Arsenal v Newcastle: Premier League – live

Key events

21 min: Martinelli attempts to slip Havertz into the box. Havertz gets over-physical just when things look like opening up for him. The whistle goes. Newcastle desperately hanging on here.

19 min: That was a bit of a farce. But it’s nothing more than Arsenal deserve. It’s been all Arsenal from the get-go.

GOAL! Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle United (Botman og 18)

On 18 minutes, Arsenal score their 18th set-piece goal of the season. Gabriel heads towards the right-hand side of the goal at the near post. Karius saves well, but the ball squirts to Livramento, who attempts to hack off the line, only for his clearance to ping off the prone Botman’s knee and back in! Only just over the line. But over is over.

17 min: Jorginho shovels a pass down the inside-right channel in the hope of releasing Saka into the box. Livramento is forced to take drastic action, slicing hysterically behind for a corner. Saka to take from the right, and …

16 min: The pace drops at last, and Arsenal begin to probe patiently. Martinelli nearly escapes down the inside-left channel, but can’t get the better of the revived Trippier.

14 min: Trippier springs back up, though he’s trotting gingerly right now.

13 min: Odegaard floats a cross towards Martinelli on the left. Martinelli manages to get a header on target, but from a long way out. Easy again for Karius. Then Trippier goes down clutching his knee.

11 min: Raya hesitates with the ball at his feet and is very nearly closed down by Isak. Arsenal hearts would have been in mouths there, but the keeper manages to shuffle his feet and hack clear.

10 min: Trippier gifts the ball to Rice with an appalling pass infield from the Newcastle right. Rice feeds Odegaard, who attempts to release Martinelli but gets his scooped pass all wrong. Karius claims, but Newcastle ship possession quickly and now it’s Rice taking a whack from Saka Country. Karius parries this one, too, albeit not in the most convincing fashion. Arsenal well on top.

8 min: Martinelli dances down the left touchline and looks to have the better of Schar, with Newcastle light at the back elsewhere. Danger here! But then the linesman sticks up his flag, even though the ball hadn’t gone out of play. Never mind, Arsenal come again, Saka having a speculative slash from the right-hand edge of the D. Easy for Karius.

7 min: Odegaard probes on the edge of the Toon box but his misplaced pass allows Trippier to intercept and send Almiron off at speed along the right touchline. Odegaard attempts to make up for his error with a slide tackle from behind that earns him a yellow card.

5 min: Jorginho’s loose crossfield pass allows Livramento to intercept and roll a pass to Gordon. Newcastle don’t really build from that, but it’s their first moment in possession so worthy of some sort of comment. Arsenal aren’t letting them rest at all.

3 min: Arsenal are snapping into everything. Pressing hard. Karius passes Schar into a bit of trouble by the right-hand corner flag, and the ball’s nearly gifted to Havertz. The press is too hard this time, and the whistle goes to release the pressure on Newcastle. For now.

1 min: … they win another. Rice delivers. White flicks on. Saliba can’t force home. The ball breaks to Saka on the edge of the area and he hoicks over. A fast start by the hosts.

Arsenal get the ball rolling. They’re immediately on the front foot, too, Martinelli winning a corner down the left within the first 13 seconds. And from that …

The teams are out! Live prime-time Saturday night football always feels a bit odd, but at least the kick-off time has given everyone plenty of opportunity to source lubricant, and the atmosphere on Ashburton Grove is wonderful as a result. Arsenal in their red and white, Newcastle in black and white. We’ll be off in a minute or two!

Pyros mean kick-off is approaching. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images/Reuters
The Gooners are ready. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images/Reuters

More hot line-up chat, this time from the other side. Charles Antaki writes: “Go on then, if we’re allowing ourselves comments on the line-ups – always a pleasure until reality strikes. My ha’porth: in spite of some lovely recent games Trossard was near invisible against Porto, so plugging in Jorginho and shuttling Rice a bit more forward sounds good. Cue collapse of midfield, blankness at left inside forward and general gah.”

Mikel Arteta talks to TNT. “We expect to have big support and big energy … we are excited … we have been on a really good run in the Premier League and we want to continue that … we have players on the bench who can impact the game … let’s go for it … we will have to see the result and the context of the game to see how we can use [Gabriel Jesus] … two very competitive teams expect to win … it will be an intense match … we must replicate those moments [against Liverpool] and earn the right to win the game.”

Another email, and proof that consensus was always a pipe dream. “We’re having a sweep as to what minute Isak gets crocked again,” writes Richard Slassor. “I have 30~40. Think I’m quids in. Karius for Dubs is a step down IMO. That’s a sample size of two now.”

Newcastle’s starting XI seems to have gone down well with their fans, if our sample size of one MBM reader is anything to go by. “That seems a really sensible line-up for Newcastle,” begins John Davis. “It’s quite a convenient bout of illness – Dubravka is a great shot stopper but won’t leave his line. He’s trying to replace someone in Nick Pope who loves sweeping and you can see the pressure he’s under recently – he’s started to come out when he has no chance of making it, or hesitating, and it’s unsettling the defence. Karius did pretty well in his only game in the Carabao Cup final under lots of pressure, and I still reckon he was concussed when he made the errors in the Champions League final. Isak in for Barnes is great – Barnes is just back from a long injury and Isak is different class, and the pace of Tino against Saka gets Dan Burn out of the firing line after some tricky games. I’m not expecting to win, but it’s lovely going there with a team who will try and I’ve a sneaking suspicion we’ll wind them up even more after Gordon’s winner in our first match this season.”

The whistle has just gone at Dean Court, where Manchester City have beaten Bournemouth 1-0 thanks to Phil Foden’s first-half goal. Taha Hashim has the details.

The result moves City to within a point of leaders Liverpool. Arsenal need a result tonight if they’re to keep pace with the top two.

Eddie Howe speaks to TNT Sports. “We always rotate for different games … with [Isak] back it’s a massive lift … he’s such a key player … a difference maker … we’ll certainly need him to play well tonight … our midfield is picking itself … we want more control and clarity … the spirit is there … the determination … so long as we keep showing that, whatever we deliver tonight we’ll take … we need to keep 11 men on the pitch … but we also have to compete … mixing your game up is absolutely crucial … Arsenal are constantly changing their midfield shape so it will be interesting to see how it goes … we have to bring a threat to the match … our away form has been good in part due to that attitude.”

Arsenal make one change to their starting XI after Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat at Porto. Jorginho comes back in at the expense of Leandro Trossard, who drops to the bench. Gabriel Jesus is also named as a sub after missing the last four matches.

Newcastle make three changes to the team that rescued a 2-2 draw with Bournemouth last Saturday. Martin Dubravka is absent through illness, so Loris Karius takes over in goal, making his first start since last season’s League Cup final. Meanwhile Alexander Isak and Tino Livramento replace Harvey Barnes and Dan Burn, who both drop to the bench.

The teams

Arsenal: Raya, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Kiwior, Odegaard, Rice, Jorginho, Saka, Havertz, Martinelli.
Subs: Ramsdale, Gabriel Jesus, Smith Rowe, Nketiah, Cedric, Trossard, Vieira, Nelson, Elneny.

Newcastle United: Karius, Trippier, Schar, Botman, Livramento, Longstaff, Bruno Guimaraes, Miley, Almiron, Isak, Gordon.
Subs: Lascelles, Ritchie, Barnes, Krafth, Hall, Jacob Murphy, Willock, Gillespie, Burn.

Referee: Paul Tierney (Lancashire).


Just the one change from midweek ⏳

Let’s make it count, Gunners 👊

— Arsenal (@Arsenal) February 24, 2024


It was a hell of a game last time round. Mikel Arteta remembers it well, and he’ll be after revenge tonight. Not least because there’s a league title to be won. Newcastle meanwhile won’t have given up on getting back into Europe, so this is all set up to be a combustible cracker. Entertainment ahoy. Kick off is at 8pm GMT. It’s on!


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