🔵 Newcastle United 2 Arsenal 0
Newcastle, UK | THE INDEPENDENT | Newcastle United claimed an impressive 2-0 win against Champions League chasing Arsenal in their penultimate Premier League fixture of the 2021/22 season.
In the Magpies’ final fixture of the campaign at St. James’ Park, the hosts broke the deadlock in the second-half as Benjamin White turned the ball into his own net following Joelinton’s inviting cross.
After a dominant display from start to finish, Bruno Guimarães extended Newcastle’s advantage in the closing stages as Eddie Howe’s side moved into 12th place on 46 points.
In front of an electric home crowd, the Magpies began in bright fashion and were almost rewarded with an early goal as Miguel Almirón charged down Aaron Ramsdale but the goalkeeper’s intended clearance struck the Paraguayan before the loose ball deflected across goal.
Wilson, making his first start for the Magpies since December, almost marked his longly-awaited return with a seventh league goal of the season.
After Guimarães threaded a neat pass into Sean Longstaff’s path, the midfielder’s fizzed cross was palmed away by Ramsdale into Wilson’s direction before the striker’s goal bound header was cleared by Gabriel.
The Gunners, aiming to move into fourth place with a victory on Tyneside, went close to opening the scoring through Saka as the 20-year-old winger combined with Martin Ødegaard before his first-time effort was crucially blocked by Magpies defender Dan Burn.
Martin Dúbravka kept United on level terms shortly as the Slovakia international held Saka’s low strike after the Gunners forward had dangerously cut inside from the right flank.
Allan Saint-Maximin went narrowly close to breaking the deadlock as the Frenchman evaded the challenge of Takehiro Tomiyasu before his low strike was saved by Ramsdale, who got down low to push the strike out for a corner.
In the opening minutes of the second-half, Newcastle were forced into an early change as Schär took a heavy fall following a 50-50 challenge with Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah.
However, in the 55th minute, Newcastle opened the scoring in fortunate circumstances. As Saint-Maximin fired into Joelinton’s path, the Brazilian’s teasing delivery into the penalty area, targeting Wilson, was turned into the net by White.
Wilson went close to doubling Newcastle’s advantage as the Coventry-born forward latched onto Guimarães’ lofted cross from the byline but his venomous volley flew over the crossbar.
The Magpies continued their push for a second goal as Miguel Almirón and Emil Krafth combined neatly down the right flank before the Swedish full-back picked out Wilson, but the forward’s strike deflected over the bar.
Eddie Howe introduced Ryan Fraser and Jacob Murphy from the substitutes’ bench and the pair were involved in a key opportunity in front of goal as the latter intercepted a loose ball before passing to Fraser, and after the Scotsman returned the favour, Murphy saw his strike blocked.
Newcastle’s chances in front of goal kept coming as Wilson’s speculative long-range effort spun beat Ramsdale before spinning agonisingly wide of the right-hand post.
In the 85th minute, the Magpies netted their second goal of the afternoon as Guimarães netted his fourth goal in his previous six matches.
After Longstaff delicately lifted the ball in behind the Arsenal defence, Wilson’s shot was saved before Guimarães was on hand to place the ball into the net in front of an ecstatic Gallowgate End.