With both starting elevens full of fringe players and youngsters, the match promised to be full of entertainment from the beginning and it did just that. Newcastle came close first, with Ranger taking the ball past Szczesny only to hit the ball against the Koscielny’s leg. Moments later Alan Smith, captaining the side this evening, blasts the rebound against the cross bar, with the help from a fingertip save from the Polish keeper.
The first half an hour seemed to be all Newcastle, with Ranger through again, this time only failing to see an unmarked Lovenkrands to his right. He fluffed his pass and Arsenal cleared. James Perch received a kick in his shin from Eastmond, similar to the tackle on Ben Arfa, but was alright to continue playing.
The young Slovenian player, Vuckic, combined with the Smith to play the ball into Lovenkrands, however the Danish striker was clearly offside.
In the last 15 minutes Arsenal managed to make Newcastle sweat by creating numerous chances which could of given them a 2 goal lead. First Bendtner weaved through 2 Newcastle defenders only to scuff his shot straight to Tim Krul.
Then Eboue skipped past Ryan Taylor and could of easily played in 1 of the 3 Arsenal players in the box, however he went for the glory and hit the side netting.
More chances for Arsenal went flooding by, and right at the death of the first half, Tim Krul came rushing out and punched clear a corner, only for the ball to be headed back in. Ryan Taylor, positioned on the goal line nodded the ball away, which bounced off the Dutch keepers head and went in the net.
In the second half the game turned into nail biting, end-to-end entertainment and Vuckic started it off by weaving in between 3 Arsenal players, but when Lovenkrands received the pass, he was offside.
Perch tried to make up for his questionable performances in the Premier League, but when Guthrie crossed the ball from a corner, the defender headed the ball narrowly over.
Walcott was too fast for the young Hungarian, Kadar, but eventually ran the ball out of play and failed to challenge the keeper. However the next time he was played in he was through on goal, as Bendtner (who was clearly offside) collided with Williamson who was trying to track back. This left him one on one with Tim Krul and he slotted it home to make it 0-2.
Newcastle continued to fight back with plenty of half-chances, and substitutes Gutierrez and Barton really made a difference when it came to advancing up the pitch.
Another corner from Guthrie was crossed deep to Williamson who headed the ball back over the box, however Ranger nodded the ball down for the Arsenal goalkeeper to collect.
Seconds later, Bendtner received the ball from a throw in and managed to cut into the area and curled the ball around Krul to give the Gunners a 3 goal lead.
The best Newcastle chance came from a Ryan Taylor free kick, however Andy Carroll’s header went over the bar. Ryan Taylor, again with a free kick, curled the ball round the wall, which provoked a one handed save from Szczesny, who denied a great goal.
Theo Walcott, again tore Newcastle’s defence apart with his speed and copied his earlier goal to slide the ball past Krul, ended the Arsenal rout.
A brave Newcastle side was defeated by a powerful and attacking Arsenal, however the difference between the two sides is that one team needs silverware and the other will settle for Premier League survival.