hand in the celebrations. My bones must be going soft, I don’t remember the moment,” joked Lampard after the match on Thursday.

“It was an amazing night and we need those nights. Spirit and togetherness, the players stood up tonight. It was not a night for quality or calm. It means so much to the stadium we all felt that. I wanted to use the atmosphere.”

The former Chelsea manager, who praised his boys for the victory, said the win is a testament to what the team can achieve especially playing with a man down.

‘We Proved What We Could Be’

READ ALSO: Everton Suspend Sponsorship Agreements With Russian Billionaire Usmanov

“Everton fans wanted to see passion. We proved what we could be tonight,” he added.

“Newcastle are a good team, they will be alright. From our point of view, it was can we dig in? And can we get one or two opportunities when down to 10 men.”

A second-half interruption caused by a protestor tying himself to a goal post and a VAR review which led to Allan seeing red meant there were 14 minutes of added time at Goodison Park.

And it was Lampard’s men who took advantage as Dominic Calvert-Lewin teed up Iwobi to score the biggest goal of his much-maligned Everton career since a £40 million ($52 million) move from Arsenal three years ago.

When this fixture was postponed in late December due to an outbreak of coronavirus cases, it was Newcastle who were rooted in the bottom three.

However, the Magpies’ defeat at Chelsea on Sunday was their first in 10 games as the investment of the Saudi sovereign wealth fund has made an instant impact in their first transfer window.

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher, a boyhood Everton fan, described this game as the biggest for the Toffees in 20 years given the consequences of going down.

The club are in the process of building a £500 million new stadium, due to open in 2024, and have already lost the sponsorship of Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov after he was hit by sanctions from the UK government.

Usmanov’s long-term business partner and Everton owner Farhad Moshiri has pumped in over £500 million in signings since taking charge in 2016.

The Blues have precious little to show for that investment as a succession of managers have struggled to match Moshiri’s expectations.

An intense start from the hosts quickly fizzled out as Newcastle had the better of the first-half without creating many good chances.

Chris Wood headed straight at Asmir Begovic, while Fabian Schar nearly caught out the Bosnian with a free-kick from inside his own half.

The flow of a scrappy game was further interrupted by it taking seven minutes to free the protestor against fossil fuels from the post.

“I don’t know whether that (stoppage) affected us, but we weren’t the same team second-half,” said Newcastle boss Eddie Howe.

Once the action got back underway the introduction of England international Calvert-Lewin off the bench made a massive difference to the home side.

Calvert-Lewin has missed almost all of the season due to a variety of injuries and keeping him fit for the run-in is likely to play a huge part in Everton’s bid for survival.

Anthony Gordon forced Martin Dubravka into a stunning save with a fierce strike from outside the box before Calvert-Lewin just failed to connect with Richarlison’s dangerous low cross.

However, their momentum was cut short when Allan dived in on Allan Saint-Maximin to break up a counter-attack and was shown a straight red card after the intervention of VAR.

Newcastle’s Trippier Faces Spell On Sidelines After Breaking foot


Newcastle United’s English defender Kieran Trippier (C) leaves the game after picking up an injury during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Aston Villa at St James’ Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, northeast England on February 13, 2022. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Kieran Trippier has been ruled out of Newcastle’s “upcoming fixtures” after fracturing a bone in his foot during a 1-0 win over Aston Villa at the weekend, the club said on Monday.

The England full-back has been impressive for Eddie Howe’s side since joining the Magpies from Atletico Madrid in the January transfer window, scoring twice in a three-match winning run that has lifted them out of the relegation zone.

The 31-year-old, who struck from a free-kick in the first half at St James’ Park on Sunday, was substituted shortly after halftime.

“Trippier underwent an X-ray immediately after the game and scans have shown a fracture to the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot,” Newcastle said in a statement.

The club’s recent good run has lifted them one place clear of the drop zone, four points ahead of 18th-placed Norwich.

Howe said after Sunday’s win that Trippier, who also scored a free-kick in last week’s 3-1 victory against Everton, was “stamped on” and could not continue.

The right-back, who has won 35 caps for England, joined Newcastle for around £12 million ($16 million) — the club’s first signing under their new Saudi owners.

Forward Chris Wood, midfielder Bruno Guimaraes and defenders Dan Burn and Matt Targett all followed him to St James’ Park.

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Howe said Newcastle’s return of 11 points from their past five league games showed they were in a “good place”.

“We’ve worked incredibly hard,” he said. “In the last three games, I don’t think there’s been any secret to how we’ve won the games.

“I don’t think they’ve been fluent footballing performances where we’ve played from back to front and all the things that we potentially want to do in the future but it’s been very disciplined, hard-working, a lot of energy, a lot of teamwork, team spirit, togetherness that have made the difference for us.”

AFP

Newcastle Sign Burnley Forward Chris Wood

In this file photo taken on May 19, 2021, Burnley’s New Zealand striker Chris Wood controls the ball during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Liverpool at Turf Moor in Burnley, northwest England. Newcastle announced the signing of Wood from Premier League rivals Burnley on January 13, 2022.

 

 

Newcastle announced the signing of striker Chris Wood from fellow Premier League strugglers Burnley on Thursday — the second arrival in the January transfer window under their new Saudi-led ownership.

The 30-year-old, who has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract, has moved to St James’ Park for an undisclosed fee, which reports said was £25 million ($34 million).

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe was seeking attacking reinforcements for his side, with Callum Wilson facing eight weeks on the sidelines following a calf injury.

Wood is the club’s second signing this month following the arrival of England international full-back Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid last week.

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Newcastle manager Eddie Howe said: “Chris is an important signing for us at a crucial time and I’m very pleased we have been able to move quickly and bring him here.

“He is a very dangerous attacking threat, has a physicality and character that I really like, and he has vast experience in the Premier League. He will be a great fit for us.”

The New Zealand international scored 53 goals in 165 matches for Burnley since joining from Leeds in 2017, including three goals in 21 games this season.

He signed in time to make his debut in Saturday’s match against relegation-threatened Watford at St James’ Park,

“I have played at St. James’ Park a few times and it’s an amazing place, so to have the chance to represent this club with those incredible supporters behind me and my teammates is very special,” he added.

Newcastle, who have not won a major trophy since 1969, face a struggle just to stay in the Premier League. They are one place off the foot of the table after a single win in 19 games.

But three months after a controversial takeover by a group led by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund was completed, the club are desperate to strengthen in transfer window as they battle for survival.

Trippier Seals £12m Newcastle Move

In this file photo taken on October 31, 2021, Atletico Madrid’s English defender Kieran Trippier and teammates celebrate their win at the end of the Spanish League football match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Real Betis at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid.  OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP

 

England defender Kieran Trippier became Newcastle’s first signing under their new Saudi owners on Friday after completing his move from Atletico Madrid, with more arrivals expected in the January transfer window.

The 31-year-old full-back has moved back to the Premier League for an undisclosed fee, understood to be in the region of £12 million ($16 million) plus add-ons.

The former Tottenham defender has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract and his arrival signals the launch of a new era under Eddie Howe, who was appointed as manager at St James’ Park in November.

“Newcastle United are delighted to confirm the signing of England full-back Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid for an undisclosed fee,” the club said in a statement.

“The 31-year-old has agreed terms on a two-and-a-half-year deal and becomes the first senior signing under the club’s owners and head coach Eddie Howe.”

Trippier, who was signed by Howe in 2012 for former club Burnley during his spell in charge at Turf Moor, won La Liga with Atletico last season but is relishing his return to England.

READ ALSO: Philippe Coutinho Joins Aston Villa

He said: “I’m delighted to be joining this fantastic club. I really enjoyed my time in Madrid, but when I became aware of interest from Newcastle United, and having worked with Eddie Howe before, I knew this was where I wanted to be.

“I’m aware there is a lot of work ahead of us, but I know the demands of Premier League well and I know what an amazing club this is with very talented players. I can’t wait to get started.”

Newcastle face a struggle just to stay in the Premier League. They are just one place off the foot of the table.

But three months after a controversial takeover by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund was given the green light by the Premier League, the club have the chance to splash their newfound wealth in this month’s transfer window.

Defenders were expected to be top of the shopping list after Newcastle shipped a Premier League record 80 goals in 2021.

Injuries to Newcastle’s two most potent attacking weapons, Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin, have led to speculation over forward signings, with Arsenal’s out-of-favour Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang linked with the club.

AFP

Struggling Newcastle Frustrate Rusty Man United’s Top Four Hopes 


Newcastle United’s Brazilian striker Joelinton (R) vies with Manchester United’s English striker Jadon Sancho during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St James’ Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on December 27, 2021. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Edinson Cavani spared Manchester United’s blushes on their return from a coronavirus hiatus as the Uruguayan rescued a 1-1 draw at struggling Newcastle on Monday.

Ralf Rangnick’s side trailed to Allan Saint-Maximin’s eye-catching early goal and were out-played for long periods at St James’ Park.

But Cavani came off the bench to bag his first goal since October in the second half, ensuring Rangnick avoided his first defeat in four games as United’s interim manager.

United remain in seventh place in the Premier League, seven points behind fourth placed Arsenal with two games in hand.

Rangnick had won his first two league games since taking over from the axed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but neither performance was especially convincing and this was another underwhelming effort.

United did have the excuse of the Covid outbreak that forced them into a 16-day period of inactivity since they won 1-0 at Norwich on December 11.

Their games against Brentford and Brighton were postponed, with the club’s training ground shut for four days.

But regardless of the coronavirus chaos, Rangnick will know United must improve dramatically if they are to secure a top four finish.

Second bottom Newcastle ended a three-game losing streak, leaving them two points from safety after the most encouraging display of Eddie Howe’s eight-match reign.

However, the sight of Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson limping off with injuries was a major blow for Howe, who has won just once since replacing the sacked Steve Bruce.

Although their Covid situation has improved, United still weren’t able to return a completely clean bill of health after Sweden defender Victor Lindelof tested positive on Sunday.

Rusty Man Utd

Raphael Varane returned from injury to replace Lindelof, but United looked rusty after their enforced lay-off and Newcastle took advantage to snatch a seventh minute lead.

Varane carelessly gifted possession to Sean Longstaff and he picked out Saint-Maximin.

The French winger showed his mesmerising dribbling ability as he shimmied past Diogo Dalot and Harry Maguire before steering a fierce strike past David De Gea from the edge of the area.

Newcastle were a real threat on the counter and Jonjo Shelvey broke from the halfway line for a 25-yard rocket that De Gea pushed away.

United struggled to make any impact in the first half, their lethargy encapsulated a Cristiano Ronaldo miskick that drew a mocking roar of delight from the Gallowgate End.

The visitors were creaking and Wilson had the ball in the net from the inspired Saint-Maximin’s pass, only for an offside flag to curtail the striker’s celebrations.

Rangnick responded by sending on Sancho and Cavani for Fred and Greenwood at half-time.

Crucially, Saint-Maximin should have scored with a close-range effort that lacked the power to beat De Gea.

United finally began to emerge from their shell and Marcus Rashford’s dipping shot forced a tip over from Martin Dubravka.

Cavani wasted a good chance from Sancho’s pass and Ronaldo’s frustrations boiled over as he was booked for a reckless challenge on Ryan Fraser that had Newcastle baying for a red card.

Fraser nearly exacted immediate retribution with a stinging drive which De Gea saved at full stretch.

But United equalised in the 71st minute when Dalot’s cross reached Cavani and the Uruguay striker stabbed home at the second attempt after his first effort was blocked.

It was the 80th league goal conceded by Newcastle in 2021, the most of any Premier League team in a calendar year.

Cavani almost made it 81 moments later as his goalbound flick was hooked off the line by Jamaal Lascelles.

In a dramatic finale, Newcastle’s Jacob Murphy hit the post with a curler before Miguel Almiron’s strike forced a brilliant save from De Gea.

AFP

Wolves Frustrate Chelsea As Man City Crush Newcastle

Chelsea
Chelsea had earlier called for the postponement of the game.

 

Covid-hit Chelsea were held to a goalless draw by Wolves on Sunday after the Premier League rejected their request to postpone the game as Manchester City put struggling Newcastle to the sword.

Just four games were left on the schedule this weekend out of the original 10 as Britain’s worsening coronavirus crisis took its toll on the English top flight.

Clubs will meet on Monday to discuss what action to take, with growing questions over the integrity of the competition as the busy festive period looms.

Stumbling Chelsea, who have struggled with illness and injuries in recent weeks, were only able to name four outfield players on the bench for their match at Molineux.

The visitors, who have now won just two of their past six league games, enjoyed the bulk of possession but mustered just one shot on target and are now six points behind leaders City.

Thomas Tuchel was without Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner, and Callum Hudson-Odoi, who have all tested positive for Covid-19. Jorginho, Kai Havertz, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were also not in the squad.

Chelsea earlier confirmed that their request to have the game called off been turned down.

The European champions’ appeal is understood to have been rejected because the Blues were deemed to have had enough players to fulfil the fixture.

“I gave my opinion and you can do with it what you want,” a frustrated Tuchel told the BBC after the match. “I can’t compare to other games, it is just our situation.

“It is not safe. We talk about protecting players and a safe environment but it is not safe. I would not be surprised if the next test shows up and we have more positives.

“How should it stop if we sit in the bus and have dinners and just stay together like nothing happened?”

READ ALSO: Why Is FIFA Proposing A Biennial World Cup? 

Newcastle Calamity

Manchester City’s English midfielder Raheem Sterling (2nd R) celebrates with teammates after scoring their fourth goal during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St James’ Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on December 19, 2021. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Defending champions City crushed Newcastle 4-0 to confirm their position at the top of the table at Christmas.

Eddie Howe’s side shot themselves in the foot in just the fifth minute, when calamitous defending handed City the lead after goalkeeper Martin Dubravka had carelessly conceded a corner.

The defence only half-cleared and Joao Cancelo hooked the ball back into the six-yard box. Newcastle appeared to be in little danger but Ciaran Clark inexplicably chose not to make a simple headed clearance and Ruben Dias headed the loose ball into the net.

The home side rallied and Joelinton went close to equalising with a stinging shot from distance that flew just wide of Ederson’s right-hand post.

But City silenced the passionate crowd at St James’s Park shortly before the half-hour, when Cancelo jinked his way past Joe Willock and Isaac Hayden before smashing a right-footed shot past the helpless Dubravka from the edge of the area.

City maintained their firm grip on the match in the second half, with Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling doubling their lead.

City manager Pep Guardiola was surprisingly harsh on his team, saying their first-half performance was one of the worst of the season before an improved showing after the break.

“Records show consistency we have as a team — it is not winning titles or finals but it is winning and winning,” he said. “Records are there to be broken and happy to have them.”

City have now won eight league games in a row to move four points clear of second-placed Liverpool, who are in action at Tottenham later on Sunday.

But relegation-threated Newcastle remain three points from safety having now played two games more than Watford, who are just outside the drop zone.

The Magpies’ wealthy new Saudi-backed owners have indicated they will invest significantly in the squad but before the January transfer window opens they have fixtures against Manchester United and Everton.

Liverpool’s preparations for their Premier League visit to Spurs were hit after Thiago Alcantara became the latest of Jurgen Klopp’s players to return a suspected positive test for Covid.

AFP

Arsenal Brush Aside Newcastle As Howe Suffers First Defeat

Arsenal's English midfielder Bukayo Saka (2R) scores his team's opening goal past Newcastle United's Slovakian goalkeeper Martin Dubravka (R) during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium in London on November 27, 2021. Adrian DENNIS / AFP
Arsenal’s English midfielder Bukayo Saka (2R) scores his team’s opening goal past Newcastle United’s Slovakian goalkeeper Martin Dubravka (R) during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium in London on November 27, 2021. Adrian DENNIS / AFP

 

Arsenal got back on track with a 2-0 win over Newcastle on Saturday as Eddie Howe suffered his first defeat as manager of the Premier League strugglers.

Mikel Arteta’s side saw their 10-match unbeaten run in all competitions come to a painful end in last weekend’s 4-0 thrashing at Liverpool.

But second half goals from Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli at the Emirates Stadium made it four wins from their last five league games.

Written off after their poor start to the season, Arsenal are fifth, level on points with fourth placed West Ham, as they chase a berth in next season’s Champions League.

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Rejoining the race for European places represents significant progress for Arteta, but few opponents will be quite as obliging as woeful Newcastle.

“I’m happy with the points after losing to Liverpool. You have to win straightaway,” Arteta said.

“The word was we had to be patient. We had to play with urgency and rhythm. We found spaces and that’s how we scored the goals.”

Howe was in charge in person for the first time after missing last weekend’s 3-3 draw against Brentford due to a positive coronavirus test.

Hired by Newcastle’s new owners to replace the much-maligned Steve Bruce, Howe will have been left under no illusions about the size of the task facing him on Tyneside.

Arsenal's Brazilian striker Gabriel Martinelli controls the ball during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium in London on November 27, 2021. Adrian DENNIS / AFP
Arsenal’s Brazilian striker Gabriel Martinelli controls the ball during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium in London on November 27, 2021. Adrian DENNIS / AFP

 

It was bleak viewing for Newcastle co-owner Amanda Staveley, who sat huddled beneath a blanket in the directors box on a bitterly cold afternoon in north London.

While the Saudi-led consortium that bought Newcastle have spoken about emulating the success of Manchester City and Paris Saint German under Middle Eastern ownership, Howe’s only focus is saving the Magpies from relegation.

Former Bournemouth boss Howe will need to drag much-improved performances from his winless team if they are to avoid a catastrophic slide into the Championship.

Already languishing five points from safety, bottom of the table Newcastle face crucial games against fellow strugglers Norwich and Burnley over the coming week.

“The game was decided in the incident with Callum Wilson and the penalty – a tough call against us – then they scored in the aftermath,” Howe said.

“Momentum in football is so important. We need to get that win as quickly as we can.

“It is great to be back. You don’t enjoy losing though.”

Saka shines

Martin Odegaard’s free-kick forced a fine save from Martin Dubravka as Arsenal pressed hard for the opener.

Newcastle finally broke out to launch their first incisive raid, a move that ended with Jonjo Shelvey’s 20-yard curler being tipped onto the bar by Aaron Ramsdale.

When Emile Smith Rowe’s close-range header from Saka’s cross was pushed out by Dubravka, it seemed certain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would finally end Newcastle’s resistence.

But the Gabon forward somehow side-footed against the post from two yards in a candidate for miss of the season.

Newcastle had failed to keep a single clean-sheet in the Premier League this season and Saka ensured that grim run extended to a 13th game in the 56th minute.

Running onto Nuno Tavares’s deft pass, Saka timed his surge from the left wing perfectly as he smashed a low finish past Dubravka into the far corner from 10 yards.

That was Saka’s last contribution as the England international limped off injured soon after.

Saka’s replacement was Martinelli and the Brazilian made an immediate impact as he doubled Arsenal’s lead in the 66th minute.

Newcastle had appealed in vain for a penalty when Callum Wilson went to ground under Gabriel’s challenge.

Moments later, Takehiro Tomiyasu’s pass looped over the Newcastle defence and Martinelli produced an audacious chipped finish for his first goal since May.

AFP

Eddie Howe Appointed As Newcastle Manager

In this file photo taken on February 9, 2020, Bournemouth’s English manager Eddie Howe awaits kick off in the English Premier League football match between Sheffield United and Bournemouth at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, northern England.  Lindsey Parnaby / AFP

 

Eddie Howe was confirmed as Newcastle’s new manager on Monday, a month after a Saudi-led takeover at St James’s Park.

The former Bournemouth boss succeeds Steve Bruce, who left the Premier League club by “mutual consent” on October 20.

“Newcastle United are delighted to confirm the appointment of Eddie Howe as the club’s new head coach on a contract until summer 2024,” the northeast side said in a statement.

AFP

 

Emery Rejects Newcastle To Stay At Villarreal

Ex-Arsenal’s Spanish head coach Unai Emery gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium in London on September 1, 2019. Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

Unai Emery said on Wednesday he has decided to stay at Villarreal, despite interest from Newcastle to appoint him as their new coach.

Emery appeared open to a return to the Premier League on Tuesday night, when he admitted there had been “interest” from Newcastle. He added that if an offer arrived, he would speak to Villarreal president Fernando Roig.

But the former Arsenal manager ruled out the possibility on Wednesday, confirming he will remain at Villarreal, where he is in his second season on the back of winning the Europa League last term.

“No matter how much noise there was yesterday in another country, within the club there was transparency and loyalty with the Roig family and with my staff, which is the most it can be and for me the most important thing,” Emery said in a statement.

“Villarreal is my home and I am 100 per cent committed. I am honestly grateful for the interest of a great club but even more grateful to be here and that is why I communicated to Fernando Roig my decision to continue being part of this project because of the commitment and respect that I have from the club and from my players, which is mutual.

“I want to thank the fans for the support they have always shown me. On Sunday we have a very important game and I hope that all together we can get the victory. See you at la Ceramica.”

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Villarreal’s Spanish coach Unai Emery gestures during the UEFA Champions League first round group F football match between Villarreal CF and BSC Young Boys at La Ceramica stadium in Vila-real on November 2, 2021. JOSE JORDAN / AFP

 

Villarreal’s 2-0 victory over Young Boys on Tuesday put them in sight of the Champions League last 16.

They are level on points with Manchester United and two ahead of Atalanta in Group F.

Yet the team’s form in La Liga has been less impressive, with two wins from their opening 11 games this season leaving Villarreal 13th in the table.

Newcastle have enormous financial backing following the club’s Saudi-backed takeover and are looking for a replacement for Steve Bruce, whom they sacked as coach last month.

The team sit 19th in the Premier League and are yet to win this season.

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Newcastle Ask Fans Not To Wear Arab-Style Clothing After Saudi Takeover

(FILES) In this file photo taken on August 13, 2017 St James’ Park stadium, home ground of Newcastle United, is pictured in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England, ahead of the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur. PARNABY / AFP)

 

Newcastle have asked fans celebrating the club’s Saudi-backed takeover not to wear Arab-style clothing to matches in case it causes offence.

Some supporters wore traditional robes and others donned headdresses for Sunday’s Premier League clash with Tottenham, the Magpies’ first game under their new owners.

The £305 million ($420 million) Newcastle takeover was rubber-stamped by the Premier League earlier this month.

“Newcastle United is kindly asking supporters to refrain from wearing traditional Arabic clothing or Middle East-inspired head coverings at matches if they would not ordinarily wear such attire,” said a club statement on Wednesday.

“A number of supporters have recently attended St James’ Park wearing associated head coverings and robes, marking the takeover of the club by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media.”

The club said nobody among the new ownership group was offended by the attire, acknowledging it was a gesture that was “positive and welcoming in its intent”.

“However, there remains the possibility that dressing this way is culturally inappropriate and risks causing offence to others,” the statement added.

“All visitors to the club are, as always, encouraged to wear whatever is the norm for their own culture or religion, continuing to reflect the broad and rich multicultural communities and groups from which the club proudly draws its support.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Newcastle announced that manager Steve Bruce had left the club by “mutual consent” less than two weeks after the takeover.

Bruce, whose departure was widely expected, took charge of his 1,000th match as a manager in Sunday’s 3-2 defeat by Tottenham — his only game under the new owners.

Northeast side Newcastle are second from bottom of the Premier League and without a league win this season.