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Fought and Failed

Dubravka returns into the starting lineup for the first time this season. Krafth comes in at Right Wing back in a 5-4-1 formation, left wing-back is Paul Dummet. With the Centre backs Consisting of Clark, Hayden who drops deep, and the return of the captain, Jamal Lascelles. Miguel Almiron and Joelinton play on the wings of the midfield. With Sean Longstaff and Jeff Hendrick in the centre. Andy Carroll started up top in a lone centre forward role.

Straight from kick-off and Nelson for Arsenal cut in from the left to get a shot off but it was a comfortable stop for Dubravka's first save since coming back from injury. But Arsenal came straight back in with a chance for Pepe with the same result, cut in from the right and forcing another comfortable save from Dubravka.

In the 20th minute Joelinton broke away from the defence, he looked nervous and unsure what to do with the ball, in the end he laid it off Andy Carroll who found his shot blocked by David Luiz. Nothing came of the rebound. Thirteen Minutes later Aubameyang had a great opportunity to put Arsenal ahead when he found himself in on goal. On the right-hand side in the box Aubameyang fired a shot which was saved well by Dubravka, the ball then came to Willian who fired the ball over the bar. That was pretty much it for a fairly uneventful first half. Score 0-0.

Newcastle made a half time substitution with Lascelles making way for Ritchie who went into the left wing-back position, Dummet dropped into the centre back slot. In the 54th minute Longtaff took a free-kick which was floated into Andy Carroll who took it down on his chest and hit a good stike which dipped into to the hands of the keeper. If that went in surely it would have made one of the FA Cups greatest moments.

In the 64th minute Dubravka made his best save yet when the ball was floated in for Willock who nodded the ball into the far corner, Dubravka stretching palmed the ball to safety. Five minutes later Bruce goes more attacking bringing on Jacob Murphy for Emil Krafth. 74th minute and another floated ball came in this time for Aubameyang who won the header but this time it was collected easily by Dubravka. The third and fourth substitution for Newcastle came in the 80th minute when Almiron made way for Yedlin and Joelinton went off to make a debut for eighteen-year-old Elliott Anderson.

In the 92nd minute Newcastle had the best chance of the game. Starting from a save from Dubravka, Murphy obtained the ball and ran it too the box, played it to his left side to Anderson who had a shot saved by Leno, the ball then fell to Carroll who was in a fantastic position but he hit the ball low forcing a brilliant save by Leno. Two minutes later Xhaka struck an audacious shot from outside the box but Dubravka flung himself into the air and made a smart save. Full Time 0-0.

Into extra time in the 98th-minute Aubameyang looked for a penalty when he appeared to have gone down over the boot of Clark but after a quick VAR review Clark was ruled to have made no contact. Five minutes later and Pepe had a good opportunity to score turning onto his left foot to make the shot which was brilliantly blocked by the legs of a flying Matt Ritchie to keep the mags in the cup. The final sub saw Gayle come on to replace Carroll.

In the 109th minute Arsenal broke the deadlock from a Ciaran Clark mistake when he last the ball deep into the Newcastle half. The ball is then played over to Smith-Rowe who takes it on his chest and hits it hard into the far corner giving Dubravka no chance to make the save. 1-0 Arsenal.

Eight minutes later in the 117th-minute Arsenal put the game beyond doubt when Saka and Smith-Rowe played a lovely one, two to create space out wide, Saka then played the ball across to Aubameyang who slots the ball into the back of the net unchallenged. 2-0.

Full-Time Arsenal 2-0 Newcastle United.

Newcastle for me played really well for ninety minutes in this game but it all boils down to fitness which is quite worrying going into Tuesday's game against Sheffield United. If we can match the intensity of today's game I don't have any worries going into Tuesday. Will it be enough to get a win? Possibly not, we are seriously struggling for goals scoring only one goal in four games. But on a defensive standpoint in three hundred and ninety minutes of football versing the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool, Leicester and Arsenal we have only conceded six goals. It speaks volumes to where we are now to think that's an impressive stat. Maybe it's just me. No silverware this season but maybe we need to focus our attention on the league anyway. Onto Tuesday evening against Sheffield United.

By Sam West.

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