Live Commentary: Newcastle United 0-0 Arsenal

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Hello and welcome to Sports Mole‘s live coverage of the Premier League encounter between Newcastle United and Arsenal.

Newcastle head into the game still looking to register their first win in this season’s top flight, but Rafael Benitez would have taken the positives from narrow defeats to Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Manchester City.

Arsenal have recorded back-to-back victories over West Ham United and Cardiff City, but Unai Emery is aware that his team must continue to make improvements in the coming weeks having struggled in defence.

Newcastle fought back to claim a 2-1 triumph in last season’s corresponding encounter in April.

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47 minBoth teams have decided to make a change. Clark is on for Lascelles – who has been struggling with an injury – while Torreira has replaced Guendouzi.

46 minArsenal get us back underway!

4.02pmThe two teams are starting to make their way back onto the pitch at St James’ Park.

4.00pmArsenal improved as the first half progressed but like his opposite number, Dubravka has been left with very little to do. Lacazette and Aubameyang have both been lively without offering much of a threat inside of the penalty area.

3.56pmNewcastle’s best moments have come down the left with Murphy having the better of Bellerin, who is attempting to get forward as and when he can, but the end delivery has been poor and Joselu has been left to feed off scraps.

3.52pmUnsurprisingly, there is no added-on time and we head into half time on level terms. Newcastle will be the more satisfied of the two teams, but Arsenal will be encouraged with the way that they ended that opening period.

45 minHALF TIME:  Newcastle United 0-0 Arsenal

44 minThere has still not been a single shot on goal – Lacazette’s effort into the side-netting could have been interpreted as a cross – and it hasn’t been a boring game! Just the one minute to go in this first half.

42 minFair play to Newcastle, they keep showing a willingness to surge forward when winning the ball back off Arsenal, but it is not working for them in front of goal.

40 minArsenal are putting together a sustained period of pressure and some of Newcastle’s defending is starting to get a bit desperate. Benitez will be pleased with his side, but that will change if they do not see this first half out.

38 minLATEST! In the other two games involving “top-six teams”, Man City now lead Fulham by a 2-0 scoreline while Chelsea have equalised in their meeting with Cardiff City.

36 minA free kick from a central position is delivered into Lascelles by Ritchie, but Ramsey does enough to put the defender off.

34 minCHANCE!  Massive chance for Newcastle. Lacazette flicks the ball through to Ramsey who only has to fire a cross into Aubameyang for Arsenal to take the lead. However, the midfielder slices his delivery and the ball goes well over the crossbar.

32 minBack come Newcastle who manage to win their seventh corner of the match, but Arsenal just about deal with the danger after the ball was whipped into the centre.

30 minAs we move through the half-hour mark, we still await the first shot on target but this remains a competitive game with Arsenal beginning to find more space in the final third. Newcastle have probably shaded things, however.

30 minAs we move through the half-hour mark, we still wait for the first shot on target but this remains a competitive game with Arsenal starting to find spaces in the final third. Newcastle have probably just shaded things, however.

28 minAubameyang is fast but he is not as fast as Yedlin. The striker tried to run around the outside of the full-back, but there was only one winner there.

26 minSHOT!  Lacazette attempts to create something out of nothing after Newcastle only half clear a corner, but the Frenchman’s resulting shot goes into the side-netting.

24 minAubameyang has been quiet but the striker almost gets clear of the Newcastle defence and through on goal, only for Fernandez to expertly time his last-ditch tackle to get the ball back to Dubravka.

22 minThis wasn’t a shot but Cech at least had to work to clear the danger, with the ball being punched away after Murphy had headed it back across goal with two teammates lurking at the back post.

21 minMustafi slips when attempting to deal with a high ball and it allows Murphy to get in behind. However, Sokratis gets across to deal with the danger before the winger can get a strike away.

19 minWe are still to have a shot of any note, but Arsenal are edging their way into the game now. Have Newcastle missed their chance after a dominant opening 15 minutes?

17 minLATEST! Elsewhere, Manchester City have taken the lead against Fulham and Cardiff City are surprisingly ahead at Chelsea! We will bring you updates on those matches as and when we can.

15 minThe visitors finally put a move of their own together with Bellerin accelerating down the right and into the penalty area, but a block leads to the ball hitting the Spaniard and going out for a goal kick.

13 minArsenal are simply lacking urgency. Newcastle look like they are giving their opponents time on the ball, but then they strike in packs and an Arsenal player makes a mistake.

11 minIt’s all Newcastle. After a couple of unsuccessful corners, an inswinging cross from the right is delivered into the perfect area but a home player cannot get on the end of it.

10 minThe home side put an outstanding break together with Murphy being set free down the left, but an Arsenal midfielder gets back to divert the winger’s cross behind for a corner.

8 minNewcastle are beginning to do an effective job of pressing Arsenal. It’s a subtle press and Arsenal are getting themselves into trouble.

6 minMurphy does well on the left and gets a cross into the penalty area, but Cech claims easily enough. The Czech stopper looks more comfortable with the ball in his hands than he does with his feet and so he should. He’s a goalkeeper after all.

4 minNewcastle are certainly showing more ambition in attack than they did in the last home fixture, but it remains a quiet start with both sides content to allow the other to have the ball.

2 minBoth sides are taking their time getting into this one, with the only threat of note coming from Newcastle with a free kick being dealt with by the Arsenal defence.

1 minKICKOFF:  Newcastle get us underway!

2.58pmA reminder of the two starting lineups…

NEWCASTLE UNITED XI: Dubravka; Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie, Hayden, Diame, Murphy; Perez, Joselu

ARSENAL XI: Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal; Xhaka, Guendouzi, Ramsey; Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette

2.55pmIt’s time for the two teams to start making their way out on Tyneside. The home supporters are still waiting for their first home success this season but from the sound of their supporters, that is not going to change their levels of backing and optimism for this match.

2.53pmLacazette had given Arsenal an early lead at St James’ Park, but Newcastle came roaring back to end their winless streak against the North Londoners. Click here to read back on that game.

2.51pmThe Magpies have a dismal recent record against Arsenal, with the Gunners registering 10 wins and two draws from the last 13 dozen encounters. However, Newcastle’s solitary success came just five months ago…

2.49pmHEAD TO HEAD! Saturday’s fixture represents the 181st competitive meeting between the two sides, with Arsenal registering 75 wins in comparison to 67 victories for Newcastle.

2.47pmPREDICTION! Newcastle have yet to take a point off any of last season’s top six sides from their three matches this term, with Benitez coming in for criticism for his pragmatic style of play. More of the same is expected this weekend and, despite picking up victory the last time these two sides met earlier this year, this is a fixture that the Magpies tend to struggle in. Arsenal to prevail by a 3-1 scoreline.

2.45pmMuch has been made of Aubameyang’s struggles in front of goal, but Arsenal have had seven different goalscorers this season with no-one netting more than once. No player has registered more than one assist either. As many as 10 players have had a direct role in a goal in just four Premier League matches.

2.43pmArsenal head into this match on the back of defeating Cardiff City in South Wales, and the Gunners will end a 16-month wait for back-to-back away wins in the Premier League with victory this afternoon.

2.41pmBenitez does not fare too well in games against Arsenal. The Spaniard has suffered a total of six defeats in the Premier League, with only Chelsea and Manchester United inflict more misery on the experienced boss.

2.40pmThe North-East outfit are also looking to avoid losing their first three home fixtures in the league since the 1987-88 campaign. Even if it does become three successive defeats, Benitez and his team deserve a certain amount of slack having had to play Spurs, Chelsea and Arsenal all in a row.

2.39pmBack to this match now, and Newcastle have always recorded at least two points from their opening five games in the Premier League, but defeat against Arsenal today will result in the club’s worst-ever start in the division

2.36pmThat means that Liverpool now sit three points clear at the top of the table, while Spurs remain in fifth. Arsenal can move level on points with their arch rivals with a win in the North-East.

2.34pmRESULT! The full-time whistle has gone at Wembley Stadium and Liverpool have held on to register a 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur. That’s five wins out of five for Jurgen Klopp’s side, while Spurs have now lost two games in a row. Click here to read our on-the-whistle report.

2.32pmThat means that Petr Cech has retained his place between the sticks – despite failing to keep a clean sheet this season – while Lucas Torreira must again remain patient for his first Gunners start.

2.30pmAs for Arsenal, Unai Emery has opted to name an unchanged starting lineup. Arsenal were a tad fortunate to edge past Cardiff City in their previous game, but the Spaniard has kept faith in the eleven players which began that game.

2.29pmBenitez had spoken highly of Jonjo Shelvey in the build-up to this game, but the midfielder is forced to make do with a place among the replacements. Still, there is plenty of creativity in that Newcastle side.

2.27pmLet’s start with Newcastle as Rafael Benitez makes four changes to his starting lineup. Isaac Hayden is back in the team after suspension and Joselu is preferred to Salomon Rondon in attack. There are also starts on the flank for Matt Ritchie and Jacob Murphy.

2.25pmARSENAL XI: Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal; Xhaka, Guendouzi, Ramsey; Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette

ARSENAL SUBSTITUTES: Leno, Lichtsteiner, Holding, Elneny, Torreira, Mkhitaryan, Welbeck

2.23pmNEWCASTLE UNITED XI: Dubravka; Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie, Hayden, Diame, Murphy; Perez, Joselu

NEWCASTLE UNITED SUBSTITUTES: Darlow, Manquillo, Clark, Shelvey, Kenedy, Muto, Rondon

2.20pmHello and welcome to Sports Mole‘s live coverage of the Premier League encounter between Newcastle United and Arsenal. Neither side have enjoyed the start to the new season that they would have liked, but there were signs before the international break that improvements are starting to be made. Let’s see who features in each of the starting lineups…

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