Mikel Arteta masterstroke leaves Howe raging as Arsenal run riot vs Newcastle

Arsenal moved two points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool again after a dominant 4-1 win over Newcastle on Saturday evening. Chaos in the visitors’ box led to the Gunners taking the lead through a remarkable Sven Botman own goal. Minutes later, Gabriel Martinelli teed up Kai Havertz to grab a second, then goals from Bukayo Saka and Jakub Kiwior put the icing on the cake in the second half before Joe Willock’s consolation header. Here, Express Sport takes a look at the game’s biggest talking points, including a profitable tactical tweak from Mikel Arteta.

Bouncing back in style from Porto loss

Arsenal started the match with the intent to bounce back from their Champions League defeat at Porto in midweekMartin Odegaard and Havertz led from the front and their intensity was clear, pressing high and getting stuck into the opposition.

Arteta had clearly given his players some stern words after returning from Portugal and the north London side quickly got stuck into the task at hand.

Havertz set the tone by chasing Fabian Schar down in what appeared to be a lost cause, but managed to recover possession and set up a promising attack. From the first minute, they suffocated Newcastle and wanted to prove that their loss last time out was nothing more than a minor blip.

Arteta’s tactical tweak pays off

Jorginho returned to the starting line-up against Newcastle for greater control against an intense midfield opposition, similar to his Man of the Match performance in the victory over Liverpool at the beginning of the month.

His inclusion allowed for a system tweak with Declan Rice alongside the Italian, allowing Odegaard to join Havertz in a two as opposed to Arsenal’s typical 4-3-3 shape. The switch gave Rice more freedom to join in the attack and Martinelli greater opportunities to move infield, while the press looked revitalised.

Especially in the tougher games across the season, Jorginho could be approaching undroppable status if he continues in the same vein. He wasn’t awarded the assist for Havertz’s goal but an inch-perfect pass to Martinelli helped create the strike and the midfield maestro is playing his way into the team.

Howe fuming at Arsenal press

Eddie Howe had little answer to Arsenal’s new pressing system and could be seen on the sidelines incredibly frustrated at times. He was often shouting and screaming at his players but they were left handcuffed in attempts to play through Arsenal and struggled to get into the hosts’ half.

They were unable to get close to Arsenal when the hosts had the ball, with Jorginho afforded plenty of room to take his time and pick Martinelli out to set up their second goal, and Howe was sent back to the drawing board to address their disappointing run of form.

Karius makes Prem return

Illness to Martin Dubravka saw former Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius handed his first Premier League appearance since May 2018. The last time he faced Arsenal, the German stopper kept a clean sheet in a 4-0 win, but could not repeat those efforts this time.

In his first competitive appearance since the Carabao Cup final 12 months ago, there was little that Karius could do to prevent the opening goal. He parried Gabriel’s header but a defensive mix-up resulted in Botman’s own goal, while similarly he had little chance to stop efforts from Havertz, Saka and Kiwior and any blame lies away from the goalkeeper despite shipping four.