September 27th, 2003 • 7:14 pm
Entertaining stuff at Highbury on Friday night with a 3-2 victory over Newcastle United.
Arsenal responded in the best possible fashion to the criticism heaped on them during the past week, by playing fluid football and being always dangerous.
While the first goal resulted from a miskick by Newcastle defender Titus Bramble, it was a thoroughly deserved lead. It’s unfortunate that Arsenal conceded a scrappy goal by Laurent Robert so soon after. Meanwhile, Vieira had to come off due to an injury, and Ashley Cole was also struggling to stay on.
The second half began much like the first, and Arsenal took the lead again through a fine header by Gilberto, who had a decent game. Ashley Cole had to be substituted due to injury as well, and things got worse when Bernard equalised after a perfectly measured pass by Jenas.
Ljungberg was also injured and struggled to stay on the pitch for the last 20 minutes, just standing in the middle of the pitch and trying to get involved in spite of an obviously painful ankle.
Pascal Cygan, who had replaced Ashley Cole, didn’t help with a succession of blunders, but Arsenal were rather lucky when Jenas foolishly raised his arm in the Newcastle box, leaving no choice for the referee but to give a penalty kick to the home team.
Henry finished it in an extremely cool fashion, especially considering that he missed his last penalty (against Milan last week).
A deserved win, but more importantly, real football was played again by Arsenal. It was a nice change from last Sunday’s business.