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…
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
2.25pmARSENAL XI: Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal; Xhaka, Guendouzi, Ramsey; Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette
ARSENAL SUBSTITUTES: Leno, Lichtsteiner, Holding, Elneny, Torreira, Mkhitaryan, Welbeck
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.
2.29pmBenitez 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.
2.30pmAs 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.
2.32pmThat 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.
2.34pmRESULT! 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.
2.36pmThat 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.
2.39pmBack 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
2.40pmThe 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.
2.41pmBenitez 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.
2.43pmArsenal 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.
2.45pmMuch 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.
2.47pmPREDICTION! 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.
2.49pmHEAD 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.
2.51pmThe 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…
2.53pmLacazette 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.
2.55pmIt’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.
2.58pmA 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
1 minKICKOFF: Newcastle get us underway!
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.
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.
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.
8 minNewcastle are beginning to do an effective job of pressing Arsenal. It’s a subtle press and Arsenal are getting themselves into trouble.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
36 minA free kick from a central position is delivered into Lascelles by Ritchie, but Ramsey does enough to put the defender off.
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.
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.
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.
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.
45 minHALF TIME: Newcastle United 0-0 Arsenal
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.
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.
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.
4.02pmThe two teams are starting to make their way back onto the pitch at St James’ Park.
46 minArsenal get us back underway!
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.
49 minGOAL! Newcastle United 0-1 Arsenal (Granit Xhaka)
49 minArsenal take the lead in superb fashion! The Gunners won a free kick around 30 yards from goal, and Xhaka proceeded to lash a shot into the top corner of Dubravka’s net. It’s a sensational strike.
51 minHow will Newcastle respond to that? They have probably been the better side but they have been left needing to come from behind in the Premier League yet again.
53 minIt probably won’t be too long before Benitez starts to consider Shelvey. Hayden and Diame are attempting passes which the England international would be better trying to pull off.
55 minThat goal has done little to change the pattern of play, however. Arsenal are still probing and Newcastle are placing focus on trying to hit the Gunners on the break.
58 minGOAL! Newcastle United 0-2 Arsenal (Mesut Ozil)
58 minThat could be game over. Arsenal are beginning to play with a swagger and although a defender makes a goal-saving tackle to deny Lacazette, the ball falls to Ozil on the edge of the area who places the ball into the net via the hand of Dubravka.
60 minCHANCE! It should be three. Lacazette holds the ball up before playing in Aubameyang on the left. The Gabon international has time to pick his spot, but the ball is sent wide of the far post.
62 minNaturally, the buzz from the Newcastle supporters has disappeared. It is an acknowledgement that their side are beginning to get outplayed. Shelvey and Rondon must surely be introduced.
64 minThis is better from Newcastle who at least force Arsenal back into their own final third, but Mustafi and Sokratis are dealing with what is thrown at them.
66 minMore of the same from Newcastle but they are still failing to get any shots away. Joselu has barely had a kick in a threatening position.
68 minSUBSTITUTIONS! That’s the end of Aubameyang’s afternoon, with Mkhitaryan being introduced in his place. Kenedy is also on for Murphy.
70 minSHOT! Arsenal work the ball well around the edge of the penalty area, but Torreira’s resulting strike is well off target.
72 minCHANCE! As this game has progressed, Arsenal have become an increasingly threat on the break and Mkhitaryan should do better when being found on his own at the back post. However, the playmaker’s curler is blocked by a defender.
75 minIt is all very flat at St James’ Park now. The Newcastle supporters have almost accepted defeat. Don’t rule out Arsenal adding a third.
77 minThat said, Arsenal would most certainly settle for a 2-0 victory. They are yet to keep a clean sheet under Emery and a shutout here would do the backline’s confidence a world of good.
79 minSUBSTITUTION! Benitez opts against introducing Shelvey or Rondon. Interesting. Muto instead comes on for Ritchie.
80 minSUBSTITUTION! Welbeck is also on for Arsenal with Ramsey making way.
83 minIt will be interesting to see what Benitez has to say after this game. Newcastle impressed during the opening half-hour but they have literally registered no shots which have come close to beating Cech.
85 minNearly a third for Arsenal as the ball heads towards Lacazette by the penalty spot, but Newcastle just about do enough to prevent a heavier defeat.
88 minCHANCE! Newcastle finally create a chance. A cross from the right finds Joselu all on his own at the back post, but the Spaniard’s header is tipped over the crossbar by Cech.
90 minThere will be three minutes of added-on time.
90+1 minGOAL! Newcastle United 1-2 Arsenal (Ciaran Clark)
90+1 minDo we have a comeback on our hands here?! A cross from the right finds Clark at the back post and the defender powers a header into the net from eight yards.
90+3 minFULL TIME: Newcastle United 1-2 Arsenal
4.55pmThe full-time whistle goes at St James’ Park and Arsenal have registered a 2-1 victory over a disappointing Newcastle United side, who only came back into the game in the closing stages. Xhaka and Ozil both scored well-taken goals to get the visitors over the line.
4.57pmThat will be all from Sports Mole for this game. Thank you for joining us this afternoon and we hope to see you again soon.
If you would like to read our on-the-whistle match report, you can do so by clicking here. Goodbye for now.