Arsenal bounce back impressively with Tavares and Lokonga leading win over Newcastle

After the first 45 minutes here at Emirates Stadium against Newcastle, you were to beginning to wonder if he would – as Arsenal looked slightly off the pace and the visitors sat deep to frustrate them.

Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also somehow hit the post from three yards out and Newcastle may have been thinking this was the day they’d finally get their first win of the season.

Arsenal, however, went through the gears in the second-half as Arteta got the reaction from that Anfield defeat that he was craving.

That evening, Lokonga’s passing radar crashed so badly that Arteta ended up hooking him eight minutes into the second-half. Nuno struggled too, gifting Liverpool’s second goal by passing the ball straight to Diogo Jota.

Arteta could have justifiably dropped the pair for this visit of Newcastle, especially as he has Kieran Tierney waiting in the wings, but he stuck by both and was rewarded.

Lokonga was excellent in the middle of the park, displaying the kind of passing that has seen him become a full Belgium international this season. He was Arsenal’s standout player in the first-half, with his lovely disguise pass starting the move which led to Aubameyang’s big miss.

Nuno struggled in the first-half, with his decision-making in the final third reminding us that he is still young. After the break, though, he was reborn, playing in Bukayo Saka for Arsenal’s opening goal in the 56th minute.

His pace never dropped either and Newcastle right-back Emil Krafth will be glad to see the back of him.

Martinelli cameo comes at perfect time

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