Any player, manager or fan would be upset to concede a goal that could so easily have been disallowed. And on Sunday the difference between winning and losing was so narrow that you could sense the frustration for Arsenal while Newcastle surely felt lucky.
There wasn’t a clear reason for the goal to not be given to Newcastle, but there three opportunities for the goal to be disallowed and the suspense was through the rough while the VAR checks were being made. I still don’t understand the focus on the ball being out or not meaning more than the focus on Joelinton’s goal line push,
A goal was ultimately given to Newcastle and it will have felt like a huge win for Howe’s team who gave Arsenal their first defeat of the season. Arteta was understandably frustrated after the game but his team didn’t do enough on the day, as Nick Pope finished the match mostly untroubled. Odegaard was missed as there was a notable difference of creativity in midfield.
Arsenal’s start to the season has been good, even though the style of play hasn’t been as exciting as it might have been for most of last season when they challenged for the title, so Arteta’s main focus will be getting that swagger back.
On the other side, Newcastle will be happy with their progress as they keep the chase on the leading pack. They weren’t as happy midweek with the defeat to Dortmund in the Champions League, and it’s now a big battle to make it through the group stages. But Howe’s tactics have been spot on this season, but seeing them being pushed back to defend vs Dortmund made a big difference as we didn’t see their high energy like we did vs Arsenal. It is hard to repeat the same level but they tried and the German fans are like the 12th man at Dortmund and that must have been an advantage.
The Premier League table is looking interesting with just over a quarter of the season played. There will surely be lots more movements as teams move up and down the standing order, and we’ll know a lot more between now and Christmas as the top teams hope to pull away from the chasing pack. #mmlove