Arsenal returned to London after a midweek Champions League thrashing of Galatasary in Istanbul. The Gunners were aiming to get back onto winning ways in the Premier League after a miserable performance at Stoke last weekend. Standing in way of Arsenal, were Alan Pardew’s Newcastle men, who tactically outclassed Mourinho’s Chelsea side last week. Newcastle were heading to the Emirates on high spirits, and were looking for the three points.
Saturday Night Football concluded as Arsenal demolished Newcastle, with the score reading, 4-1. Arsenal eased by Newcastle as both Giroud and Cazorla netted twice and Ayoze Perez netting for Newcastle. The smile was back on Wenger’s face, however Arsenal remain 13 points off leaders, Chelsea.
1. Bellerin & Debuchy Step Up
Two of Arsenal’s recognised right backs, really shone for Arsenal against Newcastle. Mathieu Debuchy signed from the Magpies this summer, was deployed into a different defensive role against his former club. Debuchy filled in at centre back alongside Per Mertesacker in the absence of Koscielny and Chambers. The makeshift back four were up against a relatively strong Newcastle attack, and Debuchy was identified as the weak link. In response to the role set out by Wenger, Debuchy responded with a solid, committed defensive showing, further illustrating how much Arsenal have missed him. Despite being only 5ft 10in, the former Newcastle man, had no issues dealing with any aerial balls pinged into his space. A fantastic return to the Arsenal squad after a lengthy lay off.
Playing alongside Debuchy was Spain U21 international, Hector Bellerin. The promising fullback has been inserted into the side recently due to Arsenal’s defensive ‘crisis’. Arsene Wenger had put a lot of faith in this Spaniard starting him in both the Stoke and Newcastle games, and Bellerin has certainly repaid that faith back. Bellerin put in a fantastic shift in both attack and defence. Bellerin dominated his right side of the pitch and covered nearly 90 yards, to eventually deliver an assist for Giroud to net his second goal. In defence, Bellerin worked cooperatively in an unfamiliar defence. The competent showing from Bellerin is encouraging signs for both Arsenal and Bellerin himself. I hope he gets some more game time this season because he deserves it.